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It's almost like Mickey blames Minnie for all these kids that the storks
are delivering. It's not his fault that all these kids arrive; it's Minnie's
fault. The idea that somehow Minnie is to blame is suggested by the scene
where Mickey comes into the house and sees Minnie sitting at a huge table
with all those kids. It's like Mickey has had nothing to do with it. I know
that this cartoon wasn't meant as serious social commentary; it's just something
I picked up on when I saw it for the first time.
I always liked the prayer Mickey says before going to sleep. This kind
of bedtime prayer was depicted in other Disney films, including Snow White
and The Rescuers. It might have been the custom of the time for kids to
pray before going to bed. It suggests that people were more religious back
then. Mickey doesn't use his normal high-pitched voice when he prays but
whispers it in a regular tone of voice. This was the voice of Walt himself.
It kind of shows how Walt was not against depicting religious things in
his cartoons, even to the extent of saying this prayer himself. It's a very
small thing, but I wanted to comment on it.
So, what I am trying to say in this long comment is that I hope Disney
does not forget how it started, and I'm sure Walt would not want Mickey
to stay just a "corporate symbol." After all, he is his son!
I say it’s ostensibly the subject because in reality, this short is a re-imagining of the 1931 short
Mickey’s Orphans. Things start out with Mickey falling asleep, fawning over his picture of Minnie, and placing a Cupid doll next to the picture. He kicks Pluto out of the bed, and falls asleep.
The next scene, as Pluto sneaks back into bed and begins licking Mickey, launches into a dream sequence. It’s here that we get to see the first representation of Mickey and Minnie getting married. As far as I know, at least. It could have been done in the Mickey Mouse comics or some other forum, but in the cartoons this is the first one.
Again, though, that is a set up for the main storyline of the short, where a multitude of storks drop baby Mickeys into Mickey and Minnie’s house, much to the proud papa’s dismay. The kids greet their father and proceed to wreak havoc throughout the house.
This is where the remake of
Mickey’s Orphans comes in. The “babies” are able to destroy the house more efficiently than any wrecking crew could. Perhaps because it’s been done before, the gags this time don’t come across as anything all that special, even if they are fairly amusing.
There are a few standouts, like the kids riding Pluto in a carriage or a group of them pulling in and out of a set of drawers as Mickey and another baby run past. But for the most part, the gags are predictable and nothing exceptional. Again, this is likely because I’ve seen this story before, but I think it’s also because there’s nothing new here – it’s similar not only to
Mickey’s Orphans but to
Alice Rattled by Rats or
When The Cat’s Away.
There is, though, a charm to this short that makes the viewer happy. The baby Mickeys are cute as can be, and Mickey keeps a good attitude throughout the torture he is subjected to in the short. Like I said about
Mickey’s Orphans, having this same story with Donald Duck would be vastly different, and likely funnier.
There is something about Mickey, though, that makes people want to root for him. Throughout this short, I found myself smiling at his exploits, despite the fact that it was familiar territory. At the end, when he wakes up and smashes the Cupid statue, I enjoyed that we got to see a little more mischief in Mickey than normal. It makes
Mickey’s Nightmare a good short, if not a great one.
This is the first United Artists Mickey cartoon. This means that we see a change in the title cards. I've only seen the recreations on the DVD which I'd like to assume are accurate (minus the UA references). I have to say the spinning rays and exploding Mickey head are really cool! The other change the UA releases brought to the Disney cartoons were full
color advertising posters. These attractive posters are worth seeking out (you can find a lot of them on the Disney Shorts Encyclopedia.)