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This short is one of the first Mickey Mouse cartoons I saw, back in the day when the Disney Channel used to show old Disney stuff. To go on a tangent, by the way, I am not one of those who is so upset that all the old stuff is not on Disney Channel – I actually like High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place and Phineas and Ferb. But there is a place for these old classics, such as the Disney Treasures DVD that I watched this short from.
I love the fact that Mickey is getting ready to depart from the Burbank train station, the location of Walt’s studio. It adds a little touch of realism to the short and to Mickey. Pluto is accompanying him on the trip, but Conductor Pete says that dogs are not allowed on the train. It’s great to see Pete back and cast as Mickey’s adversary.
The fun in this short is seeing Mickey’s sheepishness. As his character evolved over the years, Mickey went from the swashbuckling adventurer he was in The Gallopin’ Gaucho to a suburban man in later shorts. Now, he is much more of a happy go lucky guy who gets very scared and nervous when in danger. It’s always been there, but here it’s more pronounced, like when he’s sweating bullets as Pete interrogates him.
The creativity of how Mickey and Pluto try to get away from Pete is quite good as well. My personal favorite is the American Indian costume, with Pluto in the papoose. It all falls apart when Pete tries to pinch the “baby’s” cheeks, but it’s very funny.
My absolute favorite part of the short, though, is when Pluto gets snagged out of the window and Mickey chases him outside. They end up off the train, only to discover that they’re exactly where they need to be, in Pomona. It’s such a fantastic metaphor, that we spend our time evading trouble and pushing to get where we want, then look up and we’re there. I’m sure it was not social commentary, but it is a good feeling nonetheless.