The hen is looking for someone to help her plant her corn. Peter Pig and Donald Duck both feign belly aches to get out of the chore. So, with help from her chicks, she plants it herself. ... See full summary »
Mickey is looking after the orphans. He tells them the story of Gulliver (with Mickey in that role) in Lilliput, though without the satire and bawdy bits. The story ends with Mickey fighting a giant spider, about twice his size.
While Tom Cat goes away hunting, Mickey, Minnie, and their mouse friends break into his house and perform music. They play various tunes on the piano while the other mice hit household objects in tune to the music.
Goofy's in the driver's seat, Mickey's in the kitchen, and Donald's in bed in Mickey's high-tech house trailer. When Goofy comes back to eat breakfast, leaving the car on autopilot, it ... See full summary »
Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are cleaning a large clock. Among the complications: Mickey fights a sleeping stork that doesn't want to leave, Donald gets tangled up in the main-spring, and Goofy is inside the bell when the clock strikes four.
King Midas is visited by an elf; the elf turns his cat to gold, then claps his hands and it changes back. Midas begs for the golden touch, but the elf warns him it would be a curse to him. ... See full summary »
Mickey is selling hot dogs at a carnival next to the tent for Minnie the Shimmy Dancer. He gets into an argument with the barker. Minnie beckons him over to her trailer; he shows off the ... See full summary »
Mickey is piloting a steamboat when Captain Pete comes to the bridge and throws him off. They stop to pick up cargo. Minnie just misses the boat and Mickey uses the crane to grab her. She drops her sheet music of "Turkey in the Straw" and a goat eats it. With help from Mickey, she cranks the goat's tail, and it plays the tune. Mickey accompanies on percussion and by torturing various animals, until Pete comes down and puts a stop to it, putting Mickey to work peeling potatoes. While this is the first sound Mickey Mouse, there's no dialog. Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
'Steamboat Willie (1928)' is often erroneously touted as the first Mickey Mouse film, though that title actually goes to 'Plane Crazy (1928).' The source fuelling this common misconception is probably an episode of "The Simpsons," which places the origin of Itchy the Mouse in a 1928 short called 'Steamboat Itchy,' obviously a parody of this cartoon. Interestingly, 'Steamboat Willie' was itself a parody, spoofing the latest Buster Keaton release, 'Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928),' though the connection stretches little beyond the title and the general story setting. In this Walt Disney short, Mickey Mouse takes charge of a river steamboat, much to the annoyance of Captain Pete the cat, who spitefully casts him aside. But Mickey is not to be outdone in nastiness. Far removed from the pleasant, wholesome Mickey that more recent generations enjoyed, this little mouse cares only for numero uno, inflicting pain and displeasure on a series of farm animals in order to provide music for his own amusement.
First there's the laughing parrot, which cops a bucket and a large potato to the head. Then a goat is cranked by the tail to provide music ("Turkey in the Straw") from a guitar it has swallowed. A cat is swung around by its tail, a goose throttled about the throat, and a piglet viciously booted. For a children's cartoon, 'Steamboat Willie,' directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, certainly has some mean-spirited humour, though I also noticed similar elements (though not quite to this extent) in some later Disney shorts, like 'Gulliver Mickey (1934).' Let's not forget Minnie Mouse, of course, who suffers treatment for which she could today sue for sexual harassment! The jokes may be crude, and the animation perhaps even more so, but this cartoon delivers a bucket-full of laughs, and it's easy to see why this little rodent became one of the most beloved characters in cinema history. If you're a fan of Mickey Mouse, or Disney in general, this is one steamboat you can't afford to miss.
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