|Index||4 reviews in total|
This Mickey Mouse cartoon is quite different than the others. Instead of being more human-size, Mickey and Minnie are the size of regular mice. After Tom Cat left to go hunting, Mickey, Minnie, and their mice friends go inside and play music. One funny gag was where a mouse used another mouse as a record player while another put a funnel in his mouth and placed his tail on the record (ala a needle). Out came the tune "Kingdom Coming." This is a rarely seen cartoon and the version on the Disney Channel is censored (a scene of Tom Cat drinking at the beginning of the short). There really wasn't much action to it, but it was okay.
Note: The title music to this short is missing and is so noted on the
DVD from "Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Black and White,
There is very little in the way of plot to "When the Cat's Away" and the title pretty much is the film. The cat's gone and in his absence, the mice run amok in the home--dancing about and enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, there's nothing more to the plot and the wonderful, plucky Mickey Mouse you see in such wonderful shorts as "Steamboat Willie" is just another mouse running about and having fun. While this is not a terrible film, it's definitely among the worst of the early ones and is no better than films of the competition--and in some cases, a bit worse. Easy to skip unless you are a die-hard fan of Disney animation.
While the very sound alone would have entertained an audience back in
1929, "When the Cat's Away" proves to be a rather dull affair in this
day and age. Not that it isn't cute or doesn't have good gags, but this
is one of those cartoons without any story or real character to it, and
the gags alone are not so hilarious as to keep it entirely afloat. It's
a mild diversion while it lasts, but it certainly does not merit a
(PS Am I the only one who finds it weird that only Mickey and Minnie wear clothes and not the other mice? I know it's a cartoon, but I just find that so odd!)
When the Cat's Away is not among Disney's worst cartoons but also not among their best either. Starting with what I didn't like so much, the story is practically non-existent, and seemed more an excuse to run interlude after interlude, that gets tiresome after a while. The animation is not bad actually, but nothing really stands out, other Mickey cartoons showed things like Mickey's frustration etched in his features that made you feel for him, but there isn't much of that here. There are also times where you felt the quality of the backgrounds could have been smoother. The cat is not really a compelling character either, the rats and Mickey and Minnie are far more likable and developed, for a title character the cat seemed just there, making his role pointless. It was almost as if the cartoon was meant to be another idea that was dropped. The music score is also not bad, it is energetic and characterful but it has been more subtly used before, here there are occasions where it is somewhat crude. On the other hand, Mickey and Minnie are both likable characters, and their friends are equally sweet. There are some good gags as well, the best three being the Kingdom Coming gag with the rats turning themselves into a record player, Mickey using one of the rats as a key to unlock the door and how his tail picks him up as he was about to fall into the mousetrap. Another nice touch is the rats marching in whistling the same melody that the cat did as he marches away. On the whole, a decent cartoon but a long way from great. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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