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Wild Waves (1929)

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Mickey Mouse is a singing lifeguard. Minnie Mouse is the damsel he must rescue before she is swept out to sea.

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(uncredited)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
...
Mickey Mouse / Minnie Mouse (voice) (uncredited)
Carl W. Stalling ...
Walrus (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

At the beach, Minnie is swept out to sea by a wave (while still wearing her high heels!). Mickey struggles with a rowboat (taken from atop an amorous couple) before swimming out to save her. When Minnie comes ashore, she is disoriented and depressed, so Mickey and the various creatures on the shore (pelicans, a walrus, seals, etc.) do a little song and dance to cheer her up. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mouse | seal | rowboat | lifeguard | walrus | See All (46) »


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Olas salvajes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Cinephone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Mickey's 50 (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep
(uncredited)
By J.P. Knight
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mickey rides the wild surf
31 August 2008 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

This early Mickey Mouse cartoon is aptly titled. It's set at the seashore, and in shot after shot the wild surf crashes against the rocks, ebbs, rolls back, then hits the shore again with redoubled force. The waves are beautiful but dangerous, as we find in due course when they overpower our star performers and fling them every which way. The ocean itself has personality in this short, and that's impressive for a cartoon of this vintage. You've got to give the Disney animators credit for not playing it safe; recreating the violent motion of the sea was challenging in the era of black & white cel animation, but nevertheless they chose to give the customers their money's worth with a show of difficult water effects. They make it look easy, and still manage to maintain a light and amusing tone.

The credit for the generally high quality of the early Mickeys belongs primarily to one man, legendary animator Ub Iwerks, who drew most of the studio's initial talkie output practically solo. The opening title card for these seminal works reads "A Walt Disney Comic by Ub Iwerks," a singular credit Disney would never grant any other employee. Iwerks was a key figure in putting the Disney Studio on the map and making the mouse world famous, but he chafed under Walt's dominance and left the studio not long after Wild Waves was released in the summer of 1929.

But that's real world stuff. Back in Cartoon Land, this particular entry begins with a terrific shot of Lifeguard Mickey sitting atop his tall chair, strumming his guitar and singing for an audience of two seals, a pelican, and other assorted water fowl. The waves crash as Mickey's listeners all sway to the music in perfect synchronized style, while even his chair bobs to the rhythm on alarmingly rubbery legs. Minnie is introduced in the mildly risqué fashion still permissible at this time, with the kind of gag that would soon become verboten: she's changing into her bathing suit in one of those old-fashioned "bathing machines" that looks like an outhouse on wheels. We hear her singing but she's not visible. Then, on a clothesline leading out the window, we watch as her slip, her bra, and her panties appear on the line, one by one, to flap in the breeze. Minnie appears in the doorway in her swimsuit with a "Ta-daaaa!" gesture, skips into the surf, and is promptly swallowed by a wave and carried screaming out to sea. Mickey, of course, tosses his guitar aside and comes to the rescue. He is hindered by more of those diabolical waves, but eventually manages to haul Minnie ashore. When she begins to weep he attempts to amuse her by dancing a hornpipe, and this sets off a general beach musicale, complete with dancing penguins, barking seals, a harp solo played on a fish-net, and a walrus who sings in a basso voice.

Wild Waves is a sweet little cartoon that doesn't appear on anyone's list of Disney "classics." It's just another routine Mickey Mouse short, but in a sense that makes it all the more impressive. The Disney cartoons from this period are primitive compared to what would follow in the '30s, but they're highly entertaining, often surprising, and miles ahead of what anyone else was making at the time.


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