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Early unimpressive Mickey Mouse short film in black and white

4/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
13 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Gorilla Mystery" is actually not much of a mystery as the newspaper tells us, or lets say Mickey (voiced by the master himself) tells us this time not in his usually squeaky voice that a giant gorilla has escaped. The gorilla looks more like a monster in fact. He calls Minnie right away, but she doesn't care much or even understand her hectic boyfriend and just decides to play a piano piece for him. Mickey enjoys it until the very moment the gorilla comes through Minnie's window and kidnaps her. Mickey, though pretty scared himself, immediately runs to Minnie's house. Afterward, he struggles more with a duck, some hens and a parrot than finally against the gorilla. with Minnie's help they capture him and the day is saved.

There's many better Disney and Mickey Mouse short films out there, so I would say "The Gorilla Mystery" is really only one for Disney completionists.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful Mickey Mouse short

10/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
14 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've always loved The Gorilla Mystery. While I do like/love a lot of the Mickey Mouse shorts of this time, The Gorilla Mystery stands out to me in many ways. For one thing, it does focus less on the song and dance numbers, in fact the music is very sparsely used here, and does have a cohesive story. And an exciting and suspenseful one at that. When you read the summary and it says Minnie gets kidnapped you do think the short is going to be routine, I thought so too initially. I actually didn't find that, like with The Klondike Kid I thought something fresh was done with this scenario, not only is it Beppo the Gorilla instead of Pete, but with this you-think-deserted house and then you see signs of life you do wonder what Beppo is going to do with Minnie. The animation is very good indeed, crisply drawn and the backgrounds are interesting. The standout piece of animation for me was when Mickey enters the house, the use of light and dark, lighting and shadows really add to the suspenseful atmosphere and Mickey's perspective. There are some very effective scenes, Mickey and Minnie's phone conversation is very amusing and somewhat cute, while Mickey entering the house has standout animation, the sequence with the newspaper which when watching may give you a surprised shock as it did me and the big finale has a done-before but very clever gag where Mickey peers into a room in the foreground while the gorilla crosses the hall in the background, then vice versa. All in all, wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Interesting short with excellent animation on the gorilla

8/10
Author: Robert Reynolds (minniemato@hotmail.com) from Tucson AZ
4 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an early short from Disney featuring Mickey Mouse. There will be spoilers ahead:

A gorilla has escaped from the zoo and Mickey calls Minnie to warn her. She tells him she's fine and not to worry, then proceeds to play the piano and sing while Mickey is still on the phone.

Naturally, the gorilla breaks in and grabs Minnie. It takes Mickey a bit longer than it should to grasp what's happening, but he does and displays Olympic quality steeplechase skills rushing to Minnie's aid.

The rest of the short involves the gorilla terrorizing Minnie, Mickey being alternately scared out of his wits and resolute in seeking Minnie and occasional brief appearances by other critters.

There's a gag involving doors which has become a mainstay of animated humor in what is likely one of its first incarnations. The character animation on the gorilla is great and the short is very good.

This short is available on DVD and is well worth looking for. It's included on the Mickey Mouse In Black and White Disney Treasures release. Recommended.

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Mr. Mouse Meets Kong's Little Brother

10/10
Author: Ron Oliver (revilorest@juno.com) from Forest Ranch, CA
4 July 2003

A Walt Disney MICKEY MOUSE Cartoon.

It's Mickey to the rescue when an escaped ape causes mayhem in poor Minnie's house.

THE GORILLA MYSTERY is a very fine little black & white film, with plenty of chills and suspense. The frightful simian gives new emphasis to the intransitive verb 'slavering.' Notice the particular care the animators took with Minnie's piano playing - every finger in exactly the right spot on the keyboard to produce the notes heard on the soundtrack; it was tiny (but perfect) details like this which put the folks at Disney at the top of their professional tree. Walt Disney supplies Mickey with his trademark squeaky voice.

Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.

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