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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an early Mickey Mouse cartoon produced by the Disney studio.
There will be spoilers ahead:
This is a beautifully animated short, with some excellent visual bits. Unfortunately, it serves an "idiot plot" (the plot only works if every character is, at some point, an idiot). Too bad, because it would have been so simple to make a few changes to have a plot equal to the visuals.
It starts promisingly with a framing device, where Mickey is telling a story to a group of orphans-Jack and the Beanstalk, with Mickey actually taking the lead role. Climbing the beanstalk, he reaches the top to see Giantland. There's a beautiful bit with a butterfly involved in Mickey reaching a huge castle.
As Mickey is looking in the lock on the door (he's about to commit unlawful entry) the giant comes striding up, singing a song which is mercifully brief. He unlocks the front door, unwittingly pushing Mickey into the castle through the lock.
Mickey winds up in a sugar bowl on the kitchen table. The giant comes to the table and puts spoon into sugar bowl. Mickey wisely puts a cube of sugar in the spoon. The second time, instead of doing the smart thing he did the last time, he winds up on the spoon and then in the coffee. He manages to get out of the coffee unnoticed.
Now, a smart mouse would head back to the sugar bowl, since the giant probably wouldn't go back there, being as his coffee is gone. Mickey heads for a huge wedge of cheese. Okay, he is a mouse, so maybe he couldn't resist. Mickey winds up in a cheese and mustard sandwich. Twice, Mickey barely avoids being eaten. Does he even try to get out of the sandwich, even though he could? No! He goes back into the sandwich! Now he's in the giant's mouth. Even though Mickey's standing on his tongue (at one point he hangs from the uvula) somehow the giant never notices that part of his sandwich has stubbornly refused to be swallowed. Mickey ultimately comes out through a pipe and finally, the giant notices him.
Mickey finally does something smart and blasts pepper in the giant's face, leading to an incredible climax. Mickey and the giant wind up at the beanstalk, Mickey gets away and we return to the framing device. I concur with the little mouse in the high chair! This short is available on the Disney Treasures Mickey Mouse In Black and White, Volume One DVD set. The set is worth getting, the short is for die-hards.
Giantland is a truly excellent short. The giant's character design does occasionally lack consistency but that is the one quibble I have with Giantland. The animation aside from what I mentioned above is just great, I loved the crispness of the backgrounds and shadings and I thought Mickey was very well drawn. There are some standout sequences also, Mickey riding on the giant butterfly and the scene in the giant's mouth are delightful but the most spectacular bit of animation was with the giant's fall, what was done to make this sequence even more interesting was really clever. The music has the characterful energy you'd expect from a Disney short, while the gags are fun. The funniest part was Mickey inside the giant's mouth, the ways in which Mickey tries to avoid getting swallowed are very inventive and as I've said before it is also a great piece of animation. The story is largely familiar to us, but told to us in a fresh way in the form of a story-book structure, which I felt was appropriate for the telling of this story. Mickey is very likable, the giant suitably antagonistic and the Orphans were very cute and not as rascally or annoying as they could be. One might wish that there was also Goofy, Donald and Pluto on hand, but I think Mickey did wonderfully without them, despite them being perhaps stronger characters in the humour department. In conclusion, a great short. 9/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In many ways, "Giantland" is similar to "Gulliver Mickey". Both cartoons find Mickey caring for a HUGE number of little mice and both times these mice interrupt him while he's reading and both times he tells them a story with him in the leading role--and it's based on the book he was reading. In this case, he was reading "Jack and the Beanstalk" and instead of Jack, his story stars himself. What follows is a somewhat traditional retelling of the old story. And once again, when he's finished, one of the cute mice indicates they think the story is bunk! Because the story is so similar, I will deduct one point. However, it's still very, very good. The style of the story is quite nice and one you'll enjoy. In addition, the animation is great--especially the part where the giant falls into the earth--you gotta see this one to believe it. A lovingly created cartoon--this is one to see.
A Walt Disney MICKEY MOUSE Cartoon.
Mickey regales his young audience with a description of how he climbed a beanstalk into the clouds and confronted the monstrous King of GIANTLAND.
This splendid little black & white film boasts of a lively story and very fine animation. Mickey's squeaky voice is supplied by Walt Disney, who would explore the theme of Mickey versus giants again in the classic BRAVE LITTLE TAILOR (1938) & the 'Mickey and the Beanstalk' sequence in FUN AND FANCY FREE (1947).
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by 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 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 simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
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