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A vast majority of the Disney shorts are well worth watching, The Steeplechase is no exception. It is not one of the great ones, but it is still good. The pace may lack the energy of the Goofy sports-themed shorts, though it is still involving, and part of me did wish that we saw more of the Colonel. What was interesting to me were two things, the character designs of the stable boys which were like thinner versions of the Beagle boys and Mickey not considering it wrong to cheat to win- something that may throw some people off but one that worked within the short's concept. The story is simple in written quality but more complex than the Mickey rescues Minnie concept, and while the gags are not ingenious they are still very funny such as the horse going under hurdles and throwing Mickey over, the horse waddling into a pond and getting attacked by bees and the costume horse getting tangled up and getting stung repeatedly. The animation is very nice, the backgrounds are luscious and the character designs of the horses are very well done. The music and sound effects have always been an integral part of Disney shorts and with its lively character and orchestration The Steeplechase is no exception. Mickey is very likable as ever, and while not in much I couldn't help feeling for the Colonel. Overall, has some very interesting moments and it is a good short if not one of my favourites. 8/10 Bethany Cox
*** 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 very interesting Disney short. Mickey is a jockey who has to win the race or "he'll break the Colonel's heart". First problem: his horse has gotten drunk and is in no shape to race. What does Mickey decide to do? He decides to cheat and dress the two stable hands caring for the horse up in a horse costume.
The second problem arises, in that these two don't really act like a real horse or look like one much either. But it seems as though everyone watching the race is either blind or stupid, so they don't notice anything peculiar at all.
The third problem and the best part of the short are the bees which get disturbed in their hive and choose to focus solely on our hero's "horse", even though every other horse on the track disturbs the hive as well. The bees steal the short, with the best animation and gags occurring in this section.
Given that this is a Mickey Mouse short, the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Our hero saves the day by cheating, succeeds in fooling everyone with his ersatz horse and covers himself in a tainted glory.
This short is available on the Disney Treasures Mickey Mouse In Black and White, Volume two. The set is worth getting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mickey is a jockey working for the Colonel. However, just before the
big race, the horse, Thunderbolt, goes off on a bender--getting so
drunk that he cannot race. But, if the horse doesn't race, the Colonel
will lose his ranch or home or virginity or something...I forget
exactly which. Anyway, he and the grooms concoct a plan. They go to a
costume shop and get a horse outfit. The grooms are inside and Mickey
is at the reins. Do these knuckleheads stand a chance?
Well, as I've noticed in some of the early Mickey cartoons, our beloved hero is a bit morally suspect at times. Here, he clearly cheats to help the Colonel. So, I guess the ends DOES justify the means in the older Mickey cartoons! Anyway, it's all great fun and another well made Disney cartoon. The only objection some might have are the obviously Black grooms who are rather stereotypical--a pretty typical stereotype, actually, of the day.
By the way, how would a horse drink an alcoholic drink?! They have no hands and who would sell a horse liquor?! Just wonderin'....
A Walt Disney MICKEY MOUSE Cartoon.
When the old Colonel's horse Thunderbolt becomes inebriated just before the big race, it is up to jockey Mickey to come up with an outrageous solution to still win THE STEEPLECHASE.
This is an enjoyable little film, based on the premise that no one else in the world is able to recognize a pantomime horse when they see one. There is a hint of racism in the depiction of the two stable hands. Walt Disney supplies Mickey's squeaky voice.
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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