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Mickey brews up potion, in his mad scientist lab, to give super-courage
and strength (the secret ingredient is Bravo Pronto) to it's consumer.
He tests it on a fly, which soon beats up the spider who's web it is
caught in. To make sure the potion is a complete success Mickey gives
it to a mouse to in turn beats up a cat (they look soooo much like Tom
and Jerry btw, odd since they weren't invented yet), the cat beats up
the dog (Pluto) who then beats up the Dog Warden.
With such an inventive and imaginative plot I would have expected more laughs and more complexity. I'm sorry to say that the cartoon is only mildly amusing and has an abrupt and rather senseless ending.
This is a pretty fun little cartoon starring Mickey Mouse in a mad
scientist type of role, where he creates a potion that makes characters
beat up on their enemies: fly vs. spider, mouse vs. cat, cat vs. Pluto
and Pluto vs. dogcatcher. It's like the cycle of life running
Not much of a plot here, and not much of a story. It's just lots of crazy action.
The animation was great, though, and I like the classical number used for the music score soundtrack.
Overall, it's not a bad cartoon short. You might get a few laughs out of it.
I do have many favourites from the Disney shorts, and The Worm Turns is almost certainly among them. Here is some of the most inventive animation of any Disney short from the late 30s. It is colourful and fluid, and I loved most of all the facial expressions(cat's faces splitting in two, eyes bulging out until longer than body and heads getting squashed into the neck) and reactions of the characters especially with Pete when he is attacked by Pluto. The setting change from the barnyard is interesting too. The music, as I've said so many times that I'm starting to sound like a broken record, has always been a large part of the success of these shorts, and the music is really excellent in The Worm Turns. The gags are simply great, some are the same gag but done in clever variations right from what happens between the fly and spider, the cat and Pluto and Pluto and Pete(which is classic). The gag is simple, but not overly-so, and always involving. The characters are wonderful and each and every one of them show their comedic chops in some way or another. Mickey is more the bystander than the hero, but due to the fact that he is made into a mad scientist sort of character he is far from bland either. Pluto is the hero here strictly speaking and he is still the cute and energetic dog that we know and love and he also provides the funniest moments. Pete is as ever the antagonist, and the part where he got his well-deserved comeuppance from Pluto is the highlight of The Worm Turns. All in all, fantastic, though for a while I wasn't sure about the meaning of the title. 10/10 Bethany Cox
"The Worm Turns" is one of the best Disney cartoons I ever loved. It all begins with Mickey Mouse, dressed up as a mad scientist, puts the few finishing touches to the Weak Made Strong Courage Builder, a super strength potion that makes a smaller animal turn the tables on a larger animal. Now for a test, as Mickey says, he squirts the super strength potion on a fly, and the fly beats up on a sneaky spider for trapping him in his web. Mickey then squirts the super strength potion on a Jerry-like mouse, and after that the mouse chases a Tom-like cat and wrestles him (just like in a similar scene from a "Tom and Jerry" cartoon called, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse") for chasing him, and throws him out of the house, where Pluto is standing out there. Pluto then chases the cat into the tool shed. The cat gets scared of Pluto's digging, and his 8 lives went for cover in the roof. Mickey squirts the super strength potion on the cat's ninth life, then all of the cat's other lives went back into the cat's body, and the cat chases (and scares) Pluto out into the street after giving him quite a scare, where Pluto calms himself. But before he makes another move, Pluto gets caught by Kron (from the Disney movie "Dinosaur"), who, in Pete's role (!), is seen here as a dog catcher. After disposing of the dinosaur dog catcher, even with the help of Mickey's super strength potion, Pluto gets sprayed by a fire hydrant that Mickey squirts the super strength potion at it when he sniffs at the fire hydrant. This Mickey Mouse cartoon is available on the Walt Disney Treasures 2-Disc DVD, "Mickey Mouse in Living Color", along with the other Mickey Mouse cartoons from 1935 to 1938 including "The Band Concert", "The Brave Little Talior", and such.
Look at the effects animation. Mickey pours just a drop of "bravo pronto"
into his test tube, and it fizzes, bubbles, explodes, sputters, changes
one vivid colour to another - with each drop of the potion separately
and travelling in a convincing arc. Or look at the scenes in which the
background moves and (in effect) EVERYTHING within the frame is animated -
all without computers or even, in this case, rotoscoping.
Mickey plays a small part in this cartoon: he's just the brewer of a courage potion, which enables a fly to turn the tables on a spider, a mouse on a cat, the cat on Pluto, and Pluto on a dog catcher. His lack of screen time might strike the uninformed as good news. It IS, for this particular story, good news, since it means that Disney was quite content to assign his star character a supporting role without artificially expanding it - but remember that this cartoon dates from the days when Mickey was vital and energetic, rather than insipid.
The charm of this cartoons others like it is hard to explain. It's amusing at times, but certainly not laugh-out-loud hilarious; it's cute, but not particularly sentimental or deeply moving; the art direction is detailed and convincing, but shaky here and there; the story has a pleasing shape ... but it's not THAT great, is it? Yet the overall result is undeniably the equal of later cartoons that ARE hilarious, moving, exquisitely designed, brilliantly plotted. What does this have that so many other cartoons (including a number of Disney cartoons from the 1930s, although if you search you'll also find many that are just as inspired as this one) lack? Thoroughness? Sincerity? Something else I'm missing? Probably all three.
A Walt Disney MICKEY MOUSE Cartoon.
THE WORM TURNS as Mickey's magic potion helps smaller creatures gain the aggressive advantage over their tormentors.
Lots of fun in this very well made little film, which begins as a spoof of the old mad scientist movies. The excellent animation bounces the swift moving story right along to its crescendo - a confrontation between Pluto and dogcatcher Pete. For the record, the ingredients necessary for the Courage Builder formula are Tigerus Marrow, Spiritu Bravado, Stimuli Valorus & Lionus Tonicio. Walt Disney provided Mickey with his 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 will always pay off.
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