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If you are looking for this short, try the "Disney Timeless Treasures:
Volume 3". It's there along with several other seldom-seen cartoon
The cartoons begin with a couple young bugs fighting over food. An older and wiser bug stops them and tells them a morality tale so they'll learn the value of sharing and taking turns.
The story he tells is about Morris Moose--a shrimpy moose who just wouldn't grow. And the other moose all laughed at him as a result! Then came the day when all the male moose would challenge the champion, Thunderclap, to become leader. One by one, Thunderclap defeated all his challengers until it was Morris' turn. Did Morris win? Did the little bugs learn a lesson? Tune in and see for yourself! As you'd expect from any Disney short, this one has terrific animation. Plus the story is cute and pretty clever and well worth seeing. It manages to tell a nice object lesson to kids without seeming too preachy or that sappy--and is good entertainment for all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember this cartoon vividly from when I was little... it was on the same VHS as The Reluctant Dragon (another short that I fondly remember) I'm sure that if I watched it as an adult I would not be quite as impressed but, then, I'm sure Walt didn't exactly have grown-ups in mind when he wrote it. As a 5 year old I thought it was the best!! I'm looking desperately for the DVD version so that I can pass it on to my daughter. Morris the moose and his buddy Balsam discovered each other as outcasts (Morris with his tiny stature and Balsam with his tiny antlers) They become fast friends and learn to defy those who made fun of them their whole lives. As a lot of Disney films accomplished, it illustrated the potential and success of the outcast or the little guy. A true classic!
'Morris the Midget Moose', like 'The Cold Blooded Penguin' was a
relatively recent discovery, while searching Youtube for any Disney
cartoons I'd somehow missed. Like 'The Cold Blooded Penguin', 'Morris
the Midget Moose' has a lot of charm, but somehow is not particularly
Granted, the story is not completely perfect. It is a very familiar story that has been done with more variation before and since, not much ground-breaking, and is a little pedestrian in pace to start with, coming properly to life when Thunderclap first appears. The bookend scenes with Bootle Beetle (making the last of four appearances) weren't particularly interesting to me and seemed to just be there to tell the story and point out what the cartoon teaches, admittedly those purposes are done well.
At the same time, one can't be too hard on the story. It oozes with charm and poignancy, there is no trouble here feeling sympathy for Morris, and it never gets overly sentimental or sappy. The messaging and values (the friendship resonates the most) don't come across as preachy and are incorporated nicely into the story. The conflict between Morris and Thunderclap does have some genuine tension, helped by that Thunderclap is a legitimately intimidating character, with a cleverly animated and quite nail-biting climax.
The animation is rich and vibrant in colour, beautifully drawn and meticulous attention to detail is evident throughout. The Disney shorts nearly always have great music, and 'Morris the Midget Moose' certainly has that. It has a lot of character, the orchestration is clever and rich in instrumentation and rhythmically stylish. Not only does it fit superbly with the animation and the action, but it adds to them as well. The writing is engaging, thought-provoking and doesn't make the mistakes of being heavy-handed, too wordy or too simplistic.
Morris joins the long (and still growing it seems) line of "adorable and relatable characters in Disney shorts", his friendship with the moose with the tiny antlers being beautifully realised and genuinely touching. Thunderclap is the standout character design-wise and more than convinces when it comes to the conflict, intimidating the viewer almost as much as the rest of the characters in the short.
In conclusion, charming and deserves to be seen more. 8/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This short was one of the cartoons made by Disney which wasn't part of
a defined series-though there is a loose connection of sorts. There
will be spoilers below: Morris is a small moose with regular-size
antlers. He's largely ignored and those who do not ignore him laugh at
him. He lacks the size necessary to make a favorable impression. Then
he meets another moose (Balsam) with the opposite predicament-he has a
full-size body but very small antlers. They decide to "put their heads
together" (literally) in order to make an effort, jointly, to defeat
the dominant moose of the herd, the rather large and intimidating
Thunderclap. The decisive contest is actually fairly dull for the most
part. It has a few good moments, but it could have been less
predicable. But the character development is good and it's all rather
This short is on the Rarities volume of the Disney Treasures series of releases and is well worth seeing. Recommended.
A Walt Disney Cartoon.
Life is tough for MORRIS THE MIDGET MOOSE because of his stunted stature.
This little film, while humorous, is a far cry from the great Disney classics of the past - the animation is routine and the plot is rather lackluster. Morris' story is told by the Bootle Beetle, in the last of his four appearances in a Disney cartoon.
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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