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Long ago in a land with an ailing king, there was a pair of boys who looked exactly alike, a pauper called Mickey and the other, the Crown Prince. Mickey dreamed of plenty and an easy life as Royalty and the Prince dreamed of the freedom as a subject. Happenstance throws them together and their mutual resemblence inspires the pair to switch identities to see how the other lives. To their surprise, Mickey learns of the duties and responsibilties of royalty while the Prince learns to his horror that the Royal Captain of the Guard has taken advantage of the existing power vacuum to inflict brutal tyranny on the subjects. Now the Prince must react to this evil, unaware that the Captain knows about the identity swap and is using it to his own advantage while dominating Mickey who play the Heir to the Throne. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
For some reason, I confused The Prince and the Pauper with The Brave Little Tailor when I rented this movie. I was only 52 years off! It's interesting to see the amount of effort put into this movie. I think after Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there was an idea to bring Mickey & the Gang back in some big projects. Unfortunately, I think things quieted down a bit after The Prince and the Pauper.
There are definitely some nice moments in this short movie toon. As always, Donald and Goofy provided some great comic relief throughout the film. Pluto was even a nice addition to the film as Mickey's best buddy, who was at the mercy of the evil Captain of the Guards, Pete.
However, what I'm about to say may be blasphemous for a Disney fan and hopeful future cast member like myself to utter, but Mickey kind of annoyed me a few times throughout the movie. Maybe it was his British accent as the Prince, but I'm not totally sure. But Mickey's strength of being a lovable character is most evident in the surprisingly emotional scene where he meets with the dying king. People just love him, even though he doesn't necessarily get the best jokes or steals many scenes.
Speaking of that emotional scene, this movie is quite different from any animation project you'll ever see. It has a quite serious tone to it, where some of the characters suffer in a poverty-like environment. It's not exactly the light-hearted and happy-go-lucky atmosphere most people are accustomed to in cartoons. While I was split on how I felt about this, I realize that Disney is really the only animation company that can pull this off. People care for Disney characters like they would their own personal friends and family members. I'm not sure if the Warner Brothers crew could have the same effect.
Overall, The Prince and the Pauper isn't necessarily my favorite Disney creation. It can get a little too serious for my taste, but I appreciate the effort the filmmakers put into this movie. Hopefully, we'll see even more projects with the classic and beloved Disney characters. Be on the lookout for 2004's Three Musketeers starring Disney's 3 best buds, and maybe even more to come!
My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ (Memorable)
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