Tugboat Mickey (1940) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
8 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Beautiful artwork...
MartinHafer11 November 2009
I noticed one reviewer gave this one a score of 1. Well, while I agree that the story here isn't one of the best of the Disney shorts, it just seemed wrong to give such a beautiful film a 1. In fact, I give the film an 8 just because the quality of the animation and backgrounds is just amazing--and better than most of the art in the full-length cartoons of the day. The intricacy of the art with its fine details and wonderful color palate are terrific and are hard to miss. It is truly the apex of Disney's art.

As for the story, it's very simple. Donald, Mickey and Goofy run a tugboat service and hear a distress call concerning a boat about to hit the rocks. So, it's up to the boys to spring into action to save the day. The problem is that they are stupid and have the darnedest time just getting the boat going due to Goofy's and Donald's incompetence. A little of this did go a long way, I admit, but the film is still enjoyable from start to finish and I had a good time watching it. Plus, compared to the insipid cartoons that were made by rival studios, it is clearly a superior product. As for MGM and Looney Tunes, they were still making mostly bland films--with their best stuff (such as the MGM Tex Avery films and Bugs Bunny) not to appear for another 2-3 years.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The last cartoon to feature Mickey, Donald and Goofy together
TheLittleSongbird21 June 2012
I have always enjoyed the cartoons with Mickey, Donald and Goofy individually, and even more so together. While it is still a good, solid cartoon, Tugboat Mickey is not one of their better outings. The story is rather routine and reminded me a lot of The Whalers(the main reason why the ending wasn't so much as a surprise) and especially Clock Cleaners, and Mickey's re-design takes some getting used to especially as Donald and Goofy are kept the same. However, there is much to enjoy as Tugboat Mickey is beautifully animated especially in the colourful backgrounds, and the music is very energetic. The gags are familiar in a way, but they are still very funny especially with Donald's temperament with the steam piston and Goofy's confusion as the grate keeps closing on him. Mickey is not as funny but he is still likable and all three characters are impeccably voiced as always. Overall, a good cartoon if not one of the best. 8/10 Bethany Cox
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Fun short with the Big Three
utgard1410 October 2016
Classic Disney short teaming Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Here they are working on their tugboat when they receive an SOS call and rush to help. As you might imagine, things never go smoothly when Goofy and Donald are involved. Repeats some gags from earlier shorts with these three but it's still fun. As was usually the case with Disney from this era, the animation is gorgeous; nicely drawn with exciting action and beautiful colors. Great voice work from Clarence Nash, Pinto Colvig, and Walt Disney. It's a fun cartoon but not one that will likely make the highlight reel for these characters. You can't go wrong with classic Disney, though, so definitely give it a look.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Three Sillies At Sea
Ron Oliver15 June 2003
A Walt Disney MICKEY MOUSE Cartoon.

TUGBOAT MICKEY, along with crewmen Donald Duck & Goofy, attempts to rush to the rescue of a quickly sinking ship.

Here is another classic little film, with excellent animation and lots of good laughs. Many younger viewers may not understand the final gag, what with all the changes in American popular entertainment since 1940. Walt Disney provides Mickey with his squeaky voice; Clarence Nash does the honors for the Duck.

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.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Are We Sure That Uncle Walt's Vocal Talents Are Present.........?
John T. Ryan18 September 2016
...........AS IT SURE sounds like a substitute to us!!

TAKING ON YET another group team comic effort, the Disney Studios' answer to the Brothers Marx & Ritz, as well as Laurel & Hardy, the Stooges, etc.gives their best in team effort.

PERHAPS THIS COMBINATION of character concept was getting just a trifle stale or maybe the creative talent was being allocated in a greater proportional configuration to the animated features; like SNOW WHITE, PINNOCHIO, BAMBI, DUMBO and FANTASIA.

OUTSIDE OF THE obvious buffoonery of the actions by the true supporting characters of Donald & Goofy and the now much more straight laced demeanor of the "Top Banana", Mickey; the big development was the physical appearance of this anthropomorphic trio. This goes especially for their facial construction and make up.

SOMETIME BETWEEN THE earlier short, BOAT BUILDERS and this maritime outing, an editorial policy decreed that Mickey especially needed an upgrade.

PRODUCTION ON WHAT was originally to be called "the Concert Feature" had a segment starring Mr. Mouse in it called The Sorcerer's Apprentice and the feature, now dubbed FANTASIA, showcased this more complex countenance.

WE RECENTLY VIEWED this short along with BOAT BUILDERS on Turner Classic Movies' FROM THE Disney VAULT Feature with Leonard Maltin.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Help, goodbye, we're sinking!"
classicsoncall9 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Two years following their prior high seas adventure in "Boat Builders", Mickey, Donald and Goofy team up once again in a similar tale, this time aboard a ship, and roused to action when they hear a distressing S.O.S. from the Steamship Gigantic, about to flounder on a dangerous Rocky Reef. Goofy has to contend with an uncooperative coal furnace door, while Donald Duck has a bit of trouble getting in gear himself. Finally breaking free of the harbor, the trio come to realize that the S.O.S. broadcast they heard could just as well have been intended for themselves, as the intrepid sailors wind up in the drink. Excellent animation and vibrant color highlight this quick seven minute film, and Disney fans should find themselves well pleased.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Misadventures at sea.
OllieSuave-00712 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the Disney cartoons I first watched and grew up with. I thought it was wildly entertaining and chaotically fun as we see Mickey, Donald and Goofy try to get their tugboat in order so they could go and see an allegedly singing ship. Obviously, nothing goes accordingly to plan as Mickey has troubles with a seagull, Goofy tries to get coal in the steamer and Donald grapples with the engine.

The animation is vibrant and has some very excellent sequences, including the scenes where the tugboat is racing across the sea. When I was a kid, I felt a little sorry for the three characters as their boat ***spoiler ahead*** blows up and never makes it to their destination. It wasn't until years later that the supposedly SOS call was just a radio station broadcasting an episode of a fictional show, so, that would be feel better about the story's outcome. ***spoiler ends *** It's great fun seeing the three characters together.

Grade A
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Mindless Mickey.
xfile19717 August 2004
A significant portion of this animated short shows Goofy trying to load up some coal to be burned in order to get Mickey's tugboat moving. Meanwhile, Donald struggles with a piece of machinery and Mickey stands around until the boat gets moving. Wow...the comic genius involved is downright mind-blowing!

I know I'm being a bit of a downer, but it is disappointing that Mickey and his gang were always trying to cull laughter from idiocy instead of cleverness. "Tugboat Mickey" continued to employ that strategy. It used broad, uninvolving humor and the "surprise" ending was obvious from the get-go. 1/10
3 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews