Have a lot of fondness for 'House of Mouse'. Love Disney and the concept was such an interesting and for Disney shows at the time a unique one. There are times where it could have done more with the concept, with showing more of some of the guests and not focusing all the featured cartoons on Mickey and the gang. It is however so much fun and how it makes an effort to retain the spirit of the classic old cartoons is to be lauded.
"The Mouse Who Came to Dinner" is definitely among my top 10 'House of Mouse' episodes, certainly among my most watched. Always did have a soft spot for it, and it is an example of an episode that still entertains and actually gets better with each viewing. As has been said in my previous 'House of Mouse' episodes, really like that it and the rest of the show tries to and succeeds in making the personalities of Mickey and the rest of the gang true to those of their "golden age" ones when they first came out (1930s-1950s), especially Donald. Except that Mickey is far more interesting in personality in 'House of Mouse', feels like a lead character, is used well and isn't over-shadowed by the rest of the characters. Minnie is also more resourceful.
The gang are all on top form and Mortimer is deliberately obnoxious yet funny in being so. The dynamic between them really holds "The Mouse Who Came to Dinner" together and is hugely entertaining to watch, it is not hard to see everybody's frustration and annoyance towards Mortimer because he is a pest in this episode but considering the story it works and he doesn't fall on the wrong side of irritating.
'Mickey's Mix Up' is my favourite of the three cartoons, especially for the priceless ending with one of the best final lines of any of the show's featured cartoons. Pete and Mortimer's roles are entertaining also. Despite the slightness and predictability of them, the "Maestro Minnie" cartoons do provide a lot of enjoyment for anybody who likes classical music and animation mixed together. 'Flight of the Bumble Bee' is one of the best, with a clever orchestral arrangement and some nice gags. 'Donald's Grizzly Guest' is very true in spirit to the old Donald and Humphrey cartoons, which are great and Humphrey should have lasted longer as a character.
It is always lovely to feel nostalgic over seeing various characters from various Disney films, shows and cartoons. Loved Lumiere's (as charming and suave as ever) role, the witty writing for the whole conflict of the story and seeing and hearing Shere Khan is always a pleasure. Will always remember that "Tigger's evil twin" insult. The highlights though are the ending of 'Mickey's Mix Up', with a cameo from Walt Disney's nephew Roy E Disney, and Mortimer's roasting, one of the show's most satisfying moments.
While not surprising as such on the most part, the story is lively and engaging, as well as rootable. The writing is clever and very funny, even with the deliberately corny moment and pun which made me grin rather than groan.
Furthermore, the animation is very colourful, smooth in movement and with some meticulous detail. The cheap recycling footage for the audience reactions at the end of the featured cartoons does jar and annoy though. The music is suitably groovy and cleverly used, while the theme song is one of the catchiest of any Disney show in the past twenty years.
Voice acting is very good, particularly from Maurice LeMarche and Jerry Orbach.
Overall, great and one of my favourites of the show. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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