Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Thru the Mirror

Thru the Mirror
Directed by David Hand
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Living Color

"Thru the Mirror" is probably one of the best of the Mickey Mouse color shorts. This extremely creative short has obviously had influence on several other Disney films over the years.

As the film begins, Mickey has fallen asleep while reading "Through the Looking Glass." Mickey dreams that he has a sort of out-of-body experience as he gets up and walks away from his sleeping self. He then heads over to a mirror and walks right through. On the other side, he encounters various household items come to life. This sequence obviously influenced the Disney animated feature "Beauty and the Beast" many decades later. In fact, a foot stool that acts like a dog turns up in both films. Mickey ends up eating a nut and being shrunk, just like what happens to Alice in Lewis Carroll's stories. Oddly enough, this means Mickey ends up being the size of a real mouse. He doesn't seem to fazed by this, however, and ends up dancing with a pair of gloves in one famous sequence..

This film also influenced Disney's feature version of "Alice in Wonderland." Mickey dances with a bunch of walking cards, which eventually turns into a giant battle with the cards. Some of the shots that involve streams of cards jumping through the air are very similar to sequences done years later for "Alice." In both cases, the animation is brilliant.

This is a fun, playful short. Mickey has never been known for being uproariously funny, but his playful spirit is what has made him such a popular character. This short is a perfect example of that.

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