22 May 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Having a ball with Disney
Love animation to bits. It was a big part of my life as a child, especially Disney, Looney Tunes, Hanna Barbera and Tom and Jerry, and still love it as a young adult, whether it's film, television or cartoons. Actually appreciate it even more now, having more knowledge of the different animation styles and directors and what work went into them.
Am most familiar with the 'Mickey Mouse Works' cartoons from them featuring on 'House of Mouse', a show still held a fondness for by me. With the colours and sound effects, that 'Mickey Mouse Works' makes a real effort to retain the spirit of the old/classic/golden age Disney cartoons is to be lauded. The characters' original personalities are admirably stuck true to as well, particularly Goofy and Donald, while also expanding those for a few, Mickey being more interesting here than before. The hyperactive energy present here is one of few things that is different.
On the most part, the cartoons range from decent to wonderful. The longer cartoons are among the best, especially 'Mickey Foils the Phantom Blot', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'The Nutcracker'. Also love the cartoons with Mickey, Donald and Goofy together where the character interaction and contrasting personalities work so beautifully.
The "House of Genius" cartoons are like Ludwig Von Drake himself, delightfully eccentric. The Donald vs. nephews cartoons, his outings with Humphrey and Chip and Dale's appearances are also successful in maintaining the golden age Disney spirit. Likewise with the Pluto cartoons (a couple having the angel vs devil conflict that is very entertaining, even though Penn Jillette as Devil Pluto goes slightly overboard at times) and Goofy's entertaining and educational "How To" series, very classic era Goofy, with Corey Burton narrating beautifully. The "Maestro Minnie" and "Donald's Dynamite" series are too short but are great fun to watch, the former for classical music and animation fans (a fond reminder of how the two work so well together, Minnie's resourcefulness also shines) and the latter for showing off Donald's cantankerous temperament in very ideal situations.
A few effectively creepy cartoons, namely 'Donald's Halloween Scare', 'Organ Donors' and 'Hansel and Gretel'. Also like the Donald vs. Baby Shelby cartoons, apart from the annoying character of Mrs Turtle and Estelle Harris' very overdone voice acting (shouting all her lines and it grates). Donald works very well with Shelby, who is admittedly a one-joke pest and a laugh that makes the skin crawl but has great comic timing and the cartoons are very funny.
Not all the cartoons work for me. Some "Extreme Sports" cartoons work better than others, most are very enjoyable but others are too typical. For me apart from the different settings used cleverly and nice ways of getting out of the scrapes, the "Mickey to the Rescue" cartoons are very repetitive and the voice actors have little to do, Jim Cummings for example reduced to a few samey lines and maniacal laughter.
In quite a lot of her appearances Daisy is also insufferably annoying, especially when partnered with Minnie and when she travels with Mickey and Minnie as a passenger. She is more subdued with Donald though.
While not surprising in outcome, the stories lively and engaging, kept afloat by the character interaction, characters and the atmosphere. The writing is clever and very funny, even with the deliberately corny moment and pun which made me grin rather than groan.
Really enjoy the spontaneous flow of the episodes and Donald's spotlight stealing/accidents are priceless.
Furthermore, the animation is very colourful, smooth in movement and with some meticulous detail. The music is suitably groovy, jaunty and cleverly used.
Voice acting is very good with some of the best voice actors in the business involved. Wayne Allwine, Bill Farmer and Tony Anselmo are more than worthy successors to Walt Disney/James MacDonald, Pinto Colvig and Clarence "Ducky" Nash. The likes of John Cleese, Corey Burton, Maurice LaMarche and Jim Cummings are similarly strong, Eric Idle and Penn Jillette are fun Angel Pluto and Devil Pluto (though the latter at times overdoes it) and Alan Young returning as Scrooge was a masterstroke. Only one voice actor didn't work for me and that was Estelle Harris as Mrs Turtle.
Overall, very interesting and enjoyable series. 8/10 Bethany Cox