Thursday 8 September 2022

Musical Mickey

While the Fleischers were filling their cartoons with surreal gags in the early ‘30s, Walt Disney was still having cheerful Mickey Mouse playing various objects like musical instruments.

Mickey Steps Out (1931). It opened with the mouse shaving, and “playing” the sink with his razor, with percussion noises provided by banging the toilet seat up and down. The only gag (at least I think it’s supposed to be one) is when Mickey loses his soap in the toilet.

The next little sequence has Mickey on a wooden sidewalk (the slats are alternately white and grey) like he’s on a xylophone (which is what you hear in the background). I guffawed and roared when I saw him trip over a rock and momentarily lose his straw hat. Okay, I didn’t. But someone must have because the scene uses the same “humour” twice, along with Pluto jumping on Mickey and shoving him into a mud puddle.

Cut to Minnie playing the obligatory piano and Mickey whistling along with her bird. Then we see some singing birdies.

The cartoon is at the halfway mark. I think I’ll watch Bimbo instead.


  1. Bosko did the wooden-slats-as-xylophone bit in his very first theatrical cartoon the year before. At least here they move in perspective.

  2. There seems to be, quite understandably, a lot of Mickey/Bosko/Disney Oswald gag crossover.