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November 01, 2013

Of Mice and Men and Horses


Are you a man or a mouse? You have heard the phrase plenty of times. Perhaps you have even said it. Basically, it is intended to encourage bravery in those on the precipice of indecision—or pressure them begrudgingly into dreaded action. It varies. 

Generally speaking, one opts to be the man is these situations.

And yet, there is a mouse that defies such logic—a mouse that wears his heart on his sleeve and his pride on his pout. I am, obviously, talking about Mickey Mouse, and he does not care for the implications of man versus mouse. He feels it is derogatory, and frankly, he finds it to be beneath you.

Of course this is just an assumption, I have never talked to Mickey about such things. Ours is a relationship based mainly upon photo ops and churro consumption.

The things is, Mickey is a mouse of passion (see below) and an innate sense for doing right by those he cares about. Also, really sticking it to those that wrong him. I’m looking at you, Pete.

Mickey and minnie model sheet revised 7-25-12

And so it is that in the newest Disney animated short, Get a Horse!, our pal Mickey, along with romantic love interest Minnie Mouse, his friend Horace Horsecollar, and proverbial hanger-on Clarabelle Cow, takes a stand of heroic proportions against the no-goodiness of one Peg-Leg Pete. Be warned, this is Mickey Mouse reliving his glory days, and admittedly he is a bit of a scamp.

However, the film, created and directed by Lauren MacMullan (The Simpsons) is more than just an ode to the good old days of Mickey Mouse and his somewhat mischievous ways—so much more.

How much more? Consider this: Mickey Mouse is voiced by none other than Walt Disney. Yes, that Walt Disney. The did it with his real words using a special kind of Disney magic called “technology.”

Speaking of technology, Get a Horse! is in 3D and starts in hand-drawn black and white before it takes an amazing leap into the colorful world of computer animation. I do not use the word “amazing” lightly.

Seriously, it is amazing.

A few weeks ago I visited Walt Disney Animation in Burbank, CA to view Get a Horse! and speak with MacMullan about the short. My takeaway from that talk was that she was, and is, very humbled by the opportunity to work with the "original" Mickey Mouse and the voice of Walt Disney, not to mention being the first woman to solo direct a Disney film. Also, she is rightfully proud of the finished project and all of the work that went into it.

I’m not going to give away too much because that would be mean. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve to see Get a Horse! without any preconceived notions—except this one: AMAZING. That’s all I’m going to say.

The short may not make anyone alter their answer when it comes to being a man or a mouse, but it definitely makes the latter much more appealing.


Get a Horse! will show before Disney’s Frozen when the film opens in theaters later this month.


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