Poster

The Cactus Kid

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : May 15, 1930

Running Time : 7:25

Synopsis

Riding in on Horace, Mickey enters a western town, fails to impress a Mexican Minnie with his mischievous antics, but succeeds in saving her from the dastardly Pegleg Pedro.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Pete
Horace Horsecollar

Credits

Director
Walt Disney

Cut Scenes

In the 1980s, scenes of Pete taking Minnie's beer glass and Mickey doing trick horseback riding were cut. The current version has all gunplay scenes as well as Mickey holstering his gun cut. Each censored version contains all scenes left in the other version.

DVD

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2
Germany
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 11: The Many Lives of Pegleg Pete
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 31
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 22
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 24, 1955

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono : Cinephone
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by Columbia Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : The Cactus Kid, the latest Mickey short, is really just a remake of Gallopin’ Gaucho, but it has some distinct differences that make this short very memorable. The main difference is in Mickey himself, which shows you how much has really changed in Mickey from his first appearances in 1928 to 1930.

The storyline of this short is very familiar – Mickey enters a cantina that is inhabited by Minnie. After some great dancing and musical performances, Pete enters, with his eyes set on Minnie. After a confrontation with Mickey, Pete kidnaps Minnie, and Mickey gives chase. Mickey manages to knock Pete off his horse and over a cliff, leaving he and Minnie to look over the cliff and wave goodbye.

It’s a simple story, and very much like Gallopin’ Gaucho, but what’s interesting is the change in Mickey. In Gaucho, Mickey is a swaggering bundle of bravado, who enters the cantina through the window, drinks a beer and smokes a cigarette. He’s rough around the edges and grabs Minnie to dance, not asking permission.

In The Cactus Kid, however, Mickey enters through the door, after riding in on Horace Horsecollar. He meekly enters and joins Minnie in a song, not joining in the revelry with a drink or cigarette like last time. He plays music with her, and when he gets a little fresh, tweaking her nose, Minnie fires back, throwing plates at him.

The old Mickey would have been more forceful, but this version of Mickey instead takes a couple of mugs that Minnie threw at him and uses them to do a Mexican dance, using the mugs as castanets. It’s quite the change from the mouse who grabs the girl and forces a kiss like he did in Plane Crazy and Gallopin’ Gaucho.

There are some good pieces of animation here, especially in Mickey’s personality. When he confronts Pete, you can see the courage or fear on his face depending on whether he has the upper hand. Right after that, there’s a great sequence where Pete knocks out the lights, and we only see the action through flashes from the muzzles of the guns the two are firing at each other.

The finale sequence is very much a retread of past Disney cartoons, with the horse chase echoing scenes from the Alice Comedies and Oswald. Mickey extends Horace’s neck to walk over and jump on Pete, just the way the other characters did in previous shorts. But the overall effect of having a Mickey that is more shy and somewhat of a loveable loser is a good one. It makes Mickey more relatable and interesting than the bravado Mickey, at least in my eyes.

I have to say though, that it would have been interesting to see the more aggressive Mickey in some of these later cartoons. How would things be different today if Mickey had continued down that path? Obviously, Walt felt that the public preferred this version of Mickey to the original version, but it would have been a very neat experiment to see the original version carried through.


From Mac : It's good to see Pete in this one. I agree with you that this one has similarities to the Alice shorts. Especially the opening scene and the climactic chase with all the side scrolling action!

I really like how Mickey is portrayed in this cartoon. He's really brave, but there's still a slight nervousness to him. As you point out, he's not as forceful and out of order as he was in some of his earliest shorts, but he'll still cheekily push things a bit too far – honking Minnie's nose! Maybe Mickey just learned a few lessons about women – when he forced Minnie to kiss him he always lost the girl.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Good call. I like the turn Mickey has taken in his recent shorts, of becoming a better character. He is not going to be as rough around the edges as when he first appeared, that's obvious.

It seems that as more effort is being made by Disney to increase the character and personality of Mickey, the less those elements are used in the Silly Symphonies. It's interesting to juxtapose the two side by side as I'm doing.


From Jesus Daprice : This cartoon is very similar to the short used in Mickey's Gala Premiere entitled "The Gallopin' Romance."
From Nancy Sykes : I liked the scene where Pete falls off the cliff and goes up and down like an accordion. This is probably one of the earliest shorts in which they use that.
From Jerry Edwards : After a series of song and dance routines by Mickey, Minnie, and Pedro (Pete), Pedro kidnaps Minnie, with Mickey chasing them on horseback across the desert. Mickey defeats Pedro and rescues Minnie. Pedro tumbles over a cliff and is flattened by a rock, but manages to walk away "accordion" style, while Mickey, Minnie, and their horse jeer at him. Generally, just a reworking of the 1928 Gallopin' Gaucho First appearance of Pete's "peg leg" in the Mickey cartoons.

From Ryan : This is definitely a classic Mickey short. It's sort of like an "update" of the Gallopin' Gaucho. Mickey has his gloves and black oval eyes. He rides a horse (who is none other than Horace Horsecollar) instead of an ostrich. It was kind of hard to tell since this is a black and white short whether or not it took place during the daytime or at night. It sure looked like the sky was dark, but I guess the only way I'd know for sure is if it were colorized. One fun gag I enjoyed was where Mickey was chasing after Pete and Pete falls of a cliff. A rock lands on him and smashes him. He then walks off like an accordion.


From Bill : Good early short with life long nemesis "Peg Leg Pete" in the picture. Here we see Mickey riding in on Horace Horsecollar; the sight gag of Horace galloping in time with the music is classic. Another good bit of animation is the shooting scene in the dark and the facial expressions of Mickey when he grabs Pete's gun and points it at him. Another thing that is very moving, at least for me, is that everytime Mickey speaks, I know it's Walt's voice. You can just imagine being there in the beginning when Walt and his team of animators and storymen were making these early Mickey shorts. I like the shorts when Mickey rescues Minnie from Peg Leg Pete. The ending as Pete walks away in like an accordion after being hit by a rock is typical of the humor and gags that seem to be lost in today's cartoons.
From Gijs Grob : The Cactus Kid can be summarized as Gallopin' Gaucho in Mexico. Mickey visits a Mexican canteen where Minnie's a waitress. They make music together until Peg Leg Pete enters and kidnaps Minnie. Minnie speaks Spanish in this cartoon and Peg Leg Pete's seen with a peg leg for the first time. Horace Horsecollar is recognizable, too, with his characteristic yoke and bowler hat. But he's still only a partly humanized horse, here, and Mickey rides him. The Cactus Kid was parodied as "Galloping Romance", the cartoon showed in Mickey's Gala Premiere from 1933. It happened to be the last cartoon Walt Disney directed until his unfortunate come-back with The Golden Touch five years later.

Referenced Comments