The Delivery Boy

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : June 13, 1931

Running Time : 8:11

Synopsis

Mickey's delivering musical instruments, but stops his wagon to take them out and "test" them with Minnie - a project that leaves her farm and most of the instruments in ruins, and Mickey's mule without his hair.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Pete

Credits

Director
Bert Gillett
Animation
Johnny Cannon
Les Clark
Charles Couch
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Norm Ferguson

Cut Scenes

A scene of a goat trying to eat long underwear was cut in the 80's.

Laserdiscs

Japan
Mickey Mouse: A Star is Born

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 44: Musical Mickey
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 14, 1955

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
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 Delivery Boy is a kind of throwback Mickey Mouse short, as it features a thin framework that is really a mask for a big musical number. It’s a little change from the recent Mickeys, and it feels rather disjointed, but still fun.

In this one, Mickey plays a delivery man who has a wagonload full of musical instruments to deliver. My favorite gag of the short occurs right here at the beginning, as the opening shot shows Mickey proceeding down the road, using the piano as his bench seat. The bouncing of the road causes Mickey to bump up and down on the keys, playing a tune. It’s quite inventive.

Of course, when Mickey catches sight of Minnie doing her laundry, he is immediately distracted. Mickey goes back to his early flirtatious, aggressive self here to try and catch Minnie’s attention. He jumps into her bloomers on the laundry line, sneaks up behind her, and surprises her by grabbing her tail and singing behind her. It’s a little more devious and fun side of Mickey that we haven’t seen in a while.

But that’s why I say this short is disjointed. Perhaps a better term would be schizophrenic. From that point forward, after a mishap with the wagon throws the instruments all over the barnyard, the short changes over to the musical style of the early Mickeys. Not only that, but Mickey himself goes back to the smiling, happy dancing character we are used to from the most recent shorts.

In addition, Pluto is in this short from the beginning, but has none of the antics from the last few shorts he has been in, like The Picnic or The Moose Hunt. Pluto does have a fun moment where he gets caught in tar, mimicking a dance that Minnie and Mickey are doing at the time. But for large portions of the short, Pluto disappears.

I will say that Pluto factors into the finale big time. And that’s another area where this short gets a little off kilter. This big musical number then all of a sudden becomes a story focused short, as Pluto runs off and finds Pete as part of a demolition crew. Pluto drags off a stick of dynamite that Pete has lit, and hilarity ensues. The resulting explosion blows the instruments all across the field.

That’s quite a departure for this short, since the majority of it is just a big barnyard hoedown, similar to many other Mickey shorts. Sure, things fall back into place, making the music return, but it’s just not the same. Continually while watching this short, I kept feeling like things were switching from one form to the next. Part of this is in the animation, which is different scene to scene. That’s nothing new, but it’s noticeable in this short for some reason.

The Delivery Boy was fun, don’t get me wrong. The opening sequence with Mickey, Pluto in the tar, and Pluto chewing on the dynamite were all funny gags. But the shifts in tone and style are rather drastic, in my opinion.


From Mac : This is another fun short. Pluto is definitely now established as Mickey's pet, but he doesn't steal the whole short. There's lot's of fun scenes with Mickey and Minnie flirting, playing tricks and making music. I personally don't see all these musical scenes as throwbacks to earlier shorts. I think that scenes of just playing music for fun is still an important part of the entertainment in Mickey cartoons. Sure there are episodes now that will be more story based, or ones that focus on a different character like Pluto, but I see a lot of this as variations within an established series rather than a whole new direction all future cartoons will follow. Of course the Disney cartoon is constantly evolving during the 30s, so it's quite nice to see a cartoon like this mixing in all the elements we've seen together (big musical number, bold Mickey, scenes focusing on other characters and a simple story element).

One thing I like about this one is the character cameos. Pete is one of the workmen plus we briefly see the Silly Symphony Spider and those Squirrels again. Pete's co-worker is the little dog from The Birthday Party and we even see that bug-eyed caterpillar (with the body that comes apart) again.


From Jerry Edwards : Mickey is delivering a wagon full of musical instruments when he stops to sing and dance with Minnie. A hornet's nest causes the mule to scatter the instruments everywhere. All the barnyard animals join in playing music until Pluto chews on a stick of dynamite he takes from a local demolition site. After the explosion, Mickey and Minnie continue to play on the damaged instruments. One fun gag is when Pluto's fleas "depart the premises" when Pluto starts chewing on the stick of dynamite. Peg Leg Pete has a cameo as one of the demolition crew.
From Ryan : This was a pretty goofy short, but it was also very funny. I especially enjoyed the scene where Mickey, Minnie, and all the animals play "Stars and Stripes Forever" on the various musical instruments. There's a rabbit who blows on a trumpet and two squirrels who together move the bow on a violin. Another funny part was where Pete and a co-worker throw a stick of dynamite at the blasting site and Pluto picks it up and carries it back to them. They jump into a barrel of tar. Pluto takes it to Mickey who is playing the piano. Mickey just pats him on the head. Pluto starts chewing the stick of dynamite (this is quite similar to what my dog does with household objects such as empty pill bottles). It explodes and the hair on Mickey's mule to blow off. Another interesting thing was the signs written in various languages. PELIGRO (meaning "danger" in Spanish), MORT (meaning "death" in French) and a similar word written in either Japanese or Chinese.
From Bill I. : This was a fun short, not much of a plot. Mickey is riding a mule drawn wagon full of musical instruments. I like the early shorts with the barnyard animals prevalent. This short had some nice music, "Sitting Under The Old Apple Tree" and "Stars And Stripes Forever." Lots of funny gags here. Of course once the mule dumps the instruments because of the hornets nest you knew Mickey and Minnie would start playing them. Nice cameo of Pete and the dynamite and the part of the hair blowing off the donkey after the explosion was very funny.
From Mick Mouse : Personally this is my favorite short. I love the interaction between Mickey and Minnie. IT'S SOOOOO CUTE!!!! I love the way they dance together. You never see dancing like that anymore. The songs are awesome too. I wish that cartoons like this were still on TV.

Referenced Comments