Mickey Steps Out

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : July 7, 1931

Running Time : 7:31

Synopsis

Mickey and Pluto call on Minnie, but an alley cat disrupts their afternoon of music.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Pluto

Credits

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

Cut Scenes

A scene where soot from a stove leaves everyone in blackface has been cut.

Laserdiscs

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White: Volume 1
Japan
Mickey Mouse : The Black and White Years

DVD

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

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 60: Mickey's Boogie
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 10
The Mickey Mouse Club : January 18, 1956

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

  • Pluto shouts "Mammy!" in the original ending, making this another cartoon in which he spoke - although the cartoon is so often shown cut, most aren't aware of the fact.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Yesterday, in my review of Busy Beavers, I wrote about the schizophrenic nature of the Disney Studio in 1931 so far. The shorts have ranged from fast moving, gag filled romps to silly musical numbers, sometimes in the same film. That trend continues with Mickey Steps Out.

This short is really a good turn for Mickey and Pluto. Mickey’s dog is taking much more of center stage in the Mickey cartoons, to the benefit of his owner. Pluto provides some great comic relief and carries the comedy of this film. Pluto is also the main story point, as Mickey is headed over to Minnie’s house for some dancing and singing, and Pluto follows along. When Pluto arrives and finds a cat to chase, he drives the comedy of the last half of the short.

Mickey’s involvement in the short is mainly limited to doing fine dances. He starts off the short with a fun scene of shaving and getting ready while tapping a beat on the various items in the bathroom. Then he heads out onto the boardwalk (where did that come from?) and does a jig there. Finally, when he gets to Minnie’s house, he goes inside and does a dance with nearly every prop he can find.

This short’s music is very much a part of its success. Not so much the quality of the tune itself, but the way that everything in the animation has a rhythm to it, more like the Silly Symphonies than most Mickeys. Mickey sets the stage from the beginning, with his routine in the bathroom, and from that point forward all of his movements as well as Minnie’s and Pluto’s are in rhythm. Not necessarily synchronized to the music, but more with a flow and a beat that keeps things lively.

Again, there’s no real standout moments of animation here, but some good stuff does take place between Minnie and Mickey. A fine moment is when Pluto spots a cat, and takes off after it. The problem is, Mickey was standing on his back leaning in a window, and when Pluto leaves, he crashes into the window and it closes on him, leaving him hanging. When Minnie asks what he’s doing, he answers “Just hangin’ around.” It’s an easy joke, but a good one.

The ending of the short is part of what will become a pattern in Disney shorts. Pluto chases the cat through the house, destruction in his wake. He upends Mickey and Minnie, sneaks through the carpet, destroys the piano, crashes all through the house and ends up bringing the coal stove down on all their heads. This ending chaos is something that carries on into further Mickey shorts for many years to come.

I really liked Mickey Steps Out, but it is still a little schizophrenic. It swings between musical numbers and physical comedy in broad strokes, but does as well as can be expected. It’s interesting, though, that this trend of the Disney shorts in 1931 is still continuing. Something to keep an eye on as we keep going.


From B. D. : I've always found it strange that Mickey shaves in this cartoon - I don't think it's something he's ever done in any other film, and his face looks exactly the same before and after. If there's one cartoon star who definitely should not have facial hair, it's Mickey Mouse.
From Mac : I enjoy this one, but it's not one of my favorites. For me the best bit is the early party with Mickey getting ready and then walking to Minnie's. I love the way Mickey gets music out of walking, tripping and jumping along a wooden path.

In the 30's Mickey is pretty up to date whistling "Ding Dong Daddy" in a cartoon, but by the 40's the same song could be used in the Tom and Jerry cartoon, "The Zoot Cat" to show just how out of touch Tom is for enjoying it!


From Richard F. Jebe : Yes! Pluto speaks at the end! In the German translation he say "Minnie!"
From Jerry Edwards : Mickey dresses up and steps out to see Minnie. He then entertains her with some dance and juggling routines. When Pluto chases a cat into the house, the resulting chaos wrecks the house and covers everyone with soot from the stove. The ending scene of Pluto chasing the cat makes this an interesting, enjoyable cartoon - in spite of the rest of the cartoon being typical singing, dancing, and playing. Everyone is black face after Pluto and the cat run into a pot bellied stove. After Minnie goes "Mickey!" and Mickey goes "Minnie!" - Pluto goes "Mammy!" and the cat goes "Whoopee!"
From Ryan : When I first saw this short, I thought it took place at night since the sky looked black. When I saw the colorized version of it, however, they sky was bright blue so I realized it was during the daytime. This short didn't have much excitement to it, but I thought the scene where Mickey impersonates the canary through Minnie's window was kind of funny. Pluto, whom Mickey is standing on, chases after a cat when he sees it. The window falls on Mickey's neck, keeping him hanging on. Minnie sees him and says "Mickey, what are you doing?" Mickey replies, "Aw, just hangin' around!" Not too bad a joke. I mean, I've heard plenty of jokes that were much more stupid. Until I saw this page and read about the cut scenes for this short, I thought the version I saw was complete (with Pluto running after the cat into the stove). I'd really like to see an uncensored version of it. Hopefully this petition will work out.
From Gijs Grob : This is the first of a few Mickey Mouse cartoons that consists half of musical numbers and half of gags. Mickey's visiting Minnie, but Pluto, who had to stay in, is following him, dragging his dog house along to Minnie's place. First, Mickey and Minnie perform their usual sing-and-dance-routine (this time based on "Sweet Georgia Brown"), but when Pluto is chasing a cat, their music is interrupted and followed by a fast sequence of gags of Pluto and the cat ruining the house culminating in a blackface gag. Mickey Steps Out arguably contains the first well-build up finale in Disney history. It's at least the first of a series of cartoons that end in complete destruction. Pluto would again cause havoc in Mickey Cuts Up and The Grocery Boy. Later, destruction would be caused by little kittens (a.o. Mickey's Orphans) and orphan mice (a.o. Mickey's Nightmare). Mickey Steps Out reuses footage of The Birthday Party of Mickey with a fishbowl on his head.

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