Poster

Barnyard Olympics

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : April 15, 1932

Running Time : 7:08

Synopsis

With Horace as his trainer, Mickey competes with Pete at running, vaulting, rowing, and finally a delightfully crazy bicycle race.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Clarabelle Cow
Horace Horsecollar
Pluto

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Johnny Cannon
Les Clark
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi

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 52: Rah! Rah! Disney Goes Athletic
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 6, 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

  • This short was released to coincide with the opening of the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
  • Although Goofy wouldn't actually appear until one cartoon later, one can hear Pinto Colvig's Goofy laugh in the crowd in the opening shots of this cartoon.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : I will admit that sometimes I get jaded doing this blog. Watching year after year fly by, with the shorts that I’m watching not always being entertaining, makes this feel like work more than a hobby, which is what it is. When I envisioned doing this, I thought I would be watching funny cartoons and writing about them. I think now, with the advent of the new Mickey style, I’m where I thought I would be all along.

The Barnyard Olympics, the latest short, helped me come to this realization. This short is all about wacky fun, from the first frame to the last. It is a classic Disney style short, in that it features great storytelling, follows a compelling character all the way through, and features wonderful gags and animation.

The thing that makes this one stand out to me is the way that Mickey and his antagonist are matched up throughout. After some brief scenes of the other events going on in The Barnyard Olympics, we get to see Mickey competing with a larger cat, probably Pete, although it’s a different design.

And by the way, it would be tempting to pass over those early scenes, but they contain some wonderful gags. There is a boxing ring where a goat is refereeing between two bruisers and ends up getting clocked himself, then we switch to the same scene in a wrestling ring, and the combatants and goat get tied up in knots, literally. Both are great scenes, but don’t linger too long, getting the joke in and getting out.

But as I said, it’s the interplay between Mickey and his adversary that makes things work here. Pete (I’m assuming it’s him) tries many things to keep Mickey from winning the triathlon event they are competing in. My favorite is right at the beginning, when he knocks Mickey backwards onto a crate of soda bottles, and Mickey keeps running on top of the spinning bottles like a treadmill. It takes a shot from Clarabelle’s noisemaker to get Mickey going.

The race itself is a burst of energy, with the constant motion of the characters and the stopping points for gags making for a fun combination. From the stripping of Mickey’s boat in the rowing segment to the mashups of the various bicycles in the final segment, each piece deviates from the norm and makes the short better for it.

When Mickey wins, as you know he has to, it’s because Pete accidentally catapults him over the finish line and into the winner’s cup. And in the victory celebration, is that Oswald down in the left corner, under the cup? It makes for a great finish to this fantastic short, easily one of my favorites so far.


From Mac : There's a lot I can say about this great cartoon, but I'll limit it for now to two wild theories I had when watching. The next Mickey cartoon, Mickey's Revue features what is considered to be Goofy's first appearance. In "Revue" the running gag is that Goofy keeps laughing whenever anything goes wrong. However, I wonder if the character that will become Goofy can first be spotted one cartoon earlier in The Barnyard Olympics.

In the detailed opening scene of the crowds, a character turns around and excitedly notices the audience in the cinema. Being able to notice and do the impossible is a typical trait of Goofy and it looks just like him (minus the buck teeth) too! Then in the scene where the referee keeps getting punched, we hear Pinto Colvig's distinctive Goofy laugh whenever anything goes wrong. I wonder if Goofy's running gag from Mickey's Revue was held back from an idea they planned for this cartoon? Although, in "Revue" the design is different with 'Dippy Dawg' being much more elderly looking.

The other thing I've been pondering about is the final scene. I think it reuses animation from a much earlier silent era Disney cartoon. Check out the drawings of the characters – those bodies and five fingered hands sure look like 20's designs to me. It's an odd mix really since it appears a 1930's cow and pig's head have ben placed on 1920's hippo bodies! You can even see what looks like the old top-hatted version of Pete! I just wonder what cartoon it was from originally.


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : I agree with Mac on that final scene. Something looks unmistakably '20s about that final scene—in fact, I'd almost peg some of the figures as being animated specifically by Hugh Harman.

The final year of Alices included Alice's Auto Race and Alice's Channel Swim, neither of which I've seen. Both featured sports events, presumably with big crowds of onlookers. Perhaps the crowd here was lifted from one of those earlier shorts.


From Jerry Edwards : Despite Pete's continual cheating, especially during a cross country bicycle race, Mickey ends up winning. Fun take-off on Olympic events - full of numerous gags and with lots of action.
From Ryan : I really enjoyed this short. In fact I have participated in one of the events displayed in it: Track and Field. Mickey Mouse is running in a race with several other runners (including the macho man and expert cheater Pete). In this short, Pete did not have his pegleg as he did in earlier ones and he'd still have it in later ones such as Mickey's Service Station. Even though Pete cheats at every attempt to win, Mickey ends up winning. I guess that proves that cheaters never win. This never happened to me when I participated in one of my track meets, but I never came in first either.
From Bill : This short is Mickey at his best, overcoming the opposition (Pete) even though he is cheating at every turn, and in the end, wins and wins Minnie's heart. Good scene with Horace getting Mickey ready for the games. This short is loaded with action and many gags. Mickey climbing over the fence using a dachshund, the whole group of bikers rolling down the hill, and when the poor dachshund hits a pole and twists around it. Too many gags to mention, but this short clearly shows that Mickey is as funny as any character around.

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