Poster

Mickey in Arabia

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : July 18, 1932

Running Time : 6:55

Synopsis

Mickey and Minnie are on vacation when Sultan Pete tries to capture Minnie for his harem.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Johnny Cannon
Dick Lundy
Kevin Donnelly
Tom Palmer
Ben Sharpsteen
Jack King
Dave Hand
Les Clark
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi

Cut Scenes

Some juggler and harem scenes were cut in the 80's.

DVD

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2
Germany
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 4, 1955

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

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 United Artists Pictures

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Let me say first that Mickey in Arabia is a rollicking good time. The “fun” that I talked about with the early Mickeys in 1932 and the latter half of 1931 is here in spades. It features a very expressive Mickey engaged in a lot of gags in and around an Arabian (looks Egyptian/North Africa) country. But this short has a couple of drawbacks that give me pause.

The first is the caricature of the Arabian natives. I would assume that in 1932, we in the United States weren’t exactly worried about the feelings of those in the Middle East. So, I can’t blame the people animating the short for making crude caricatures of Arabs. But, as a viewer in today’s world, seeing those caricatures drew me out of the short’s story, and made me uneasy.

Again, at the time, I’m sure it meant nothing. And I don’t pretend to say that there is any malice or ill intent behind it by the animators. It’s just something that sticks out like a sore thumb when watching this short today.

The other issue with the short is that it is essentially a remake of Gallopin’ Gaucho. Rather than encountering Minnie in the cantina, she comes with Mickey to see the sights, but from that point forward, the story is the same. Minnie is kidnapped by Pete, Mickey’s camel gets drunk and makes it hard to follow Pete, Mickey rescues Minnie from Pete’s lair, and rides off into the sunset with her.

Those two things aside, I loved the short. It features all the things you would want from a Mickey Mouse cartoon – great gags, Mickey as the hero, and lots of action. The scenes in Pete’s castle/lair are great, with the soldiers fleeing Pete’s errant gunshots and diving into pots, as well as Pete throwing swords after Mickey.

The gags are on overdrive here. A favorite is early on when Minnie tries to take a picture of a juggler, and he pauses, all the balls holding perfectly still in the air while she snaps her photo. But there are so many more. Even the ending scene of Mickey and Minnie seesawing on the camel’s hump as they ride away is particularly funny.

At this point in the Mickey series, the main mouse is really coming into his own. Mickey is very much the leading man in this short, a throwback to his earlier days. Eventually, other characters like Pluto, Donald or Goofy would overtake him, but Mickey in Arabia features Mickey at the top of his game.


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : It's less that Mickey in Arabia is a remake of Gallopin’ Gaucho than that they're both partial remakes of Oswald's
From Jerry Edwards : Mickey and Minnie are tourists when Pete, an evil sheik, kidnaps Minnie. Mickey's attempted rescue is complicated by his drunken camel. After a furious battle and a rooftop chase, Mickey and Minnie escape safely - with Pete running off into the desert after being accidentally speared by his own soldiers. Mickey's problems with trying to ride a drunk camel in pursuit of Pete are quite hilarious. Although cartoons in which Mickey has to rescue Minnie from Pete are numerous, this one is particularly well done.
From Ryan : This was absolutely a fine cartoon. I first saw a still of it in my book entitled "The Art of Mickey Mouse" (which is a pretty neat book that features different styles of Mickey Mouse artwork from various famous/not so famous artists). Now I own a copy of it on video. There were some weird (but funny) scenes like where some Arab children were poking their heads out of pots and where a juggler was juggling balls with his butt. I think Pete was the perfect role as the evil sultan who wants Minnie for his harem girl.
From Christian : Like Ryan, I love the scene where that guy juggles those balls with his butt. This cartoon deserves a ten.
From Bill I. : This is one of the better "Mickey saves Minnie from Pete" shorts. It was full of great gags. Poor Mickey trying to chase Pete on his drunken camel was very funny and well drawn. The opening scenes of Mickey and Minnie entering the market was well drawn. It is interesting to see the stereotyping of the residents of the market; today that would have raised eyebrows. It is something to see how different things were in 1932. Of course I always enjoy seeing Pete defeated again by Mickey!

Referenced Comments