Poster

Mickey's Nightmare

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : August 13, 1932

Running Time : 7:24

Synopsis

Pluto licks a sleeping Mickey, causing him to dream that Minnie's kissing him - and proposing marriage. The imagined union turns to catastrophe as tons of little mice demolish the house.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Pluto

Credits

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

Cut Scenes

A scene of the kids throwing knives at Mickey and pinning him to the wall; kids give a statue a blackface by throwing paint at it.

Video

France
Le Meilleur de Minnie
Italy
I Capolavori di Minni

Laserdiscs

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White: Volume 1
Japan
Mickey Mouse : The Black and White Years
Minnie's Greatest Hits / Pluto's Greatest Hits

DVD

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

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 46: Disney Dreams
The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 23: The "Other" Mice
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 42
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 39
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 11, 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 United Artists Pictures

Comments

  • A remake of the 1928 Oswald short, "Poor Papa."

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Mickey and Minnie – the eternal romance, right? Like Kermit and Piggy, or other famous fictional characters, they’re destined to be together but not married, constantly doing the dating dance. But what if they were? That’s ostensibly the subject of Mickey’s Nightmare, the latest Mickey cartoon.

I say it’s ostensibly the subject because in reality, this short is a re-imagining of the 1931 short Mickey’s Orphans. Things start out with Mickey falling asleep, fawning over his picture of Minnie, and placing a Cupid doll next to the picture. He kicks Pluto out of the bed, and falls asleep.

The next scene, as Pluto sneaks back into bed and begins licking Mickey, launches into a dream sequence. It’s here that we get to see the first representation of Mickey and Minnie getting married. As far as I know, at least. It could have been done in the Mickey Mouse comics or some other forum, but in the cartoons this is the first one.

Again, though, that is a set up for the main storyline of the short, where a multitude of storks drop baby Mickeys into Mickey and Minnie’s house, much to the proud papa’s dismay. The kids greet their father and proceed to wreak havoc throughout the house.

This is where the remake of Mickey’s Orphans comes in. The “babies” are able to destroy the house more efficiently than any wrecking crew could. Perhaps because it’s been done before, the gags this time don’t come across as anything all that special, even if they are fairly amusing.

There are a few standouts, like the kids riding Pluto in a carriage or a group of them pulling in and out of a set of drawers as Mickey and another baby run past. But for the most part, the gags are predictable and nothing exceptional. Again, this is likely because I’ve seen this story before, but I think it’s also because there’s nothing new here – it’s similar not only to Mickey’s Orphans but to Alice Rattled by Rats or When The Cat’s Away.

There is, though, a charm to this short that makes the viewer happy. The baby Mickeys are cute as can be, and Mickey keeps a good attitude throughout the torture he is subjected to in the short. Like I said about Mickey’s Orphans, having this same story with Donald Duck would be vastly different, and likely funnier.

There is something about Mickey, though, that makes people want to root for him. Throughout this short, I found myself smiling at his exploits, despite the fact that it was familiar territory. At the end, when he wakes up and smashes the Cupid statue, I enjoyed that we got to see a little more mischief in Mickey than normal. It makes Mickey’s Nightmare a good short, if not a great one.


From Mac : We may be back to black and white with the Mickey shorts, but this one really makes fall use of its monochrome values. The grey tones in the shading, lighting effects and backgrounds are expertly used to create an impressively rich atmosphere, especially in the early scenes.

This is the first United Artists Mickey cartoon. This means that we see a change in the title cards. I've only seen the recreations on the DVD which I'd like to assume are accurate (minus the UA references). I have to say the spinning rays and exploding Mickey head are really cool! The other change the UA releases brought to the Disney cartoons were full color advertising posters. These attractive posters are worth seeking out (you can find a lot of them on the Disney Shorts Encyclopedia.)


From Jerry Edwards : One fun gag is Mickey and Pluto shaking hands when a stork delivers Mickey's first baby. After an army of storks delivers a crowd of babies, Pluto offers to shake hands and Mickey slaps Pluto's offered paw away in disgust. I quickly tire of the "kids tearing up the house" bit - used in previous shorts.
From Jeremy M. Palmer : This cartoon was very enjoyable for my brother, sister, and myself in the '40's. A fine statement on over population, though unintended, I am sure. We had one other cartoon with Donald Duck and Goofy trying to be firemen... again very much fun for us kids. I remember Clarabelle the Cow, rescued while taking a bath... spitting out a long stream of water while protesting continuously as Donald and Goofy try to save her... strange how that scene comes back to me... all this in 8 mm silent b+w, every bit as much fun for us then as the multi media things today's kid watch... in fact our 3 minute cartoons were more of a treat... this was before TV and setting up the projector was a big family affair... and the home movies were ok, but the cartoons were tops!
From Ryan : Mickey is praying as the short starts out. He says "God bless Minnie, God bless Pluto, God bless everyone (even bad people like Hitler?)!" Mickey soon starts dreaming. Mickey and Minnie's new house is somewhat heart-shaped kind of like something out of Care Bears merchandising except that this is not sickingly, nauseatingly cute. We've got about three or four storks (I'm not sure how many, I haven't counted them) dropping bundles of babies down the chimney. Disney may have produced this short in order to send a message that our world is overpopulated. The babies appear to be those obnoxious "orphans" from so many other shorts (notably Orphans' Benefit). In fact, this is the very first appearance of them. This short is somewhat similar to Mickey's Orphans where the children terrorize innocent animals and start breaking household objects. Well, this short is definitely going to make me only have one (if any) child.
From Mike G : Few of the Disney shorts get as surreal or disturbing as, say, Max Fleischer shorts like Bimbo's Initiation, but this one comes closest-- the scenes of the hordes of brats wreaking havoc surely represent some sort of personal nightmare for the creators of this short. For my money, one of the very best of the early black and white Mickeys.
From Gijs Grob : Mainly about kids ruining the house, this short contains some excellent repetitious and simultaneous animation of lots and lots of kids. The short is not spooky, but more of a bachelor's nightmare.
From Candy : It's interesting that this cartoon depicts marriage from Mickey's point of view and not Minnie's. In other words, we see the man's perspective and not the woman's. The storks delivering babies are used to symbolize that they are having kids. We don't see anything like Mickey and Minnie actually having kids the normal way. But it's interesting that the stork comes only after they are married, not before. This was Disney's comment on the morals and values of the time. First you got married; then you had kids.

It's almost like Mickey blames Minnie for all these kids that the storks are delivering. It's not his fault that all these kids arrive; it's Minnie's fault. The idea that somehow Minnie is to blame is suggested by the scene where Mickey comes into the house and sees Minnie sitting at a huge table with all those kids. It's like Mickey has had nothing to do with it. I know that this cartoon wasn't meant as serious social commentary; it's just something I picked up on when I saw it for the first time.

I always liked the prayer Mickey says before going to sleep. This kind of bedtime prayer was depicted in other Disney films, including Snow White and The Rescuers. It might have been the custom of the time for kids to pray before going to bed. It suggests that people were more religious back then. Mickey doesn't use his normal high-pitched voice when he prays but whispers it in a regular tone of voice. This was the voice of Walt himself. It kind of shows how Walt was not against depicting religious things in his cartoons, even to the extent of saying this prayer himself. It's a very small thing, but I wanted to comment on it.


From Chris Purdue : I give this short a seven. But I give poor Mickey a ten. He deserves it. It's funny that there are so many Mickey shorts where he has to deal with, or even dreams he has to deal with such nasty little brats. I can't even deal with one nasty little brat.
From Bill : I am going to use this short as an example to all the naysayers and critics who say Mickey Mouse can't hold up a short by himself. (Disney, are you listening?) I think this is one of the best storylines and collection of gags hat Disney has written. This is Mickey at his best and funniest! As Mickey goes to bed, he kisses Minnie's picture, because we know he loves her, and goes to sleep. Pluto begins to lick his face and the dream begins. A great dream story because Mickey finally marries Minnie! There were gags galore, but the two classic ones were when Pluto started to shake Mickey's hand after the last stork dropped off the large bucket of baby "Mickeys", Mickey slapped it away as to say; "Now what am I going to do?" The next great gag was when Mickey was dodging all the knives and utensils thrown by the baby Mickeys, the look on his face as the meat cleaver missed him was hilarious. I know that some fans get tired of the "babies" wrecking the house, but my wife thought they were the cutest things around, and they did provide for all the gags. The point is that Mickey does not need Donald, Pluto, Goofy or anyone else to carry off a top-notch short! Go ahead to 1995 to "Runaway Brain," another great short, and with the right storyline and gags, Mickey is still the funniest guy around. When I hear writers say they can't find material to keep Mickey's films fresh, they aren't trying very hard. If you can find stories for Goofy and Donald, then you can do it for Mickey! I can think of a hundred different stories for Mickey in modern times for a great series of shorts, and I'm not a pro, and I'll bet thousands of other fans can too! There is unlimited material for the mouse that "started it all."

So, what I am trying to say in this long comment is that I hope Disney does not forget how it started, and I'm sure Walt would not want Mickey to stay just a "corporate symbol." After all, he is his son!


From Nan : I have a copy of this animation with the 1932 title "Mickey's Wild Dream." It shows the scenes that were later cut depicting knives being thrown at Mickey as well as the children spritzler bottle painting the statue so that the final results looked like a statue in black face. Interesting choice of images to have cut from the later version. Society values changing for the better.

Referenced Comments