Poster

Touchdown Mickey

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : October 15, 1932

Running Time : 6:25

Synopsis

It's the big game with Mickey's Manglers vs. the Alley Cats. Sportscaster Goofy keeps track of what's going on (badly) as Mickey takes his team to victory.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Clarabelle Cow
Horace Horsecollar
Goofy

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Johnny Cannon
Frenchy de Tremaudan

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 52: Rah! Rah! Disney Goes Athletic
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 31
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 16, 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

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : I love Touchdown Mickey! It could be because it’s football season, or it could be because I love football, but this is a fantastic short. Of course, it also could be because I remember seeing it played at Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom, so it brings back some great vacation memories.

Of course, it’s also a sports themed short, which is a little bit of a departure for the Disney studio. We have seen some bullfighting, boxing and the like, but nothing with the major sports. Sports themed shorts are some of my all time favorites, especially the Goofy “How To” shorts and one of my non-Disney faves – Baseball Bugs.

This one features old time football, with leather helmets and no pads, and is packed full of gags from beginning to end. The short even opens in the 4th quarter of the football game, with Mickey scoring a touchdown. It’s a very effective opening, too, because it drops you right into the game with the tension mounting, as Mickey’s team is down 7 after he scores, with only minutes to go.

The remaining time after that is a wild ride, with Goofy in the radio booth providing commentary. As far as I know, this looks like the first time that Pinto Colvig has given the Goof a voice outside of his trademark laugh. But it shows that Goofy is assuming more of a role in Mickey’s cast, as he, Minnie and Pluto are all featured here, but Clarabelle and Horace are not.

The opponents to Mickey’s Manglers is of course, a team full of Pete clones. This makes for some great comedy as the Pete team goes up against Mickey’s team of misfits. Mickey’s team is a smaller, mismatched team, including a goat, a dachshund, a large pig and more animals.

The gags in this are fast and furious. There is some great, funny stuff here. Just a few examples: as Mickey runs downfield, his pig teammate turns into a steamroller, flattening the Pete team one by one. Another – when Mickey’s team kicks off, Mickey as the holder of the ball gets kicked into the air as well, flying across the field. That’s just two examples, but there are gags flying by in every frame of this short.

Of course, this short includes the cliché of Mickey scoring the winning touchdown, this time as he’s dragged underground by the Petes. Mickey and Minnie get carried off the field on the torn down goal posts, and manage a quick kiss as they march off.

Touchdown Mickey is exactly what I want from a Mickey Mouse short. It’s fast paced, funny and features characters I love. There’s no outstanding technical achievement or groundbreaking animation that I can find, but that’s okay. It’s entertaining, and that’s fantastic.


From Mac : Continuing on from The Whoopee Party, here's more wild energy and frantic action for Mickey and the gang. There's a great atmosphere in this, not just on the field, but also from the band and the cheering crowds. It's impossible not to have fun watching this!

It's nice to see Goofy (or Dippy) again. One gag I always expect (but doesn't happen) is for that goat sitting next to him to turn round and take a bite out the microphone. Never mind, Goofy accidentally grabbing him round the neck and shouting in his mouth is even funnier! Horace and Clarabelle aren't completely absent from this short – they can be seen in the crowds cheering with Minnie and rest.

It's a shame the exploding Mickey head is gone from the openings now – I loved that crazy start to these cartoons! (Yes, the titles we see on the DVD are only recreations, but I assume they're pretty accurate).


From Tom Wilkins : Describing this cartoon with any reality is absolutely impossible here. The perfect way to analyze this film is to consider that it is as laughable as me cackling at the Notre Dame Fightin' Y2K Virus (Irish) stumbling through loss after loss in front of a national audience.

This was a battle between Mickey's Manglers and the Alley Cats. Whether this was a real game of football, rugby, or Australian Rules Football, remains in how you view this comedy of dizzy play-action passes. Mickey introduces the film with several moves that make Barry Sanders look pathetic. Just as pathetic is the fact that Mickey was tackled twice but was wheelbarrowed (with defensive help) into the end zone for a touchdown. Or was it a try (in rugby terms)?

Needless to say, Mickey's first touchdown cut the Alley Cats' lead to a very slim 96-89 lead with 3 minutes to play. The band joyfully played and the crowd went absolutely crazy even though they were still down by 7 points!! The offense cheered while the defense jeered. (In the cartoon, no extra points were kicked and touchdowns automatically counted for 7 points.) If the animators thought that their inspiration was Georgia Tech's 222-0 win over Cumberland College in 1916, then we know that everyone in the studio was totally warped.

Then again, I think the animators had some hard alcohol while putting the picture together. A roosting section, whom incidentally screamed "Rah Rah Mickey" as the cartoon title scene opened, was spelling the letters "M-I-C-K-E-Y" with their fannies and showing off every feather after they were done. Goofy provides horrible announcing etiquette by not only screaming "Mickey made a touchdown" and "what a game", but by wobbling back and forth away from the microphone, which made the Radio Corporation of America wonder how this "Goof" got into the sportscasting business.

After a sky-cam view of the ensuing kickoff, the Alley Cats drive the ball on the run for a long gain until Mickey makes a surprising shoestring tackle, causing the runner to fumble. I looked at this play frame-by-frame, and after further review, the player did fumble the ball before his knee hit the ground. One of Mickey's teammates (a goat) recover the ball and runs the other way, but after he was tackled 20 yards later, he laterals the ball to Mickey. Mickey subsequently crashes into Pluto and the water bucket and surfs his way in for the tying score with only a minute left 'till time (meaning, one minute left in the game). The crowd goes totally ballistic (even the hot dog vendor and the hot dogs were jumping for joy) with the score now tied at 96, a considerably higher score than an average NBA game nowadays. Goofy continues his clumsy play-by-play description by reiterating his lines again.

The most ridiculous play happens on this ensuing kickoff. Mickey held the football so the kicker could kick to the other team. Instead, as the kicker kicks off and loses his shoe, Mickey hangs on to the ball, crashes into an alley cat, and lands on the field. As he was about to run, the shoe lands on his face, setting him near his own goal line. Mickey gets up, and runs with the help of tremendous blocking. The blocking was so good that the lineman single-handedly steamrolled over the opposition, clearing the way for Mickey to score the winning touchdown with paramedics following and clearing the carnage left behind. But, Mickey then trips, gets steamrolled as he coughs up the ball, and the Alley Cats run it the other way to near Mickey's 30 yard line.

The Alley Cats run three straight running plays to get close to the goal line, but with 15 seconds left, one of Mickey's defenders unexpectedly blitzes. He times the blitz so well that he took the ball right out of the quarterback's hands before the QB even got to the ball! Afterwhich, he runs the ball back another 40 yards with defenders all over his back.

After the defender was finally tackled (which of course did not blow the play dead), he continued to het mauled until he approached a dazed and confused Mickey. He pitches a forward lateral to Mickey...and here we go again. This time, Mickey is tackled...no whistle. Somehow the ball slips out from Mickey and lands out of bounds onto the hot dog vendor...and everybody is after the ball like fresh dogmeat.

After a silly yet senseless game of hot potato out of bounds, the football players continue to wreck every place the ball was in sight...even after it landed inside a tuba, kareemed off a drum, and found its way inside the mouth of a fan (possibly a W. C. Fields caricature), taking his teeth, glasses and hair with it. The ball bounces of Mickey's rear end but leaves the face indented. Of course Mickey got to the loose ball first and took off with only seconds to play, even with everyone trying to tackle him before he scored. As time ran out, he finally was brought down by the opposition. Even though he was supposedly tackled five yards from the end zone, the momentum of the tackle carried him and the ball over the plane of the end zone, yet UNDER the goal line. The fans celebrate and tear down the goalposts with Mickey and Minnie kissing as they were carried off.

Based on everything that went on, the final score was 103-96, I assume? This was just another one of those satirical fantasies featuring an average Australian Rules Football score with English Rugby rules and a WWF twist. Don't ask me how the NFL could even manage that.


From Mark Yorsaner : A very funny and enjoyable short! Although one might say that Goofy was at times nuttier than John Sterling when Bernie Williams hits a homerun, it was one of Disney's best early works. This is also one of the first sports-oriented and probably the first team sports-oriented cartoon. I find it interesting that football is done before baseball (unless I missed a baseball short), primarily because baseball was much more popular at the time among the American youth (although football was indeed popular among some groups). Also, I find it interesting that a radio announcer (Goofy) was used, especially since broadcasts of games were rare in the early 30's, and were usually relayed from the stadium to the radio station. But all in all, excellent!
From Jerry Edwards : A fun cartoon - full of football game gags. I especially enjoyed Mickey using a heavy teammate as a steamroller to flatten the defensive players.
From Samuel E. Lago : This is one of the funniest Mickey Mouse cartoons I have ever witnessed. It is different to a lot of other more modern shorts in that it is more dynamic and fast-paced. It's humor is fast, furious and sometimes violent. Not harmful violence, simply non-stop movement. With some insight to future regular characters (Example : Goofy, then called Dippy Dawg) and smooth animation, this short will leave you laughing until you burst.
From Lee Suggs : This short is one of my favorites. As I have stated before Mickey Mouse was an interesting and important character up until about 1935. Then he became more and more of a straight man, with Pluto, Donald, or Goofy seeing most of the action. I believe most of Mickey's best shorts were those made between 1932-1934, when he was in Black and White. This short is one of the most fun and presents Mickey as the little guy triumphing over a stronger adversary. (my favorite role for him) It just doesn't get any better than a Mickey Mouse/football combo, and the Manglers' victory gives me hope for my JV football team this year.
From Ryan : This is quite a break from those "song and dance" cartoons. Here it's somewhat like watching a football game only with humor. We've got Mickey as a football player who isn't wearing any pads (suppose his shoulders get seriously injured). Pluto is the water dog and Goofy is the announcer who keeps laughing moronically.
From Gijs Grob : Goofy's third appearance and already he is a more recognizable and defined character than Horace Horsecollar and Clarabella Cow would ever be. This is the first cartoon he actually talks (although he sang already in The Whoopee Party). It may be interesting to note that Goofy may be the first cartoon character build on a funny voice. His success is proof that although a unique voice is not necessary (Tom & Jerry for instance could do perfectly without one), it certainly helps to build a character. This must have been an inspiration to later voice-based characters like Donald Duck, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. Ironically, Goofy himself would eventually lose his voice in the early forties (when Pinto Colvig left for Fleischer).

(PS Touchdown Mickey is a great cartoon, but others have described it already very well.)


From Bill : I must say this short had more action and gags than you could shake a stick at! The storyline is with Mickey at his best, the underdog (including his team!) fighting the bigger,stronger foe. I have so many favorite gags in this one, hard to pick, but I loved the gag when the ambulance drivers rolled up the squashed players and took them away. Also, the part where Mickey is still woozy and trying to get back into the game, his expression is timeless. This kind of storyline is what makes a Mickey short memorable.

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