Poster

The Klondike Kid

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : November 12, 1932

Running Time : 7:02

Synopsis

Mickey entertains guests at a saloon as a piano player, then comforts poor, homeless Minnie. Pete comes to capture her, takes her to his cabin, and a wild Chaplinlike battle ensues.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Pete
Pluto
Goofy

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Les Clark
Ed Love
Art Babbitt
Hardie Gramatky
Tom Palmer
Ben Sharpsteen
Louie Schmitt
Charlie Byrne
George Drake
Marvin Woodward
Roy Williams
Archie Robin
Fred Spencer
Fred Moore
Charles Couch
Harry Reeves
Frank Tipper
Johnny Cannon
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Norm Ferguson
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi

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
Mickey Mouse: A Star is Born

DVD

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

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 11: The Many Lives of Pegleg Pete
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 14, 1955

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

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

  • This short was inspired by the silent Charlie Chaplin film "The Gold Rush."

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Walt and his crew are in fine form at this point in 1932, producing mainly Mickey Mouse shorts, and taking longer to put out the Technicolor Silly Symphonies. It’s not surprising, then, to see The Klondike Kid, one of the finest of the Mickey shorts, come out of this period.

The Klondike Kid is everything you want from a Mickey Mouse short – it features Mickey in a lead role, Pluto causing chaos, Minnie as a damsel in distress and Pete as the menacing villain. On top of all that, it’s extremely funny, well animated and features some classic gags. All together, that makes it one of the very best Mickeys.

There’s so much to talk about here. Start with the kinetics of the Klondike Bar that Mickey is playing piano in when the short opens. We get a great wide shot of the bar featuring some great work by the animators of making each grouping of people distinct and funny. Take your time, and watch this shot over and over. There are gags everywhere, even though it’s just a wide shot.

Minnie’s appearance into the short is quite different than any other we’ve seen from her. She wanders up to the window to peer in, a quiet, lonely figure peering in at the fun and warmth inside. It’s a much more vulnerable side of Minnie than we have seen in other shorts. Mickey, being the big hearted mouse that he is, pulls her inside and tries to warm her up.

Their dialogue at this point is a high point of the short. Both claim that they’re nobodies who have no one in their lives. It’s clear we are meant to forget previous shorts, which is fine. But the instant bond formed between the two of them is very well done, and the dialogue is clear and well voiced, which has not always been the case.

Pete has to show up, of course, and shocks the entire bar as he does. Within moments, he gets into a firefight with everyone in the bar. This is another great piece of work, as the lights go out, and the only thing we see are flashes of light from the guns, illuminating Pete or his adversaries in turn.

The rest of the short is fairly predictable, as Pete kidnaps Minnie and Mickey pursues, using Pluto as his sled dog. That part is pretty funny, since Pluto is easily distracted, and ends up chasing a rabbit instead. A rabbit? Yes, it’s a rabbit that looks remarkably like our old friend Oswald.

The finale is a big chaotic mess, but in a good way. Mickey crashes into Pete’s cabin, Pluto rolls into a giant snowball, the cabin tears loose and begins sliding down a hill, and finally everything crashes into a stack of logs and snow with Mickey, Pluto and Minnie on top.

Klondike Kid is fun. It takes our familiar friend Mickey and casts him in the role of rescuer again, but provides more of the trademarks from his domestic shorts, like Pluto causing chaos. As such, it’s a great combination of the two types of shorts, and becomes one of the best Mickeys of all time.


From Jerry Edwards : One of the best "Mickey saves Minnie from Pete" shorts - mainly due to its connection to the Chaplin film. The opening scenery showing the outside of the Klondike Bar is especially well animated. The early scene of Mickey being kind to a starving, freezing Minnie is especially well done. I love one scene with creative use of "lighting" in which the only light is from the gun shots in the dark. One scene of especially poor animation really jumps out at me since the rest of the short is so well animated. One of four men around a table is drawn as part of the background and is not animated - obviously a cost-cutting move that is very jarring to me.
From Ryan : Poor Minnie is rescued from the bitter cold by Mickey who is the piano player of a Klondike saloon. As Jerry Edwards pointed out, the animation is quite well done. I liked the gun scene in the bar. Now that was great animation and it was definitely life-like. That scene may scare the dickens out of some small children, but that is NOT Disney's problem. Another funny scene was where Mickey was trying to get Pluto to mush, but Pluto goes and sniffs a tree.
From Mike : This is, easily, my favorite Mickey 'toon. Brilliant animation, simple but great plot and all the great scenes such as Mickey and Pete (or Peirre) are fighting on the springs, Pluto going fast again once he spots a rabbit, and Goofy's small cameo. The snow is very well animated and when Mickey is talking to starved Minnie ("Guess we're both nobody")is great. Not as funny as say Steamboat Willie or The Chain Gang, but just great with the animation, plot, and just the whole damn thing is perfect.
From Gijs Grob : In essence this short is Gallopin' Gaucho in Canada. But what an execution of such an old idea! The gags are plenty and funny and build up to a fast paced finale. If any Mickey Mouse cartoon anticipates the Warner Brothers/MGM style, this one must be it.

This short is unique for its time in its clever integration of story and gags: the gags are not bonuses, but really add to the story. My favorite highlight must be the ridiculous fight between Mickey and Peg Leg Pete hindered by spiral springs.

Because of the strong similarities in setting and storyline Tex Avery's The Shooting of Dan McGoo (MGM, 1946) could almost be considered a remake of this wonderful cartoon.


From Bill I. : Although this was the simple "Mickey saves Minnie from Pete" it was one of the best in the collection. It had some great animation (the gunfight where you could see only during the lashes of light from the guns) to the outrageous chase scene in the end. Mickey in this short is the way he should have stayed; brash, fearless and he had that sharp "edge" that made him number one. I also enjoyed the short cameo Goofy had, dancing with the barmaid. The scene with Mickey and Pete fighting with springs attached to both of them was just funny. It seems to me that the storywriters in the early days just had great imaginations. The animators also did a fine job when the cabin was going down the hill. And of course the happy ending made this a positive 9.
From J. D. Weil : This is strictly a personal observation and there are undoubtedly those who will disagree with me.

Do I have a favorite short? Well, I have a favorite character, and that is Mickey Mouse. Of Mickey's 120 shorts, I tend to gravitate to the pre-1934 black-and-white shorts that were made when Disney was building an image, not trying to protect it, and before the stifling restrictions of the Production Code. Back then Mickey had an ebullience, an optimism, and a spirit of adventure that is somewhat lacking in later installments of the series. There was was also a delightful brattiness that made these films fun to watch, and a pacing that you couldn't find anywhere else. Back then, you were more interested in what that guy was doing rather than trying to figure out how they were making him do it. Maybe that's why I'm attracted to film shorts of that era.

So there you have it. Ebullience, optimism, brattiness, adventure, and pacing. If there was a single short where all these elements came together in just the right proportions, it would be "The Klondike Kid".


Referenced Comments