Poster

Mickey's Steamroller

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : June 16, 1934

Running Time : 6:55

Synopsis

While streetworker Mickey romances Minnie, Mickey's nephews Morty and Ferdy take control of his steamroller and it's full speed ahead on a very destructive ride.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Ferdy and Morty Mouse

Credits

Director
Dave Hand
Animation
Bob Kuwahara
Bob Wickersham
Fred Moore
Jack Bailey
Norm Ferguson

Laserdiscs

Japan
Mickey's Family Album
Mickey Mouse: A Star is Born

DVD

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2
Vintage Mickey
Germany
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 23: The "Other" Mice
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 31, 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 version of the short was released to the home movie market under the title "High Speed Mickey."

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : This one is mainly notable for the full introduction of Mickey’s nephews, Morty and Ferdy. Although they are not referred to as such here, they would go on to be famous in comic books and some shorts. It’s interesting that Mickey’s nephews were never as big as Donald’s famous trio of Huey, Dewey and Louie. But they were fun characters.

The mischievous duo is out for a stroll with Minnie pushing the carriage, when they run across Uncle Mickey in his steamroller. The two kids are being kids – beating each other up, stealing things from each other, etc. – but seeing the steamroller brings them together in awe.

Mickey gets distracted by Minnie, of course. It’s a very cute distraction, as he offers her some candy, which turns out to be conversation hearts. When Minnie reads the one that says “Kiss Me” out loud, it results in a chase around the parked steamroller that leaves it unattended.

Morty and Ferdy take advantage and start a rampage with the steamroller. This is where the short shines. Morty and Ferdy’s interactions with the steamroller are the best part of the short. We have the twins being shot up in the air by the whistle, then sucked down through the smoke stack. The firelings make a return to menace them, and there’s even a moment when they burn the rope that Mickey has lassoed them with. This is a fun sequence, even if a little destructive.

Mickey is a fervent pursuer, though. He lassoes the steamroller and gets sucked along, taking lampposts with him in a great gag. He ties the rope to one lamppost, but it does not hold, and sucks each successive lamppost down and out onto the street with it.

The ending features the steamroller turning the tables on Mickey, before everyone crashes into a building. Rather than being upset with his nephews, though, Mickey just smiles at them. What? These kids destroyed half of the city, and leveled a building, dragging him through the streets. It’s an odd way to end the short.

The whole thing seems a little disjointed. There are good gags in the middle section when the boys have the steamroller, but the rest is pretty mediocre. I was hoping when I saw Morty and Ferdy that there would be a bit more to do with them, but alas, they disappear for a while after this.


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : This is actually the *only* golden age short to show much of Mickey's nephews. After this, they appear prominently in a crowd scene in Boat Builders (1938)—and then that's it! They had their names in the comics a few weeks from their 1932 debut there, with "Ferdy" more typically spelled Ferdie.

Re: Mickey being OK with the boys' destruction—yep, more watering down. In the book adaptation (Mickey Mouse Movie Stories Vol. 2, 1934), the end is revised so the kids get bawled out!


From Brian : I agree that it seems odd that the kids don’t get a talking to at the end of this one. (Don’t try this at home kids!) But, like the earlier shorts where the animators wreak destruction mostly on Minnie’s house, all ends in smiles among the resulting debris. Such is life in cartoon-land.

Perhaps they’re speaking to their audience. Would the entertainment value for kids be as great if it ended in a scolding?


From Mac : Despite it not being too popular here, I personally think this is one of Mickey's underrated classics. I do have to admit that it ends rather suddenly – an entire building has been destroyed, but the kids just happily play see-saw using a plank of wood and Mickey's head. A case of no one quite knowing how to end it I think! It's also kind of odd that Morty and Ferdie didn't have a starring role in the cartoons again – I kind of get the feeling that the intention was to use them again after this short, but it just never happened.
From Jerry Edwards : Enjoyable cartoon with lots of action and gags - but nothing special for me. This was supposedly colorized, but I have not seen the colorized version.
From Ryan : This short was pretty good. I especially liked the part where the two children started playing around on the steamroller and it soon went out of control. Mickey catches up with them, but the steamroller hits a hotel and there are several people shown bathing. The kids then ride a piece of the steamroller up and down like a seesaw.
From Ettore D'Agostino : This short is important because is the only occasion to see the animated version of Mickey's nephews. The colorized version is very well done. Many b/w shorts are not convincing in their colorized version, but this one is successful.
From Varun : This episode has to be one of my favorites for animation, not really the plot. The colorized version of this cartoon is rich! Its really wonderful. And Mickey's nephews are adorable. It seems Minnie is wearing a dress that she will be wearing in the 40's.
From Bill I. : Every time I view this short I cannot understand why Walt did not embellish Mickey's nephews Morty and Ferdie. Much like Huey, Dewey and Louie they would have made great material for future Mickey shorts. This was a fun short and the animation of the steamroller was well done, especially the anthropomorphic face on the machine as it was chasing Mickey. This was full of great gags and action. Even the scene with Mickey trying to steal a kiss from Minnie shows he was still quite a rascal. The best scene was the steamroller hitting the building and after it's collapse, showing all the people still taking baths. A good historical short.