Mickey Plays Papa

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : September 29, 1934

Running Time : 8:58

Synopsis

While reading a murder mystery late at night, Mickey and Pluto find Elmer, a mouse toddler, on their doorstep. Trying to make the boy feel at home, Mickey and Pluto almost bring the house down around their knees.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Pluto
Orphan (unnamed)

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Tom Palmer
Bob Wickersham
Hardie Gramatky
Johnny Cannon
Fred Moore
Dick Lundy
Bill Roberts
Ben Sharpsteen
Roy Williams
Marvin Woodward
Cy Young
Layout
Ken Anderson
Inbetweener
Ward Kimball

Cut Scenes

Mickey aims gun at baby before realizing what's going on. Mickey fooling around with knives in the kitchen.

DVD

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

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 28: Early Mickey
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 33
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 52
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 13, 1957
The Mickey Mouse Club : April 30, 1957

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

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 Jerry Edwards : After continually trying to quiet the orphan's crying, Mickey finally gets the baby laughing with a Jimmy Durante impersonation. I find this cartoon very tiresome with the baby continually crying. The beginning animation - of the mother leaving the child on the doorstep on a dark and stormy night - is very nicely done. A severely edited version was shown on the Mickey Mouse Club as "Pluto and the Baby." It wasn't until I was later able to find the original that I realized the source for the MMC version. As an example of the erroroneous information I have received from Disney at times (both the Disney Channel and Disney Archives)- in reply to my question of the original source for "Pluto and the Baby" - the Disney source informed me the original cartoon source as Mother Pluto which is a totally different 1936 short.
From Ryan : I remember when I saw this short on the "Ink and Paint Club." It was one of my favorites. The baby seems to be difficult to satisfy. Mickey tries to entertain him by squeaking a toy and impersonating Charlie Chaplin. He sure gets a laugh out of Mickey's Jimmy Durante "Cha Cha Cha!"
From Gijs Grob : Mickey Plays Papa reuses the concept of Mickey receiving orphans from Mickey's Orphans from 1931. But this time he has to deal with only one orphan mouse, called Elmer. It's particularly noteworthy for its scary opening: while Mickey's reading a scary novel titled "The Cry in the Night" in bed, someone's laying the orphan at his doorstep, whose cries scare Mickey and Pluto. When Mickey and Pluto discover that these cries are caused by a cute little baby, they both try to comfort him. Their attempts include a nice Charlie Chaplin imitation by Mickey. But most importantly, they lead to long character-based solo sequences (like Mickey's trouble with a rubber nipple and Pluto's antics with a toy bunny and a fishbowl). These elongated solo scenes, alternating between the two characters, appear for the first time in this cartoon, and unfortunately they're not very funny here. Nevertheless, they would become a dominant style element of the Mickey Mouse cartoons of the rest of the thirties, especially in the Mickey, Donald and Goofy trio outings, often with way more hilarious results. Mickey Plays Papa ends when Mickey's released from the rubber nipple and he finally succeeds in making the baby laugh, by doing a Jimmy Durante imitation with his elongated nose. This cartoon contains a gag in which Mickey's being attacked by numerous kitchen tools, which was copied in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988). Mickey Plays Papa would be the last cartoon directed by Burt Gillett before he left for the Van Beuren Studios, only to return in 1937 to direct two other cartoons, the excellent Lonesome Ghosts (1937) and The Moth and the Flame (1938).
From Bill I. : This is one of my wife's favorites. She likes the shorts with the "little Mickeys" in them, and this was a cute one. First the animation in the beginning was fantastic with the mother leaving the baby on the doorstep and Mickey and Pluto reacting to the scary story. The little baby is very cute but will not stop crying despite everything Mickey and Pluto do. Nice animation of Mickey doing Walt's hero Charlie Chaplin and in the end Mickey finally makes the baby laugh with his Jimmy Durante impression. Several scenes, especially the one with Mickey dodging the knives and forks was well done; this scene was almost identical to the one in Mickey's Nightmare (another short with many "baby" Mickeys). A nice change from the 'Mickey saves Minnie' or the musical shorts. One note; the few times the babies feet and legs were shown, they were animated to look like human baby's legs and feet, not the normal black legs and feet one would expect from a mouse.

Referenced Comments