Mickey's Service Station

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : February 23, 1935

Running Time : 9:18

Synopsis

"You hear dot squeek?" says Pegleg Pete of his car. "Get reed of it! I'll be back in ten minutes! Get reed of dot squeek, or..." Inspired, disastrous comic moments for Mickey, Donald, and Goofy result.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Pete
Goofy
Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Ben Sharpsteen
Animation
Milt Kahl
Eddie Strickland
Art Babbitt
Dick Lundy
Fred Spencer
Don Towsley
Jack Kinney
Archie Robin
Bill Tytla
Paul Allen
Eric Larson
Leonard Sebring
Nick George
Ferdinand Horvath
Wolfgang Reitherman

Bloopers

Watch Pete's pegleg when he returns. The peg shifts from the left to the right leg. Note also how normally, the Disney characters usually only have four fingers, but Pete holds up a total of ten when he gives Mickey his time deadline.

Cut Scenes

After Pete steps on a car horn, he thinks our heroes are spitting at him, turns around, and fires his gun at them.

Video

France
Le Meilleur de Dingo
Italy
I Capolavori di Pippo

Laserdiscs

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White: Volume 1
Japan
Mickey Mouse Anniversary Show
Mickey Mouse : The Black and White Years
Mickey Mouse: A Star is Born
Milestones for Mickey

DVD

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

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 10: Mickey, Donald and Goofy : Friends to the End
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 55
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 5, 1955
The Mickey Mouse Club : March 20, 1958

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

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 : We’re back to black and white for Mickey one more time in Mickey’s Service Station, but it’s also notable in that it’s the first of the “Fab Three” shorts. Mickey, Donald and Goofy work together in this one, to create the amazing chemistry and laugh a minute fun that they would become known for over the next few years.

Like many of those later shorts, this one starts with the three of them on the job. This time, it’s as the attendants at a service station. The trouble comes when Pete, in his typical bully role, drives up with his souped up roadster, and demands that Mickey and the gang get rid of the squeak in his car in the next ten minutes.

What follows is a rapid fire succession of gags, as the three tear Pete’s car to pieces trying to locate the source of the squeaking sound. Donald tears off the front grille and unwinds it like a sweater, Mickey pries a tire loose, Goofy climbs on the engine block and reaches all the way to the bottom, curving up to goose himself. That’s just the beginning.

This is Disney animation at its finest, no doubt. The characters each get their own spotlight, and it is here that we see them developing the distinct personalities that they would become known for over the years. Donald grows more and more frustrated as he can’t locate the source of the sound. Goofy ends up harming himself more than anything else and Mickey is well, the least interesting of the three.

Whereas Goofy has his clumsiness to distinguish him, and Donald is the irritable one, Mickey doesn’t have a single distinguishing characteristic. It’s here that we are finally seeing what the animators dealt with, having a corporate symbol as the lead character. Mickey can’t be a goof or be angry all the time, so he simply goes through the short trying his best.

I guess you could say that Mickey is the hero, but that’s probably overstating it a bit. It is Mickey who discovers the source of the squeak, a little cricket. But Mickey is more the loveable loser than a hero type. It’s hard to identify with him more than the fondness you already hold for him as a viewer of these shorts. Just my opinion, of course, but it demonstrates what a change has come over our favorite mouse in the years since Steamboat Willie.

My two favorite bits in the whole short come near the end. First, Goofy accidentally jacks up the hastily rebuilt car, and ends up catapulting the entire lift mechanism into the air, landing in Goofy’s pants. Goofy stumbling about and trying to get the car safely back to the ground is classic Goofy.

The final bit is Pete entering his car and starting it up. It predictably falls apart, but then the engine turns into a dog like character and starts chasing him. The humor of seeing Pete run off into the sunset chased by this car he obviously mistreated cannot be missed.

Mickey’s Service Station marks an ending and a beginning – the end of Mickey in black and white, but the beginning of the trio shorts – with Mickey, Goofy and Donald working together. I am really looking forward to the next set of shorts featuring these three, because they are some of my favorites.


From Brian : I agree that the production team seems to be struggling to figure out what to do with Mickey in this one. Mickey’s only gags that I can recall are him getting stuck in an empty tire rim hoop and getting tangled in an inner tube. This leads, conveniently, to him finding the “source” of the squeak, a single cricket. Even though all the characters seem to be able to get the car to squeak in a similar manner no matter what they touch!

I remember there being some discussion back when the Ub Iwerks shorts were being reviewed that Ub wanted Mickey to be an “everyman” and Walt wanted him to be a swashbuckling hero. It looks like Walt came around to Ub’s way of thinking, but it also appears that Walt was right to begin with and there just isn’t much for Mickey to do, (other than get tangled up in things), if you cast him as “the working stiff.”

Looking forward to seeing how things evolve!


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : "It’s hard to identify with him more than the fondness you already hold for him as a viewer..."

And we wouldn't hold that fondness if we hadn't seen the cartoons from 1934 and earlier, with Mickey as a real personality. It really does seem to be the jump from Two Gun Mickey to Mickey's Man Friday in which some level of exuberance just leaves the character.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : I hadn't pinpointed it like that, David, but after reading your comment, I went back and watched both shorts you mentioned. You're absolutely right. There's something missing in Mickey's Man Friday - that heroic, loveable loser mentality - that was there in Two Gun Mickey.
From David Gerstein at Ramapith : But in Two Gun Mickey Mickey's not exactly a lovable loser. He's a swashbuckling winner for whom a lot simply goes annoyingly (and comically) wrong along the way—like a punch from Pete knocking him out of everything but his underwear.
From Mac : "It really does seem to be the jump from Two Gun Mickey to Mickey's Man Friday in which some level of exuberance just leaves the character."

I'm afraid I have to agree. I think that letting this happen to Mickey was one of Walt's biggest 'mistakes'. There's still something special about the Mickey of the color cartoons. As a child, he became my favorite character even though I only had the chance to see Mickey cartoons from 1935 onwards - there was just something about him. However, it's undeniable that Mickey has 'lost' something and just at a time where his cartoons could have become really spectacular too. A pity.


From Lee Suggs : This is often identified as the last black and white Disney (or Mickey Mouse) short. It is not the last one. That honor belongs to the next Mickey short, Mickey's Kangaroo (1935), which was the last Mickey Mouse (And Disney) short in black and white. This short is an example of how the trio shorts can succeed. Numerous gags result from their efforts to fix Pete's car. The gags are funny because each one provides a way to destroy a little more of the car. The short's ending, and Pete's reaction to what happens to his car, are truly classic. This is what a Mickey, Donald, and Goofy short can be.
From Jerry Edwards : Full of action and gags - I love the main gag that the squeak they're looking for is caused by a cricket. Pete comes across as a gangster in this cartoon. The colorized version adds to my enjoyment of the cartoon.
From Ryan : This is one of those shorts in which the characters are faced with an everyday problem. In this case, it's fixing a car and to make matters worse, it's Pete's car. Pete threatens to do something to them if they don't fix it in 10 minutes. This is again one of those cartoons that I saw at the Disney Store in Chicago. Remembering the cut scene that was listed on this website, I watched for it and you guessed it, it wasn't there. In fact, if I can recall, the scene where Pete steps on the horn has been deleted as well, so the version that's shown on TDC is more complete.
From Per Blomén : I have seen this in color on the Danish Television and a funny thing was that Donald's legs were black.
From Bill : One of the best "fab three" shorts. The gags were fast and furious and the animation was spot on. The Leonard Maltin introduction to this short stated that Mickey was not as broad a character as Donald or Goofy. That statement rankles me. In this short the gags were well spaced for each and all were just plain funny. This short reminded me of The Three Stooges in many ways. Goofy kicking Donald to answer and Mickey saying "yes M'am" to Pete. The best gags were Mickey trying to get the rim off himself and Goofy balancing the car on the lift with poor Mickey in it! A good short needs good gags and writers to go with it and this one had both!

Referenced Comments