On Ice

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : September 28, 1935

Running Time : 8:05

Synopsis

Mickey shows off for Minnie, but must rescue Donald when he's nearly blown over a frozen waterfall. Meanwhile, Goofy tries a new form of ice fishing.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Clarabelle Cow
Horace Horsecollar
Pluto
Goofy
Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Ben Sharpsteen
Animation
Norm Ferguson
Webb Smith
Art Babbitt

Video

United States
A Walt Disney Christmas
Germany
Mickey Präsentiert
Weihnachtpass mit Micky und Donald
Italy
Cartoon Festival 2
Topolino Superstar
Cartoons Disney 2

Laserdiscs

United States
A Walt Disney Christmas
Japan
A Walt Disney Christmas

DVD

United States
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 1 : Starring Mickey
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Germany
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Weihnachtspass mit Micky and Donald
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
France
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Italy
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Canada
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 1 : Starring Mickey
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)

Blu-Ray

United States
Bambi (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 14: Early Donald
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 7

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
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

  • Edited and released for the home movie market under the name "Donald's Ice Capers"
  • This short features the first use of the fully mature Goofy. Donald also begins to take on his modern form, although his costume is different in just this one cartoon.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : This is a perfect short to watch right before/after Christmas time, because it features Mickey and the gang ice skating. It has some iconic images of all the Fab Five, and features a little more exploration of the group dynamic than we have seen before. This short shows us how the five most popular Disney characters play together.

My favorite shot in the entire short is right at the beginning, as we see Mickey and Minnie skating in tandem. This is one of my favorite stills from any Mickey short. It’s on a shirt my wife has, and I have seen it many times during the holidays on clothing, pictures, toys and the like. It’s a perfect expression of the two mice together.

But, as has been the case recently, Mickey is merely a sideshow in this short. He does get a brief headlining run, taking a turn through the ice rink to be a daredevil. This is honestly the most we’ve seen of Mickey in his recent shorts, and it’s nice to see him interacting with Minnie and performing for the camera.

Goofy gets the next bit, with an interesting scheme to catch fish. He shaves off bits of tobacco and drops them down a hole in the ice. The fish start chewing, but then they have to spit! This was a great gag, as the fish come up to spit in a bucket that Goofy left out, but of course, he tries to clobber them with disastrous results.

The bulk of the short, though, is Donald and Pluto. Donald catches Pluto napping and slips skates on him, and we see Pluto go through several minutes of trying to learn to ice skate. Again, as in Pluto’s Judgment Day, we see why Pluto was a star. The silent, slapstick humor is fantastic.

It’s interesting to see the difference in the humor between the Fab Five. Goofy manages to do a vaudevillian slapstick, as does Pluto, only silently. Mickey’s gags usually involve a little more self deprecation and sheepishness, while Donald’s all come out of frustration or anger.

I say that, but Donald’s main gag here is getting swept away by the kite he is wearing on his back. Mickey has to unravel his sweater and fly him like a kite to save him, at which point he crashes into Goofy’s ice fishing hole and gets licked by Pluto. It brings the whole thing to a satisfying close.

On a side note, I went ice skating a few days ago, and it was nothing like this. I fell. A lot.


From Brian : Ever wonder if Liggett & Myers paid anything for all the free advertisement they got in cartoons? Seems like every time you see plug tobacco in a cartoon it has their "Star" brand on the side. It must have been so popular at the time that it became short-hand: "dark rectangle with star on side" = "chewing tobacco"

I also like the Mickey / Minnie interaction. Mickey gets to play the super competent skater and risk taking hero. A good outing for our favorite mouse in this one I think.


From Mac : A lovely cartoon in which each character has their own moment to shine. My favorite moments are those with Mickey – both in the opening scenes and him rescuing Donald. I wonder how much these scene were inspired by the earlier (sadly lost) Oswald cartoon Sleigh Bells. Judging from drawings and the synopsis in "Walt in Wonderland" there were some similar moments. Oswald teaches Sadie to skate (Minnie needs help from Mickey), Sadie is aided in her attempts to keep upright with helium balloons (in the opening shot of On Ice a kid goes by doing the same thing) and finally Oswald has to rescue her when she floats away (Mickey saves an airborne Donald).


From J. D. Weil : This is supposed to be a Mickey Mouse short, but it's more of an ensemble production with everybody trying to get into the act. I would have liked to have seen this short a bit more focused on its central character.
From Lovitz : All the standard Disney characters seem to have twins that
From Jerry Edwards : Enjoyable ensemble short - I like the ice skating setting and the numerous gags. The action of Donald in trouble is nicely well done.
From Ryan : Here we have all the main Disney characters in one short (except for Pete). Each one is doing something different. Mickey is teaching Minnie how to skate, Donald is causing mischief by putting ice skates on Pluto and meowing like a cat to get him to dart out on the ice, and Goofy is ice fishing in a very unusual way. He's not using a fishing pole, but a club so he can clobber the fish. As for the bait, it ain't the usual "worm on the hook." It's good 'ol chewin' tobacco. I loved it when the fish take some tobacco off the hook and chew it. After that, they spit it into a spitoon that Goofy has right next to him. Unfortunately, the fish get the better of him. In my opinion, this was one of the best cartoons that Disney ever made.
From DoGNik : It's my favorite Disney short! Wonderful, perfect, beautiful! I live in Russia and we like Disney's cartoons.
From Baruch Weiss : The only reason I like this short is because of the music.
From Bo Engwall : This was one of the first early Disney shorts I saw at cinema in Sweden during the latter part of the sixties when I was in my early teens. I remember that I was amazed by the high quality of the animation compared to the newer cartoons mostly showed in Sweden those days. On Ice also reminds me of the feeling of "free skating" on nature ice that was more common then.
From Rebecca : I've been looking and looking trying to find the name of this short... one of my all-time favorites. Just classic winter-time fun.
From Gijs Grob : The first of the "ensemble cartoons". Everyone is in it: Mickey, Minnie (in her colour debut), Donald, Goofy, Pluto and even, albeit very briefly, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabella Cow. On Ice introduces two story ideas that would be used again much later: Pluto's problems on ice in "Bambi" (1942) and the idea of skating near a waterfall in the Once Upon a Winter Time sequence of Melody Time" (1948). Apart from this, On Ice has been very important in the development of Goofy. He's been completely restyled, has more body to his looks and a much more distinct personality. All these important improvements on the character are attributed to Art Babbitt, one of the greatest animators of all time. Goofy sings "The World Owes Me a Living" from The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934). The song naturally becomes his theme song. No wonder, for the grasshopper and Goofy share the same voice: that of Pinto Colvig.
From Bill : Very nice short. I believe all the characters were in it, even for a brief time, I did not see Pete. This was just a fun short, no real danger, except when Donald almost gets blown off the waterfall. I liked the use of the rubber hose animation when Mickey straddles the ice break. A nice touch when Minnie falls down, Mickey is there with a soft pillow. I thought the scenes with Donald and Pluto a bit overdone, but very enjoyable.
From Mike : This is a watchable short with every classic character at the time except Pete. I think it would've been interesting to see a new version of this short with Chip 'n' Dale, Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Daisy. Would've made for an interesting short. Overall it's a fun cartoon.

Referenced Comments