Mickey's Grand Opera

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : March 7, 1936

Running Time : 7:38

Synopsis

An opera starring Donald Duck and Clara Cluck? Mickey conducts and Pluto steals the show.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Clarabelle Cow
Horace Horsecollar
Pluto
Goofy
Clara Cluck
Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Cy Young
Paul Hopkins
Norm Ferguson
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Les Clark

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Mickey
Germany
Mit Mir Nicht
Micky und Company
Goofy und Pluto Total Verrückt
France
Mickey et Compagnie
Disney Parade 3
Italy
Video Parade 8
Papaerino & C. Professione Buonomore
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions : Topolino

CED

United States
Limited Gold Editions - Mickey

Laserdiscs

Japan
Donald Duck and His Duckling Gang
Mickey and Company
Disney Cartoon Festival 3
Mickey : Limited Gold Edition
Mickey Mouse: A Star is Born

DVD

United States
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 6 : Extreme Music Fun
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Germany
Musik Spass Superstars
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 6 : Extreme Music Fun
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 59: Clarabelle and Horace

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

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

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Once again, we have a Mickey Mouse cartoon that features Mickey as merely the window into the antics of other characters. In Mickey’s Grand Opera, that leads to some nice funny bits with Donald Duck, Clara Cluck and Pluto, but again leaves Mickey out of the festivities.

To be fair, Mickey is the conductor in this short, so he is the one controlling the action. But, in any good Disney short, the person in control is always the one who gets disrupted. Such is the case here, as Pluto’s antics end up destroying the opera, with some interesting results.

Pluto is the character with the most going on in this short. Even though his screen time is limited, he does have the most characterization and the audience feels the most for him. The beginning of the short shows Pluto coming up to show some affection to Mickey, who rebuffs him, and sends Pluto away. Mickey’s repeated shouts of “Go home!” are probably the harshest words he has spoken since his earliest appearances.

Pluto’s story really kicks into gear when he encounters a “magic hat” stored backstage. The hat reveals rabbits popping out as well as taking on a life of its own. The hat is the best part of the short, spurring on the conflict and the climax.

The opera itself is carried out by Mickey’s orchestra, with performances by Clara Cluck and Donald Duck. The two of them singing to each other was a stroke of comic genius. Clara’s high pitched clucks and Donald’s guttural quacks volley back and forth, with increasing frequency and hilarity.

The finale comes as Pluto chases the hat on stage, and all the orchestra and Mickey again tell him to go home. This is the most resonant moment of the short to me, as the viewer feels sympathy for Pluto right before he trashes everything. It’s a subtle touch, but it’s that kind of emotional connection that sets the Disney shorts apart.

In the end, we have the same gag as there was in Orphan’s Picnic, as a frog escapes from the hat, then jumps down Donald’s throat. Then, we see Donald being dragged all around as the frog jumps around. It seems very odd to see the same gag back to back. As the set crashes down around them, though, Clara, Donald, the frog and Pluto sing the finale. It makes for a fun ending to a decent, if not outstanding short.


From Mac : A very nice Disney cartoon and one that's features very nice colors again. The colors in recent cartoons with outdoor settings seem slightly drab to me (e.g. Orphan’s Picnic). I'm not sure if it's due to the age of the cartoon making the skies and greenery looking duller than they once were or if its the colors that the artists chose themselves (perhaps it's a little of both), but it's great to see the lovely colors in this one. There's great use of light and dark in the warm theatre and the characters really pop out.

The climax of this cartoon is my favorite – once the hat falls in the tuba it's non-stop fun. I love the musical croak-bark-quack as Clara determinedly continues singing the opera amongst the chaos! This is also another of those cartoons that feature a very brief and tricky to spot cameo from Horace.


From Jerry Edwards : An entertaining, fun short. Clarence "Ducky" Nash (as Donald Duck) and Florence Gill (Clara Cluck) are shown rehearsing their parts in the 1941 "The Reluctant Dragon" ... five years after the short was released!
From Ryan : This short is quite similar to other shorts such as Mickey's Amateurs and Orphan's Benefit (only the orphans don't appear in it thank God)." I liked the scene where Pluto kept going after the magic hat and his encounter with the rabbit.
From Kjersti : This one is just amazing! I love the finale with Donald with the frog inside and how everything falls down and that last note they all sing so "beautifully" together. Great entertainment!
From Baruch Weiss : I own this classic cartoon on the Limited Gold Edition video Mickey (a g that's very hard to find nowadays) without it's original title cards. One viewing this short on that video for the first time would think the cartoon is Symphony Hour which I think would have been better off being titled Silly Symphony Hour. I also have this cartoon fully restored with its original title cards on two DVD's; Mickey Mouse in Living Color: Volume 1 and Extreme Music Fun. It's a fun cartoon and I enjoyed the "Grand Finale" with Clara Cluck, Donald Duck, Pluto and the frog singing one final note. I wonder if that frog was the inspiration for Michigan J. Frog who is best known today as the mascot for Warner Brother's Television. I doubt he's still used today!

Referenced Comments