Mickey's Rival

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : June 20, 1936

Running Time : 8:19

Synopsis

The heart of Minnie Mouse is the prize in a feud between Mickey and a new rival for her affections.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Mortimer Mouse

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Les Clark
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi

Inside Jokes

Mortimer Mouse was the original name for Mickey Mouse before (so the legend goes) Disney's wife, Lillian, suggested the change to Mickey.

Video

United States
Sweetheart Stories
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I: Minnie
Germany
Micky im Siebten Himmel
Mickys Größte Hits
France
Les Aventures de Mickey et Minnie
Le Meilleur de Mickey
Italy
Topolino Amore Mio
Topolino Apprendista Scalatore
Da Disney con Amore
I Capolavori di Topolino
Cartoon Classics : Minni
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Minni

CED

United States
Limited Gold Editions - Minnie

Laserdiscs

Japan
Mountaineering Mickey
Mickey Be Mine
Mickey and the Gang
Mickey's Greatest Hits
Minnie : Limited Gold Edition

DVD

United States
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 9 : Best Pals : Mickey and Minnie
Mickey and Minnie's Sweetheart Stories
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Germany
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 10 : Best Pals : Mickey and Minnie
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 39: Minnie Mouse
The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 23: The "Other" Mice
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 51
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 1, 1956

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 : There is a lot of potential in the short Mickey’s Rival. It introduces a romantic rival for Minnie’s affection in the form of Mortimer Mouse, adds a fun character to the mix in Mickey’s car, and features Mickey in action once again, rather than being the man on the sidelines. However, in the end, this potential is seemingly squandered, as most of the elements fail to work together.

As you’d imagine from the title, the character of Mortimer, the new mouse who is interested in Minnie and tries to edge Mickey out of the picture, is the main part of this short. Mortimer is obnoxious, and comes off as just about the most despicable character I have seen in the Disney shorts. This may be speaking as a man whose wife has people constantly flirting with her, but guys like Mortimer drive me nuts.

Mortimer is slick, conniving and cruel. He yanks Mickey’s buttons off his shorts, then electrifies his own buttons when Mickey tries to return the favor. Mortimer dines off Mickey and Minnie’s food and generally makes himself a nuisance. He’s the kind of guy whom everyone makes excuses for – “He’s only joking!” – and we all know a guy like that.

This is why I think that Disney dropped the ball on this short. Midway through the short, Mortimer takes to taunting a bull, waving the red picnic cloth in front of him. Unfortunately for him, there’s a hole in the fence that stands between Mortimer and the bull, and the bull takes advantage. But after the bull charges through, Mortimer disappears.

That’s sad, because Mortimer is a great foil to Mickey. He’s slick and smooth where Mickey is clumsy and awkward. It seems like a lost opportunity to establish Mortimer as much more of a villain for Mickey.

There’s another character introduced here that is very fun, and that’s Mickey’s car. There is no name given, but the car acts a lot like Bennie the Cab in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, moving his headlights, fenders, etc. to create the idea that the car is alive. The car is the hero of the second half of the short, taking the bull head on and rescuing Minnie and Mickey from a tree.

Mickey gets in on the action as well, dancing around with the bull, too. He waves the tablecloth in front of bull, tries to direct the bull away, and ends up getting run up a tree. It’s great to see Mickey doing something again, moreso than in previous shorts where he has been merely window dressing for the antics of Donald or Goofy.

The problem is, the three things don’t work together – Mortimer is off screen by the time Mickey and his car take over, and Mickey and the car don’t appear together that much. A combination of all three would have made this short a building block for a new direction in the Mickeys. As it stands, it’s a good, not great entry in the series.


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : The best Mickey vs. Mortimer stories are—ironically—those done for the comics, and even for the modern Mouseworks cartoons. While they may suffer from a lack of motion or full animation, they're at least about real character conflict all the way through.
From Mac : I am very much in agreement with both Ryan and David on this. I still find this to be an excellent short, but it is full of missed opportunity by not using Mortimer (such an excellent can't-help-but-hate-him character) in the second half, or even again as a foil for Mickey in more following cartoons that focused on their conflict. I really like the car character, who would have been fine in a Silly Symphony set in a car-based world, but he's out of place and steals much of the thunder from Mickey's rescue. I'd of preferred the car not to have been anthropomorphic and instead it was Mickey's own trick driving that helped save the day (especially in contrast to Mortimer using his car to flee the scene).

Again, it's a shame Mortimer wasn't used again in the classic era cartoons. He's a character who could really get under Mickey's skin, bringing out the best/worst in him and highlighting what a great personality Mickey can be (just check out the story reprinted in David's Mickey and the Gang). Speaking of Mickey, he's wonderfully animated in this one. He's full of personality and there's some lovely rubbery animation and expressions – it looks like the animators had a lot of fun with him.

I agree this cartoon could have been a a building block for a new direction in cartoons starring Mickey, but it was not to be. In this era, Walt had a lot on his plate what with the newer popular characters in the Mickey Mouse series, the Silly Symphonies and of course the production of Snow White. With so much going on, I wonder if this is part of the reason why Walt didn't lavish more attention on Mickey to keep him as much of an active character as Donald, Goofy and Pluto had become (especially down the line a bit when these characters start getting their own series, more features are put into production and Mickey is used even less).


From Rachel Henderson : This is definitely one of my favorite Disney shorts. It has everything: comedy, romance, action, etc. Mickey and Minnie are set for a quiet day in the countryside when all of a sudden, Mortimer drives along in his brand new car. Minnie just loves Mortimer, but Mickey thinks he's a real jerk. Later when a bull breaks loose, Mortimer drives off and it's Mickey who comes to Minnie's rescue. This is a great short! Watch it!
From Jerry Edwards : I don't care for this short - I just find the story scenes to be too "staged" for my tastes. I am unable to believe in the story and can't get interested in the characters. Mickey, Minnie, and Mortimer just don't come across as "real" to me - Mickey's car gave the best "acting performance" in the whole cartoon, for me.
From Ryan : Unlike Jerry Edwards, I liked this short. It was so much better than the later Mickey shorts (e.g. The Simple Things) because Mickey has more of an attitude and isn't so boring as he is in the late 40's/early 50's. One interesting thing is the fact that the rival is named Mortimer and that was originally going to be Mickey's name.
From Taylor Kerekes : Mortimer Mouse! Hmph! I'd be giving him a piece of my mind right now! Minnie, beware! It might be a trap! Mickey, that's right! Express that anger! Be mad at him! Beat him right up! You'll win back Minnie's heart somehow!
From John Gabriel Minjares : In my opinion, This is one of the best Mickey Mouse Cartoons ever made. I liked Mickey Mouse a whole lot when I was a kid. My favorite parts of this cartoon is when Mortimer pulled the buttons off of Mickey's trademarked red shorts. Another part I liked is when Mickey tried pulling off the buttons of Mortimer's pants, he got electrocuted! The buttons where attached to some wires the Mortimer had rigged to some joybuzzers that he had hidden in his pockets. This was just a good cartoon.
From Ross Lander Thorp : I think this cartoon is just wonderful! And I have to agree with Rachel, it is great! Mickey and Minnie having a nice picnic together in the countryside, I love that song Minnie la-la's at the beginning. It just so romantic. But then, when Mortimer Mouse arrives, ooh! do I get steamed just like Mickey. I do the same facial expressions just like Mickey does and I think, "Oh! that big bully Mortimer. He can't treat Mickey Mouse like that!" But later, when Mortimer pretends to fight the bull, oh-no! the bull breaks loose, Mortimer drives away, and oh-no! Minnie's in trouble! Hang on Minnie, Mickey will rescue you! Mickey was so wonderful, and I had to agree the car was very brave too. Then when Mickey and Minnie are rescued by Mickey's car, Mickey says, "Do you still think that guy's funny?" "Who, Mortimer?" says Minnie, "No" "Shake!" says Mickey happily, and they shake hands at the end. What an ending, and such romantic ending music too.
From Keiran Stones : This is one of my favorite Mickey Mouse cartoons. This cartoon almost made me boinkers.

A musical cartoon that all Disney fans should have.


From Ashley : I don't think I'll ever forget this one... And to this day, I can't stand Mortimer at all. Like Ryan, I prefer the older shorts with Mickey because he really did have a lot more personality... and that temper, ooh!

I really sympathized with Mickey because I've dealt with people who act a lot like Mortimer Mouse.

Mortimer: "You want that button?"
Mickey: "YES!"
Mortimer: "Okay" *PLUCK* "Here it is!" (you can see Mickey seething. It's written all over his face) "You want the other one?"
Mickey: "NO!"
Mortimer: *PLUCK* "Okay! Never a dull moment!

And of course, Morty shows his true colors in the end when the bull gets loose. It's a great show!


From Grace : Mortimer shouldn't do that to Mickey and I have to agree with Taylor Kerekes, show that angry expression Mickey, great job and you'll definitely win Minnie again!
From AJ Frost : A nice, solid cartoon especially from that time in Disney animation history. Great use of the in-joke concerning Mortimer's name. It seems that the animators loosely based the design on Walt Disney himself. Overall, a great cartoon.
From Baruch Weiss : This is another great cartoon, but that Mortimer was really obnoxious!
From Dino Cencia : Man, Mortimer is such a jerk! His jokes were not that funny. And I don't he's a real funny guy. I remember one short called Big House Mickey when Mortimer tricks Mickey to going to jail from stealing his baseball. But it was really Mickey Mouse's baseball. And then the police arrested Mortimer for lying the police from the baseball. So I hope that Mickey tries to stop Mortimer from stealing his girlfriend Minnie. And Mickey, don't be friends with Mortimer cause he will trick you and bother you. So anyway, I loved this short. I give it a 940 out of 940.
From Bryan Hensley : Not only is this short in Mickey and Minnie's Sweetheart Stories, it's in volume 10 of Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites collection, both on DVD (The latter had a restored version.) It seemed as if Mortimer was a pioneer for how Mickey and Minnie would look like a few years later in 1939. Be that as it may, Mortimer was a jerk through and through. Even when he became a regular in Mickey MouseWorks and Disney's House of Mouse, he was still a big jerk! At least in his debut short here, he ran for dear life from the escaped bull, and Mickey had to save Minnie! (With help from his brave jalopy of course.) Whether it's Valentine's Day or a sad day in your own little world, this short is always a great one to see! I hope you enjoy it, too!

Referenced Comments