Poster

Alpine Climbers

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : July 25, 1936

Running Time : 9:34

Synopsis

Mickey, Donald, and Pluto climb up into the Alps in search of eagle's eggs and edelweiss - leading to violent conflict with a mother eagle and a mountain goat.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Pluto
Donald Duck (Voice: Clarence "Ducky" Nash)
Boliver, the St. Bernard

Credits

Director
Dave Hand
Animation
Bill Roberts
Dick Heumer
Grim Natwick
Norm Ferguson

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : Life With Mickey
Germany
Mickys Sommerspaß
Mickey Präsentiert
France
La Joyeuse Menagerie
Les Folles Vacances de Mickey
Italy
Topolino Apprendista Scalatore
Sono Io ... Topolino
Topolino : Un Eroe Mille Avventure
Cartoons Disney 4

Laserdiscs

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : Life With Mickey
Japan
Mountaineering Mickey
Mickey's Summer Madness
Mickey's Golden Jubilee
Disney Cartoon Festival 1

DVD

United States
It's a Small World of Fun Volume 3
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Germany
Micky's Ferienspass
Micky's Lustiger Adventskalender Verschworung der Superschurken
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)
3 … 2 … 1 … E Natale
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
United Kingdom
Countdown to Christmas
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 22: Classic Mickey
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 43
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 14
Walt Disney Presents: Adventures of Mickey Mouse

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 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

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Once again, we have a short where the antics are born by the secondary characters instead of Mickey. But when those antics are so entertaining, you don’t mind so much. That’s the case in Alpine Climbers.

Donald and Pluto are Mickey’s companions this time, giving Goofy a break. They join Mickey in climbing the Alps, searching for edelweiss and eggs, apparently. This sets up some pretty amusing dynamics between the natural inhabitants of the mountain and our cartoon friends.

First, it’s interesting to see this Alpine short, as this is a subject that Walt would come back to several times. The film Third Man on the Mountain is one example of that, and that in turn inspired the Matterhorn at Disneyland. Clearly, something about the idea of Alpine mountains intrigued Disney.

This short also follows the recent pattern of having each character with their own set of gags, separate from each other. Perhaps that’s because it’s easier to animate, or because each character has their own approach to things, as I theorized before. Regardless of the reason, it makes this a short with two main threads – Donald and the mountain goat and Pluto’s adventures.

Donald’s troubles begin as he starts picking the edelweiss. A baby mountain goat pops up to start eating his treasures, which causes Donald no end of consternation. One of the great gags in the short is when Donald chases the goat around and around in circles, circling a rock. We leave Donald in the chase and hop to Pluto, but when we come back, Donald has worn a deep trench into the ground from chasing, while the mountain goat sits atop the rock laughing.

Pluto’s gags take a different form. At least in some respect, Mickey is involved, as he tries to gather the eggs, but ends up making a mountain eagle very mad. In the process, Mickey throws the eggs at the eagle, splitting them open to reveal baby eagles. It’s a fun gag, and one that leads to a baby eagle menacing Pluto.

Pluto’s stuff is probably the best in the short. He falls off of the cliff that Mickey and he just came up, all while chasing the baby eagle. Then we get the obligatory St. Bernard rescue dog coming to his aid. I’ve seen this gag in a multitude of cartoons, Disney and otherwise, but it still makes me laugh when the St. Bernard drags Pluto out of the snow and fills him with a “warming” beverage.

At least in this short, Mickey gets involved in the climax, as his fight with the mother eagle drags on. He calls for Donald and Pluto to get involved, leading to a madcap sequence where Donald charges the eagle, then both he and Mickey get tossed into the air and eventually dropped to the ground in front of Pluto. This sequence is particularly fast paced and fun, featuring Donald trying to fly by twisting his tail.

In the end, we see Pluto and his St. Bernard friend singing together after they have emptied the St. Bernard’s cask. It’s a funny and endearing image, which pretty much sums up my feelings on this short.


From Mac : This is a decent enough short, but not one of my favorites, even though it's full of action and different characters. I've come to expect missed opportunities with Mickey now, but I still think it's a shame. I love the little touches the animators put into their Mickey scenes – check out Mickey's nervously coiling and twitching tail as he gets caught stealing eggs.

I think one of the things that disappoints me with this short is that I want to see what's going to happen to Mickey as he fights off all the eagles and instead we get a long Pluto scene. It's fine in itself, but it's not what I want at that moment. When the cartoon finally does return to Mickey and the eagles the cartoon really heats up (just as it's about to end) and Donald's furious rescue mission provides one the funniest and most exciting moments in the cartoon. A little more Mickey and a re-jig of the order of sequences may have made this cartoon more satisfying. I also wouldn't have minded some more imaginative and colorful backgrounds and some more catchy music!


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : An additional point—the St. Bernard in this cartoon, named Bolivar, was adapted as Donald's pet for the comics by artist Al Taliaferro—and continues in that role today.
From Jerry Edwards : Full of action and gags. I always get a laugh out of Donald butting heads with a mountain goat, with the goat getting the worse end of the "contest." As much as Disney has censored their shorts, I am surprised I have never seen the drunkenness scene of Donald and the St. Bernard censored.
From Ryan : Here we have Mickey, Donald, and Pluto climbing in the Alps. This is back in the days when Mickey was still mischievous. This is all gone by the 1950's. He's collecting eagle eggs (what he plans to do with them is a mystery to me). He's just asking for trouble ain't he? Meanwhile, Donald is collecting edelweiss (this is the best spelling of the word that I can do). While watching this short, I didn't know what Donald said when he saw the flowers. "Oh boy! Oh boy! ______?" When I put it on closed caption, I saw that he said "Oh boy! Oh boy! Edelweiss!" Speaking of edelweiss, my high school put on a play with that title last year. It took place in Germany during WWII and was about a school teacher. As for Pluto, he's been covered by a small avalanche. A St. Bernard (who looks quite similar to the one from Three Orphan Kittens) comes to his rescue by giving him a hot beverage that "defrosts" his body in no time. What was this beverage? I thought at first perhaps it was tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Apparently it isn't. It's some sort of alcoholic beverage as the two dogs are shown drunk with red noses at the end of the cartoon. I loved this short!
From Baruch Weiss : In this short we have Mickey Donald and Pluto climbing in the Swiss Alps. Mickey is asking for trouble by taking eagle eggs, Donald is picking flowers and Pluto gets drunk on some sort of alcoholic beverage. Speaking of eagle eggs, one is actually allowed to do that, but they have to shoo the mother bird away. I too have no idea what Mickey plans to do with them, but I am sure he is asking for trouble!

Referenced Comments