Tugboat Mickey

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : April 26, 1940

Running Time : 7:17


Tugboat captain Mickey is cleaning his boat when he receives an SOS! Only Mickey, Donald and Goofy can save the day.


Mickey Mouse
Donald Duck


Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Asst. Director
Errol Grey
Edwin Aardal
Rex Cox
Ken Muse
Jack King
Volus Jones
Cornett Wood
Ed Love
Tom Armstrong
Johnny Cannon
Larry Clemmons
Andy Engman
Ken Peterson
Grant Simmons
Lloyd Harting


United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 10 : Mickey's Crazy Careers
Happy Birthday Mickey
Mickys Größte Show
Donald Geht in die Luft
La Collection en Or des Studios Disney Volume 3
Joyeux Anniversaire Mickey
Captain Mickey
Topolino Lupo di Mare
Buon Compleanno Topolino
Topolino : Un Eroe Mille Avventure
Storie Quasi Titaniche


Mickey's Golden Jubilee


United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Mickey
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Mickey
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)


Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 56
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 34

Original Animator's Drafts

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

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 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : It’s been quite some time since we have seen the classic Disney trio of Mickey, Donald and Goofy together in a short. That’s sad for me, because some of my favorite shorts are the ones where they work together. Lonesome Ghosts is my personal favorite, but there are so many more, like The Whalers, Clock Cleaners and all the way back to Mickey’s Service Station.

So, seeing them all together again in Tugboat Mickey is a welcome sight. However, one thing kept standing out to me as I watched this short. I have seen it before. Just as before, Mickey is relegated to the side while Donald and Goofy deal with a frustrating situation trying to get the job done.

But it runs deeper than that. The gags are familiar. Remember in Clock Cleaners how Donald got into a fight with a spring? This time it’s with a steam driven piston, which even talks back like the spring in Clock Cleaners did. Even the ending is similar to that of The Whalers, where all three end up in the water.

Now, if you are going to mimic things from other shorts, you might as well do so with some of the best shorts Disney has made to this point. And the combination works together pretty well. Here we get to see the classic Donald tantrum as he deals with this steam piston, and Goofy’s look of confusion as the grate covering the coal furnace keeps closing on him.

What was an adjustment was seeing the new design Mickey (pupils in the eyes, more human like in the face) with the same old Goofy and Donald. This is the first time they have been together in the same short since Mickey’s redesign, so it took some getting used to while watching.

Overall, though, this short was rather unremarkable. It wasn’t particularly memorable, and in fact, I will probably get this short mixed up with the others years from now, because of the similarities. As best I can tell, this is the last time these three will be paired together. I’m sure the studio did not know that at the time, but it seems like it is time. In the future we will get the Goofy shorts that are some of my favorites and more and more Donald Duck shorts. It’s nice to see the three guys together again, but seeing this short tells me it’s time for them to go their separate ways as well.

From Ryan : This short was okay, but I would not call it one of my favorites. The plot seemed all too similar to the 1938 cartoon The Whalers (only without the whale.)
From Nikki : A good short. Only full of a couple main gags, such as the stork and the paintbrush, Goofy trying to get the fire stocked and Donald trying to get the whole thing turning. The best part about this was how the S.O.S was just a radio play which they though was real like War of the Worlds.
From Baruch Weiss : This, I believe, is the last cartoon to feature the classic trio. It would have been nice to have all of the faces of them on the title card and to open the cartoon as A Walt Disney Classic Trio! Ok cartoon; It's kind of like those "It was all a dream cartoons" except it wasn't a dream, it was only a radio show!