Poster

Mickey's Birthday Party

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : February 7, 1942

Running Time : 7:53

Synopsis

Minnie and the gang throw a big party for Mickey where the mouse's wild rumba dancing rules the day.

Characters

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

Credits

Director
Riley Thompson
Asst. Director
Ray de Vally
Animation
Marvin Woodward
Berny Wolf
Ken Muse
Riley Thompson
Milt Schaffer
Les Clark
Frank T. Onaitis
Jim Moore
Layout
Harold Miles

Bloopers

The controls on Goofy's oven change from scene to scene. In some scenes there are three settings; "Hot","Awful Hot" and "Volcano Hot." In other scenes, a fourth setting "Very Hot" is added.

Cut Scenes

A scene showing Donald smoking a cigar was cut at one time.

Video

United States
Here's Mickey
Germany
Happy Birthday Mickey
Micky's Lustige Abenteuer
Mickys Größte Show
France
Joyeux Anniversaire Mickey
Italy
Video Parade 13
Buon Compleanno Topolino
Topolino 70 Anni di Avventure

Laserdiscs

United States
Here's Mickey / Here's Pluto
Japan
Celebrate with Mickey
Mickey Mouse Anniversary Show
Mickey's Family Album

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Italy
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 59: Clarabelle and Horace
The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 39: Minnie Mouse
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 40

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 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : 1941 was such a difficult year for Walt Disney and his team, that it’s amazing as much work was produced that year as it was. However, what amazes me even more is the celebration that occurs in the second 1942 short, Mickey’s Birthday Party.

You can tell from the title what the short is about, but just saying that does not do it justice. This is a tour de force of animation, with the great Ward Kimball leading the charge. In many ways, it’s a throwback to the early Mickey shorts, but with the dynamic and expressive animation of Kimball infusing new life into an old formula.

After watching this short, I was amazed to read some reviews of it that called it “unremarkable” or “not funny.” In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. In this short, we get to see the entire gang at once, including old favorites like Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar and Clara Cluck – none of which we’ve seen for quite some time.

The premise is a surprise party at Minnie’s house, where Mickey wanders in to greet the gang. Their gift to him is a piano or organ (couldn’t really tell which), and the rest of the short proceeds into a silly dance routine. It’s just like the old Mickey shorts, when the gang would all get together and dance around. But here, because of the color, the animation and the imagination, it’s so much better.

Mickey’s dance leads things off, and it’s a wonderful piece. Seeing him move across the screen, play with depth and fill the camera with his mouth – it’s fantastic. The next bit of dancing, though, is Donald Duck doing a South American tinged dance. This has to be a result of Walt’s South American trip, because it’s so reminiscent of what we will see later from Donald in The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos.

The counter to the dancing is the scenes of Goofy in the kitchen, trying to make Mickey’s cake. Being Goofy, of course, he can’t quite get it right. He burns or deflates the cakes, one after the other, with the comedy building because of the frantic pace of the dancing. By intercutting the wild dance scenes with Goofy’s panic, it builds the comedic tension very nicely.

I also loved the ending, when Goofy, having exploded the kitchen, has an idea, represented by a light bulb. He reaches up to touch the bulb, in a nod to how the cartoon rules used to work. In recent shorts, we’ve seen realism take hold, but remember in the past, Mickey would use his word balloons or any other “imaginary” object just like it was real. That was a nice nod in this short that really feels like a classic Mickey.


From Charles : I'm French and I would like to notice that in France extracts from that cartoon were used in an advertisement for "Le Journal de Mickey" in the 80's. Was it the same in other countries?
From Joseph Powell : It is still possible to see the only scene cut from this short. You can see the scene with Donald and his cigar in the musical cartoon "Disco Mickey"
From Ryan : This remake of the 1931 short, The Birthday Party, was much better. I considered "Birthday Party" rather boring with its usual song/dance routine. This short has better humor in it, especially the parts where Goofy tried to bake a cake, but always failed. Like the 1931 short, Mickey receives an organ. We've got Mickey, Minnie, Clarabelle, and Horace in both versions. In this remake, however, we have Donald and Goofy (whom neither existed in the original 1931 short).
From Gijs Grob : A weak cartoon mainly consisting of a long dance routine. The only sequence of great comedy is that of Goofy's hopeless attempts to bake a cake. These sequences perfectly blend with the rhythms of the South American dance music. This cartoon also features some rare atonal music, played by Mickey on his new electric organ.
From Baruch Weiss : Although this short was titled Mickey's Birthday Party, Mickey hardly appears in it. It's the other characters (e.g. Donald Duck) that get most of the attention. I remember owning the "Walt Disney Cartoon Classics" video "Here's Mickey" and when my sister had her 2nd birthday my folks played this short and Mickey Mouse himself (some guy dressed as him) came over and all of the kids got scared and he had to go to another party! I can see why the kids were scared. I mean after all If you were a little guy (or gal) wouldn't you be scared if you had a 6 ft tall rodent in your home? Personally, I prefer to see the cartoon characters on the screen rather than in person.
From Johnny R. R. : It's fair to say of Walt Disney that he never did things by halves, not least his Mickey Mouse cartoons, which deserve the highest praise they can achieve. 'Mickey's Birthday Party' is another example of his genius, and it shows just why Mickey Mouse is so enduring and popular. Clara Cluck and Donald Duck 'dancing' split my sides with laughter, and the conga train made me feel like I was partaking in the Rio Carnival- not to mention the hilarity afforded by Goofy's unsuccessful efforts to bake a cake.
From Michelle I. : This cartoon is excellent, the highlights being Goofy's disastrous cake-baking, the music, and the wonderful clucking.
From Grace : This short is excellent! It has pretty much a lot of gags like in the beginning you can see Mickey trying to smooch Minnie, Mickey dancing and making a lot of silly faces while Minnie is playing the organ, Goofy trying to bake the cake, but ended up in a disaster, and Goofy's butt gets hit with the door and ended up throwing the cake at Mickey, leaving a tremendous mess around him and the whole entire room! I recommend this short. I give this a 9.
From Bryan Hensley : This is one of the last Mickey shorts produced until 1946, after World War 2. My own birthday is on August 27th; just 1 day before it, I typed this review. This is a wonderful short that celebrates Mickey's special day! Even more so than The Birthday Party from 1931 (Eleven years earlier!). Goofy tries in vain to bake Mickey a cake, as Minnie whispered to him. Mickey got an organ for his birthday this time. The last time was a piano; I checked. I sure love to boogie to good music, like the conga music being played in this short! If you look closely in one scene, Goofy was smelling the cake as it was rising, the way Minnie did to another cake from the 1941 short "The Little Whirlwind". Minnie kept checking in on Goofy's progress, until he left the kitchen a mess. Then, he rushed out with a great idea (Notice the lightbulb over his toque?); getting a cake from a bakery! It's amazing Minnie didn't notice the mess in the kitchen when the cake was ready. When the lights were off, Goofy stumbled and the cake fell on Mickey with his eyes covered! I'm happy he had a wonderful birthday party. Shouldn't you with your own friends' birthdays? I hope you all enjoy this birthday fiesta as only Disney could create!
From Ronny Funk : I noticed, that Minnie played the organ with a piano register and only with both hands. Was wondering, that such kind of organ existed in the early 1940's. Did organs have an automatic rhythm at these time? The technology needed for this, did exist (noise generators, filters and mechanicly played like on a street organ)

Referenced Comments