Poster

The Simple Things

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : April 18, 1953

Running Time : 7:01

Synopsis

Mickey tries to relax with a day of fishing while Pluto deals with a crabby clam and a hungry seagull.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Pluto

Credits

Director
Charles Nichols
Animation
Marvin Woodward
Fred Moore
Norm Ferguson
Backgrounds
Ed Starr
Effects Animation
Dan MacManus
Layout
Lance Nolley
Story
Bill Berg
Music
Paul J. Smith

Milestones

The last Mickey cartoon made for thirty years until his reincarnation in "Mickey's Christmas Carol" in 1983.

Video

United States
Happy Summer Days
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Mickey
Germany
Swinging Micky
Happy Birthday Mickey
Mickys Größte Show
France
Joyeux Anniversaire Mickey
Italy
Video Parade 9
Topolino 70 Anni di Avventure
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions : Topolino

CED

United States
Limited Gold Editions - Mickey

Laserdiscs

The Goofy World of Sports / Fun on the Job / Happy Summer Days
Japan
Mickey's Golden Jubilee
Mickey and Pluto
Mickey's Family Album
Mickey : Limited Gold Edition

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 2: Mickey Landmarks
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 7
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 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

Comments

From Tom Wilkins : What seems to be a replay reminiscent of Hawaiian Holiday (1937) is brought back to life when Pluto battles a very hungry clam instead of a crab. Then Pluto gets tied up in knots by an aggressive yet starving seagull--all over a sausage link, then fresh fish. It's hard to imagine that this would be the last Mickey cartoon for 30 years, but I am sure the seagull would not have minded being in the last scene singing the song as the cartoon ends.
From Calvin Daprrice : This short wasn't too bad, but I certainly would not call it one of my favorites.
From Lee Suggs : As a big Mickey fan its always made me sad that this was his last classic short. It isn't really even a Mickey short, Pluto is the main antagonist here. Mickey is only in the short for another character for Pluto to play off of. Mickey Mouse Cartoons were at their most interesting, and socially important, from 1928 to 1935. This is when he was a wild mouse, using his superior cunning to defeat an always larger opponent. He was everyman, a symbol of resistence to the Great Depression. Once he was in consistently in color, and especially after he was changed to his modern appearance, Mickey became little more than a boring support character. There are exceptions to this development, but we didn't really see the old Mickey again until 1990, when he actually starred in a short. (The Prince and the Pauper) Of course, the old Mickey came back in force in 1995's Runaway Brain. Thankfully the "MouseWorks" series has allowed Mickey to come back as an aggressive, more complex character. Hopefully this development will continue.
From Ryan : Well, here it is. Mickey's final appearance for the next 30 years. His character has become so boring that the animators had run completely out of ideas for Mickey cartoons. I don't care much for this cartoon myself, except for its historical importance as being the last Mickey cartoon. This is also the last appearance of Pluto until his reappearance in The Prince and the Pauper.
From Brad Bethel : This cartoon was somewhat tragic for Disney's legacy. Not just storywise, but also historicwise.

While this was indeed Mickey Mouse's last theatrical short for a long time (I imagine for those growing up during the 30-year absense), this was also one of the last cartoons animated by Fred Moore.

Fred died in 1952, only several months before this cartoon was released. He was the one animator who contributed greatly to Mickey's (physical) evolution during the 1930's and 1940's.

As for Mickey Mouse, it's horrifying that Walt Disney would allow THIS to be the final classic cartoon for his most famous character. But with the time he was devoting to his movies and Disneyland, it would've been logical to have sort of an "assistant" or "shadow" producer for his cartoon shorts. By this time, they had already fallen behind (in terms of quality) the toons produced by Warner Bros, MGM, and UPA. And aside from the numerous nominations, Disney's animated shorts would only win 2 Oscars between 1944 and 1969 (compared to the many that was being won between 1932 and 1943).

In this cartoon, Mickey and Pluto go on a fishing trip. Pluto is tormented by first a clam, then a seagull, much to Mickey's oblivion. The seagull then starts messing with Mickey by stealing the fish he's using for bait. Then the seagull scares both of them away by telling a rather large flock of seagulls that Mickey and Pluto are "fish food". Pluto unsuccessfully tries to scare the hungry flock away, but he and Mickey instead have to make a run for it since they're hopelessly outnumbered. The first seagull then enjoys the rest of the bait fish he previously stole from Mickey.

This cartoon has indifferent jokes, a used story, and a rather sad ending for our heroes. Even though Mickey continued his life on Disney's TV shows and in theme parks, fans would have to wait 30 long years (even during Disney's Dark Ages (a time of which was grim for the entire animation industry, for that matter)) before they finally saw good ol' Mickey in more promising roles.

Still, it's tragic that the old regime allowed for Mickey Mouse's theatrical roles to end this way. Even during that time, his popularity was outrun by Donald Duck, plus non-Disney players (like Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Woody Woodpecker, etc.)

In the present day, the new regime are still trying new experiments to revive Mickey's role as a cartoon character (rather than working only as the eternal mascot of an entertainment empire). We rarely see any new theatricals, and Mickey's recent roles on TV are slowly showing progress. Hopefully, upon the passing of the torch to the next regime, Mickey Mouse will avoid the fate he suffered with the first regime.


From Kyle Hanson : Although this is the last Mickey Mouse classic cartoon, it is also the last appearance of Pluto for 50 years! He comes back in an 1995 short, Runaway Brain. But mostly, he offically returns in Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse.
From Michelle I. : I really like The Simple Things, mostly for the song that shares its title. The whole cartoon, while also funny, reminds you of a blissful day at the shore such as the one Mickey and Pluto try, rather unsuccessfully, to have.
From Baruch Weiss : I agree with what Michelle I said up above, but wasn't it odd that Pluto got most of the attention rather than Mickey being that it was his final cartoon?
From Billy Joe : This cartoon is indeed a "simple thing." It has a simple storyline. This is the last short to feature Mickey Mouse and Pluto in Walt Disney's golden age. Mickey returns to the big screen in a musical short titled "Mickey Mouse Disco," but makes a big comeback in the classic Mickey's Christmas Carol.
From Bryan Hensley : Ending with this 1953 short, Mickey and Pluto don't have any new shorts on the big screen for at least 30 years. Some of you forgot to take into account they had roles in the classic TV show "The Mickey Mouse Club" starting in 1955! Mickey reappeared in 1983 with Mickey's Christmas Carol (Which starts off volume 7 of Disney's Animation Collection.) and Pluto reappeared in 1990 with The Prince and The Pauper (Which started off volume 3!). Mickey and his whole gang were proudly brought back (animated, that is. They've been in many Disney's Sing Along Songs videos and DVDs since 1986!) 10 years ago with Mickey MouseWorks, which later became Disney's House of Mouse! Did you know Woody Woodpecker's original run lasted all the way to 1972? I hope you enjoy this historic last-time for Disney.
From Mike : I mainly like this cartoon for the song. I actually found the seagull to be very annoying.

Referenced Comments