Hansel and Gretel

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : September 11, 1999

Synopsis

Mickey and Minnie play the roles of Hansel and Gretel in a musical retelling of the classic fairy tale.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse

Credits

Source

Based on the story "Hansel and Gretel"

DVD

United States
Mickey's House of Villians
Germany
Verschworung der Superschurken Verschworung der Superschurken
Italy
Topolino E I Cattivi Disney

Television

Mickey Mouse Works: Season 2 - Episode 6
Mickey Mouse Works: Season 2 - Episode 1
House of Mouse: Season 3 - Episode 23

Technical Specification

Comments

From Patrick Malone : A spectacular surprise! Mickey and Minnie star as the two protagonists who discover a candy filled house. This short had me with a big grin across my face the whole time through; everything in it fit together perfectly. The music ("Danse Macbre" by Camille Saint-Saens) fit the action perfectly, even adding some great dramatic foreshadowing to the increasing danger. Watch, when Mickey and Minnie are gorging themselves on candy as the camera pulls to a close-up of Mickey as the music swells which gives quite a creepy effect. Here is also where we see some welcome stylistic changes in the backgrounds, giving a much looser and more impressionistic appearance to the short.

When you think the short is almost over and Mickey and Minnie have the upper hand over the witch, it starts up again and they get sucked into the bowels of a truly volcanic oven. Their escape from the oven (and the house) recalled for me some of the best of 1940's animation such as Bumble Boogie or even "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" from Fantasia.

A few small complaints; one could have wished that we could see Witch Hazel from Trick or Treat again. But that would have required a change in her personality and would have made the short more comic than the drama that it turned out to be. Also, I would have liked to hear a little bit more dramtic musical exit sting rather than letting it fade out as it did. But these are small complaints for an excellent showing.

One parenthetical note : back in the 1950's and 60's, Disney had planned on making a short of this nature featuring Mickey and Minnie as Hansel and Gretel, and based on Engelbert Humperdinck's opera. It never got beyond some early developement sketches, but one wonders if any of the ideas they began with back then found their way into this short.


From J. D. Weil : A Grim(m) fairy tale here the famous story provides the visual complement to Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre", a rather unexpected combination (you were expecting, maybe Humperdinck?). The story is told kind of straightforward, but I kind of wished they would have likewise with the music, messing it up kind of detracts from the whole film.
From Juan F. Lara : I enjoyed watching this short just to look at the background artwork. I was taken by the shades of pink and blue used for the gingerbread house's interior. The furniture inside had color outlines and there was lots of heavy shadowing. I also thought the animation for objects like the witch's ingredients and the fire was good. A highlight in this short was the obstacle course of candies that Mickey and Minnie run through when they first try to escape the witch.

But the character animation was trite. Mickey and Minnie tended to be jittery when they moved. Their thick black outlines clashed with the background art. They tended to go off model, and they didn't communicate very well with their miming in scenes like when Mickey first wakes up Minnie.

The plot didn't have anything new to add to the "Hansel and Gretel" story. So I wasn't involved in that aspect of the short, until the last couple of scenes when the mice unexpectedly wound up inside the oven. I liked that last scene enough to like this short overall. Also in this short Mickey and Minnie were in their traditional casting as naughty little children.


From Ron Bauerle : I thought the music sounded like a jazzed-up version of Sibelius' "Valse Triste" (see Allegro Non Troppo for a better IMHO (though depressing) treatment of it).
From David Gonterman : Mickey and Minnie got the Deluxe Treatment! I doubt that the original orphaned siblings got inside the stove! And as mentioned before, there is some resemblances of the classic "Sorcerer's Apprentice" in this short. Fine Job, another top point in this new 'old-school' series.

Of course, with all the times Mickey leads Minnie until they're lost, I almost expect a short of "The Blair Witch Project," and I hope those two bring their trainers, especially after all those calories they just downed.

Damage to Minnie: Binging and a romored Purging (There are two clues: She's light enough to be able to walk on a leaf over water, and she was rather tuckered out in the middle of the short.) A Twisted neck from Mickey, near drowning in cake frosting, an encounter with a Zorkian Grue . . . okay, that's a stretch. Another B and D scene with a cage, a pulled back, near roasting, and to tap it off a near dislocated sholder by Mickey again! She really appreciated being a toon in this short.


From Lee Suggs : One of the best shorts of the "MouseWorks" series. Mickey and Minnie (Hansel and Gretel) get lost in the woods. Of course, they find a candy house where a kind old woman feeds them all kinds of sweets. Gorged they fall asleep. This is where things get interesting. Hansel awakes and realizes something is amiss. The witch appears and ATTACKS. What follows is a wild chase (with all kinds of crazy effects) through the witch's house. It all ends when the witch cages the mice, and prepares to throw Hansel(Mickey)into the oven. Gretel (Minnie) pushes the witch in instead. Unfortunately Hansel falls in too, and Gretel gets dragged in trying to save him. I won't ruin the end of the short for you, but suffice to say the oven is larger than you'd imagine, and Hansel (Mickey) gets to be the hero. In the style of the orginal Silly Symphony's this whole short is set to classical music, with no dialog. The animators do a wonderful job matching the music to the action of the short. This short is a tour de force for Mickey and Minnie.
From Billy Joe : This entertaining cartoon retells an old story with Mickey and Minnie. This cartoon has no dialouge. the animation and music blend in, making this similar to a Fantasia sequence. I thought I would never write this, but this cartoon is recommended.
From Jack : They should have used Old Hag from Snow White. Besides that it was a great cartoon.
From Rickie Molanius : This cartoon goes back to 50's and 60's, because Disney was looking for a pyschedelic approach. Two other cartoons Disney was also working on in 1968 were "The Musicians of Bremen"(destined to be a modernized version) and "Scruffy " which had the same idea pretty much as 'The Shaggy Dog'. The idea was rsetored of Hansel and Gretel in 1999. Disney also made a Silly Symphony on Hansel and Gretel, Babes in the Woods 1932.

Referenced Comments