Friends, you might be aware that when November 18th rolls around it will mark the 90th Anniversary of the debut of Mickey Mouse. In fact later this evening on ABC there will be a two-hour prime-time special dedicated to everyone’s favorite animated mouse. No offense to MGM’s classic Tom and Jerry shorts of course – it’s just that overall Mickey has always shown he has the heart of gold…most of the time. So for this Toon In offering I felt it was only appropriate to pick a vintage animated short from Mickey Mouse’s early years – in this case we have 1933’s The Mad Doctor!
I will be very surprised if during that television special tonight they don’t mention that the iconic Steamboat Willie was in fact the third animated short to feature Mickey Mouse. The first being Plane Crazy which failed to impress test audiences back on May 15, 1928 and that short was followed by The Gallopin’ Gaucho. Yet again though the short failed to find anyone willing to distribute the Mickey Mouse cartoon – until Steamboat Willie. After that on December 30, 1928 The Gallopin’ Gaucho was released with Plane Crazy hitting theaters on March 17, 1929 – making it the fourth cartoon short released after The Barn Dance.
In The Mad Doctor, Mickey awakes from a violent thunderstorm…actually about as violent as the one going on while I type this. Our hero finds that Dr. XXX has abducted poor Pluto and it is up to Micky to get him back – before the mad doctor is able to perform an operation to graft Pluto’s head to the body of a chicken. Mickey doesn’t have an easy time of it though, having to venture into a scary castle and it’s dungeon of booby traps!
The Mad Doctor would certainly have made a wonderful offering for October as it actually does have some rather creepy imagery in some cases. Apparently so much so that it found itself being banned from theaters in the UK as well as Germany when originally released. Perhaps worried theater owners felt all the skeletons and such were too much for the wee kids?
This 1933 animated short was directed by David Hand, who not only made his mark in the animation department for Walt Disney Studios but ended up directing 34 animated shorts for the company. You are going to see some really awesome animation in this particular short – some of it reminiscent of the Fleischer Studios work on the Popeye cartoons.
So grab your favorite snack and beverage and Toon In with us and The Mad Doctor!
[Via] Laser Time