MICKEY’S APE MAN (1933)
Article 3960 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jesse Duffy
Featuring Mickey Rooney, Billy Barty, Kendall McComas
What it is: Comedy short
Mickey hopes to win a prize by doing the best imitation of an ape man as part of a movie promotion. But is one of the other members of his gang a better choice to be the ape man?
It looks like the McGuire’s Gang shorts (of which this is a member) were like The Little Rascals, albeit more in a slapstick mode; some of the gags are the type you’d expect in animated cartoons. Just on the surface, this seems pretty marginal in terms of its fantastic content; after all, Tarzan movies are generally on the marginal side, and a short about kids imitating the Tarzan movies seem even further away from the genre. However, since the kids are practicing near one of the least secure zoos in the country, they end up having to face off with an escaped gorilla, and since gorillas often substituted for monsters, I’ll give this one a pass. I wish I knew who played the gorilla; at times it looks like it might be Charley Gemora, but other times not. At any rate, Billy Barty steals the show here.