MICKEY’S ORPHANS (1931)
Article 4758 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Burt Gillett
Featuring the voices of Walt Disney and Marcellite Garner
What it is: Mickey Mouse cartoon
Mickey and Minnie find themselves unexpected recipients of a basket on Christmas Eve – which contains hundreds of kittens.
Having watched cartoons from other studios from this era several times recently, I’m once again reminded how far ahead of the animation pack Disney was in those days; in terms of animation technique alone, this looks so much better than the others. I also notice that, though there is some music involved in the short, it doesn’t bring things to a complete halt for the mere sake of adding a song, which means the cartoon devotes itself wholeheartedly to animated antics. I am, however, a little surprised at the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a story; once the kittens show up, it’s just a non-stop barrage of destruction, and you wait in vain for Mickey to lose his patience with the brats. I suppose Mickey is just too good-hearted to lose his temper, but you’ll end up wishing Donald Duck was the star of this one, as then the sparks would really fly. And as good as the animation is, it’s never quite as funny as you might wish it would be. As you can probably guess, the fantastic content consists primarily of the various anthropomorphic animals on hand.