I’m not sure about your kid’s viewing habits, but when mine isn’t watching a Disney DVD or Blu-ray, she’s got her eyes glued to the Disney Channel. She started off as a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan which lead into her watching and enjoying all the other animated offerings the network has including Sofia The First and Doc McStuffins. She’s even become quite familiar with the live action shows like Good Luck Charlie, Jesse and the rest. In the past month or so, Disney unveiled a series of new shorts featuring classic characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy. At first I wasn’t sure what to think because the cartoons looked so different than what I’m used to, but I’ve got to say, I’ve become a huge fan and here’s why in a handy list format!
1. It’s Made By Quality Creators
I did a little looking around and discovered that the new Mickey Mouse shorts are executive produced and directed by Paul Rudish. Rudish’s isn’t a name I knew at first glance, but one look at his resume and you understand why these mini-toons are so good. He helped create Dexter’s Laboratory. And Samurai Jack. And The Powerpuff Girls. And Star Wars: Clone Wars. Rudish also put together a solid writing staff that includes Ramon Sanchez (Count Duckula, Tales From The Crypt), Derek Dressler (Kick Buttowski), Aaron Springer (Samurai Jack, Spongebob Squarepants) and Clay Morrow (Dexter’s Laboratory, Chowder). That’s a lot of talent that have come together to create a series that mixes the old and new in terms of the visual, audio and thematic side of things, concepts that make up the rest of the list.
2. It’s Not Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
All due respect to the long-running show that my toddler and millions of others could watch all day long, but the sugary sweet niceness of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse doesn’t exactly go out of its way to be even remotely entertaining to the parents who find themselves watching along. Plus, as good as that show looks with its computer generated animation, it’s so great seeing Mickey and his pals drawn in a more traditional animated style. If you’re worried that your kid might not understand the difference between the two, take this bit of anecdotal evidence into consideration: my two year old loves both versions.
3. It Looks New
Speaking of the new style, I like it. I get that the more exaggerated look might not appeal to everyone, but I’m glad Disney took a chance on something we haven’t seen before. And, trust me, we’ve seen a lot of different takes on these characters, so that’s saying something. This reminds me of the spirit Walt Disney had where he was always looking for new ways to do things. Whether intentional or not, this shift in style is an homage to Walt.
4. It Sounds Familiar
Since they decided to take a chance on the look of the series, it makes sense that Rudish and company decided to go with the classic-sounding voices for stars Mickey, Donald, Minnie and Goofy. While the looks of the characters have changed over the years, the voices have stayed relatively the same or at least similar. We’re used to seeing different versions, but we’re not used to hearing wildly different takes. It’s important to have some kind of connection to the legacy of these characters that’s recognizable. In this case, it’s the voice actors who happen to be the same folks who do Clubhouse, aside from Mickey performer Chris Diamantopoulos who replaced Clubhouse‘s Bret Iwan as the titular rodent.
5. It’s Funny!
I can’t tell you how rare it is for me to actually laugh at something seen on Disney Channel. Sometimes there are cute little moments on the cartoons or the occasional so-incredibly-stupid-it’s-laughable gag on one of the over-the-top live action shows. But, these new Mickey Mouse shorts keep me in stitches the whole time. If you’re a fan of the old Disney cartoons, classic Looney Tunes shorts or any of the shows the staff worked on previously, then I can almost guarantee you’ll get a kick out of Mickey and the gang.
6. It’s Not TOO Nice
Going back to the first point here, these shorts aren’t squeaky clean. The one I just saw, called “Stayin’ Cool,” found Mickey, Donald and Goofy trespassing on several different locations for a perfectly selfish reasons: beating the heat. The characters aren’t dark and gritty by any means, but Mickey’s back to his more mischievous roots which you can see if you go back and watch older Mickey cartoons. It’s another nod to the past that also honors what came before it.
The shorts run on Disney Channel at random times, but you can also head over to the Disney Shorts YouTube page to watch all the ones that have been released.