Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip (1940)
|Genre||Animation, Short, Action, Comedy, Family|
|Content Rating||Approved (Approved)|
|Company||Walt Disney Productions|
Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip
Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip is a 1940 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film was directed by Clyde Geronimi and features original music by Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace. The film was animated by Clyde Geronimi, Ken Muse, Ed Love, Marvin Woodward, and Ray Abrams. The voice cast includes Walt Disney as Mickey, Lee Millar as Pluto, and Billy Bletcher as Pete. It was the 109th short in the Mickey Mouse film series to be released, and the third for that year.
The cartoon follows Mickey Mouse and his dog Pluto traveling by train, despite a rule forbidding dogs from entering the train; Pete plays a menacing conductor intent on enforcing this rule.
Leaving for vacation, Mickey Mouse and Pluto arrive at a train station in Burbank, California (home of Walt Disney Productions headquarters). They board a west-bound train to Pomona, but are both immediately kicked off by the conductor, played by Pete, stating that dogs aren't allowed (side gag reveals Pluto's luggage to contain bones). Pete then rambles off the train's destinations and forces his watch to tell him when the train is ready to leave. When the watch does show its time for the train to go, Pete calls "All aboard!"
Mickey, at this point, decides to smuggle Pluto on board by squeezing the dog inside his suitcase. At first, the handle breaks, making Mickey almost leave Pluto behind, but he recovers the suitcase and manages to make it aboard the caboose just as the train is leaving the platform. Later, Pluto barks, wanting to be let out. Mickey reminds him that he will be thrown off if Pete finds out that Pluto's on the train, so he takes Pluto out and unsquashes him. The freedom is only short lived, however, as Pete is coming through the train to collect tickets, forcing Mickey to squash Pluto back into position in the suitcase. After biting "OK" in Mickey's tickets, Pete sees Mickey's suitcase containing Pluto in the seat and forcefully throws it into an overhead baggage net. This causes Pluto to bark, making Pete suspicious.
He then recognizes Mickey, who tries to hide behind a large newspaper and make it look like the barking was coming from him. Realizing that Pluto has been stowed in the suitcase, Pete menacingly asks Mickey if he is alone, which Mickey states that he is alone, Pete then makes up a story about owning a little cat who'd cry when he was all alone and screams a loud "MEOW!" (even making his face closely resemble a real cat) at the suitcase causing Pluto to leap out barking at the "cat". Realizing his cover's been blown, Pluto ducks back into the suitcase, but Pete has already figured it out. Before he can catch the pair, Mickey and Pluto run away and a chase ensues on board the train.
Mickey and Pluto first hide in a sleeping car where Pete mistakenly intrudes on a female passenger and gets assaulted. Pete then stumbles into another bed where Mickey and Pluto (disguised as babies) are hiding. Pete apologizes for the intrusion, but quickly finds out after covering up Pluto's tail. Just as Mickey and Pluto think that they fooled Pete, Pete bursts in and threatens to beat them to a pulp, but sudden darkness from the train running through a tunnel allows the pair to escape, leaving Pete to beat the mattress to a pulp and experience a brief entanglement with the springs.
Mickey and Pluto masquerade as the conductor by hiding in Pete's own coat and hat which they'd had taken off in the tunnel. After getting false directions from Mickey with a deep voice, Pete catches on and threatens to catch them, but ends up disturbing the female passenger again. Pete receives another beating and, unintentionally taking the passenger's hat, gets pricked by one of her needles. Mickey disguises himself as an Indian chief with Pluto in his papoose, but Pete sees through their disguise after Pluto bites his hand.
While Mickey and Pluto are next to an open window, Pluto is caught on a passing mail hook which whisks him outside the train. Mickey runs after him through the train, and is just able to grab Pluto as he exits the caboose. Pete throws their luggage out after them and they fall to the ground from the mail hook. Mickey then looks up at the station sign and is pleasantly surprised that they have arrived at Pomona.
Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip is unique among Disney shorts in that film footage exists of the voice-over session, which included Walt Disney and Billy Bletcher. According to film historian Leonard Maltin, the footage was not known to exist and only discovered (as of 2004) "not too many years ago."
The black-and-white film, which is about ten minutes in length, is the only known footage of Disney performing as Mickey Mouse. It was included as an extra on the 1997 VHS and 2000 DVD of Fun and Fancy Free, and on the 2004 DVD release "Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two" as an easter egg.
The Film Daily (Nov 26, 1940): "Funny Cartoon. The irrepressible Mickey Mouse and the equally irrepressible Pluto encounter some amusing difficulties in this short. Mickey sets off with Pluto to pay a visit to Pomona. He is promptly booted off the train because no dogs are allowed, but he circumvents this by cramming Pluto into a suitcase. Mickey and Pluto have lots of conductor trouble before they arrive at their destination, happily being thrown off the train just as it passes through Pomona."
In September 1940, a one-page adaptation of Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine. In this version Pete discovers Pluto by seeing his tail sticking out of the suitcase. Instead of being kicked off the train, Mickey and Pluto are confined to the baggage car. The story was told in verse and was illustrated by Tom Wood.
In October 1940, a prose version of Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip was printed in the first edition of Walt Disney Comics and Stories. This five-page version is a closer retelling of the film, with the added detail that Mickey is heading to an "important meeting" in Pomona which he can't be late for. Pluto comes along only because he would get lonely if he stayed home alone.
In 2010, the film inspired the Italian comic story "Topolino, Pluto e la gita in montagna," or "Mickey, Pluto, and the Trip to the Mountain." The story, published in the May edition of Extralarge XL Disney, is 25 pages and written and illustrated by Enrico Faccini
- 1940 – Original theatrical release
- c. 1980s – "A Disney Vacation" (TV)
- 1986 – "Adventures with Mickey" (TV)
- 1998 – The Ink and Paint Club, episode # 1.43: "On Vacation" (TV)
- 2009 – Have a Laugh! (TV)
The short was released on May 18, 2004 on Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two: 1939-Today.
Additional releases include:
- c. 1965 – Highlights included in "Mickey's Memorable Moments, Volume 2" (Super 8)
- 1984 – "Cartoon Classics - Limited Gold Edition: Mickey" (VHS)
- 1987 – "Memorable Mickey" (VHS)
- 1998 – "The Spirit of Mickey" (VHS)
- 2006 – "Walt Disney's Funny Factory: With Mickey" (DVD)
- 2009 – "Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films Volume 1: Mickey and the Beanstalk" (DVD)
- 2010 – "Have a Laugh!: Volume 2" (DVD)