Friday, January 31, 2014


RELEASE DATE: Saturday 6th February 1937

SYNOPSIS: Three years before he was a sorcerer's apprentice, Mickey Mouse was a stage magician, performing all kinds of dazzling tricks to a captive audience. One audience member - a particularly rude duck - does his best to interrupt the performance with his own brand of heckling. Will the magician get his revenge? Who will end up on top of this battle of wits?

MALEFICENT: By this cartoon, the characters were a lot more "on-model." They'd pretty much settled on what the characters would look like.

IRVYNE: The only major thing that changed after this I think were Mickey's eyes. They got a facelift in Fantasia.

PASCAL: And his face was white in this one.

WENDY: I loved all the running gags in this cartoon. Poor Donald, with all of the cards coming out of his mouth!

IRVYNE: I think Donald was a precursor to the Muppet hecklers, Statler and Waldorf.

MALEFICENT: Of course, the title of this cartoon is misleading, because Mickey is not a magician. He's a sorcerer. Magicians just do tricks, but he was using real magic.

WENDY: And I don't think a normal magician could have turned Donald into different animals! I think I've got it all figured out. He's a time traveller! After he discovered magic by using his master's hat, he came back to 1937 and put on a magic show!


IRVYNE: I do wonder how many ideas they came up with, because you've got to remember, these cartoons were being pumped out like nobody's business. We've only watched a sample of them, but there were so many! There were 75 cartoons just in the Silly Symphonies series! I wonder how many people were able to throw their ideas out there: "What if Mickey Mouse ran a magic show?"

MALEFICENT: Well back then it was still like the birth of cartoons. Everything was new. Now we just accept that everyone regurgitates ideas and nothing's original anymore.

IRVYNE: These early cartoons just seem to have a kind of purity about them. They don't have any kind of agenda, they're not trying to be in any way educational, it's just pure comedic entertainment.

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