Walt Disney Animation Studios is back to being a Mickey Mouse operation.
The corporate mascot will return to the big screen in the animated short Mickey Mouse in ‘Get A Horse!’, a sepia-toned hand-drawn comedy that will use the vocals of Walt Disney himself, who supplied the original voice of the cartoon creation. The announcement comes just a few weeks after The Disney Channel announced Mickey would star in a brand-new collection of TV and online cartoons.
A first image of Mickey as his gal pal Minnie in the logo for the big-screen film has been released by the animation house, which is playing coy about the short’s origins.
Disney Animation describes Get a Horse as “a never-before-seen short.” But “never-before-seen” is deliberately vague.
[It] follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they delight in a musical wagon ride‹until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.
Is this is a brand new short that uses modern techniques to simulate vintage animation, perhaps giving new dimension to a character who has been flat for too long? Are old audio recordings of Walt Disney being repurposed to breathe life into his most famous creation almost five decades after his death?
Or has Disney dug up, dusted off and re-animated, in the most literal way possible, a long-buried project of Uncle Walt’s?
Get a Horse is set to debut in full on June 11 at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France, the same place the studio revealed Paperman last year, which would go on to win the Oscar for Best Animated Short. Paperman was shown nationwide before Wreck-It Ralph, so expect to see Disney put Mickey’s new venture on-screen before one of its movies this fall, most likely the animated Frozen, opening in November.
While Get a Horse will have an old-fashioned vibe either way, I’m personally hoping Mickey’s new cinematic outing is entirely newfangled instead of a historical retread. Paperman, a black-and-white fusion of hand-drawn and digital animation, showed what the studio’s artists could accomplish when given the chance to fuse nostalgia with the cutting edge.
As fun as finding lost treasure might be, there are quite a lot of classic Mickey Mouse shorts out there if fans want them. It would be nice to know that the little guy has a future and not just a past.