Sunday, 24 February 2008

Mickey's Orphans - First Academy Award for Animated Short Film

This is a movie I intended to post at Christmas but given today is for the Oscars it's as good a time as any to feature the very first animated short awarded an Oscar in 1931. Mickey’s Orphans is not unnaturally in black and white and wears remarkably well for its years. Directed by Burt Gillett it commences in seasonal fashion with a poor lady laden with heavy basket, her face hidden by a shawl and braving the fierce snow that lays on the ground and all around her. Attracted by the sound of Minnie singing "Silent Night" and accompanying herself on the organ, the stranger leaves her basket on the doorstep. And what a seasonal treat is in store as Minnie and Mickey are delighted by the kitten who pops its head from underneath the cover. Their pleasures are not to be solitary ones, no sir. Kittens stream from the basket like aliens from a teleporter. The pristine home of Mr and Mrs Mouse is trashed. Poor old Pluto, seen here in his last moment of bliss, is used as playground punchbag and master and mistress fair no better. Yet through it all the proud foster parents arrange treat after treat, including the rare sight of Pluto done up as a reindeer with Mickey as Santa wearing a white wig, before it too is used to injure him.

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