***Disclosure: I attended The #DisneyFrozenEvent . My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney and myself. All opinions are 100% mine. ***
At the beginning of the Disney Animated movie Frozen is the new short Get a Horse. In Get a horse, Mickey Mouse is voiced by Walt Disney. Disney was able to use Walt’s voice on every word except the color red, that word they pieced together with some Disney magic to still be Walt’s voice. They did an amazing job with joining 1920’s 2D Mickey Mouse with a 3D CGI version of Mickey. It’s a fun little short with a lot of play from the animators.
Where did the idea for Get A Horse come from?
Director Lauren MacMullan
So I immediately started to think, all right, Mickey Mouse. What can you do with Mickey Mouse? He’s, he turned 85 on Monday. He’s done a lot of things. So we’re going to just give you a little A to Z. That’s how many different things he’s done. So he’s been an apprentice to a saucer, a brave little tailor, a clock cleaner. Dreamed of being a father. Epic Mickey. He’s been a firefighter, a Ghostbuster, and I’m not kidding, really, they, they even have, like, a number on the wall that you can call. And it sort of begs the question of how many live action modern day movies are actually secretly based on Mickey shorts. So you have from last year Real Steel, maybe. I don’t know. And could it be? Taxi Driver!
And to go back to A to Z real quickly, he’s been a firefighter. Okay. He’s walked the high wire, ice and snow has not kept him from his appointed playgrounds. He’s been a Jack and the Beanstock, a knight, a logo for a channel, uh, a mad scientist. Neo-Mickey. He loves orphans.
He loves picnics. He’s been both the prince and the pauper, quarterback, uh, a retro guy on a T-shirt. He’s been shaken and stirred, and even Santa. Uh, he’s had a trailer, unwittingly bathed a seal. He’s been very, very big.and very very small. He loves to watch Pluto. And he’s been an exterminator. He’s had a club for the youth of yesteryear, and the youth of today, and he plays the xylophone. So, so how do you, when you start to think about Mickey today?
For me, immediately, I start thinking of the earliest era of Mickey because it has this freshness, and light. And it’s actually a, an era of animation that I really love. And so this is the 1928 Mickey, and you can already just see by looking at these images that, that the gloves are off.
Say it’s 1928, and you want to say hello to this girl you just met, ‘cause they’re always kind of meeting for the first time, and, and you’re too poor to have a hat.
So what do you do? You lift up the top of your ears, You want to give her a hot dog because you’re trying to impress her. The, hot dog rebels, runs away, and, uh, and, and clearly this is not excellent parenting here, but, uh, he peels down its casing. And this Mickey era, he’s this little guy. He’s this little underdog.
He’s physically small, Mickey was. And he’s sort of like one, 1/3 mouse, 1/3 man, and kind of 1/3 ape. Uh, also here, this is one of my favorite Scenes the, the ostrich that he rode to the cantina got too drunk to give him a ride home. I know. Wildly inappropriate. So what is the solution? He starches it. Yes.
Uh, and in the past he could get a little fresh with Minney, and She gets fresh right back. She slaps him, and then just walks off, mercifully, her underpants turn into a parachute, so she’s okay. In this case, everything around them is an instrument, and it’s even better if it’s very inventive.
Like, they could do anything with their arms and legs, infinitely stretch things out. Um, and it’s these kind of animation based jokes. It just gives you all this freshness, um, with this, this little guy who, who, uh, kind of grew up in later decades. So that was my initial feeling is, like, okay. What if we could do… What if we do that style?
We do it as kind of, hey, maybe it’s [UNINTELLIGIBLE] And then the next step is trying to pull it [STAMMERS] into the modern world. And so my idea was, like, literally if we can pull it out of the screen, uh, into color and CG, and the theater that you’re in……
And then after that, uh, I went to the storyboard phase, actually boarded the short several times over. But here are some images, storyboard images from the first part of the 2D stuff. And you can see there’s an emphasis on those types of animation jokes where, you know, Mini needs to get up on the wagon, and Mickey unfolds his leg. Um, and here are also some images, storyboard images that didn’t make it into the short because we did many, many, many gags to try to have Mickey tear from the screen.
Like, here, this one joke was Mickey gets so frustrated that he lights his own tail on fire, and it goes to his little cannon ball pants, and shoots him off into the screen. Uh, and then later his pants have to run around and try to catch him when he falls. Um, and that was rejected in the end because people were questioning Mickey’s state of mind, uh, at the point, at that point.
So after the storyboard process was done, uh, we, uh, started to assemble the team, .
HERE COMES TROUBLE – Peg-Leg Pete interrupts Mickey Mouse and his favorite gal pal Minnie in this animation cel as they delight in a musical haywagon ride
The black-and-white, hand-drawn short features Walt Disney himself as the voice of Mickey Mouse. The story follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal, Minnie, and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow. The gang is enjoying a musical haywagon ride (as seen above) until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.