Lonesome Ghosts

Studio: Disney Release Date : December 24, 1937 Series: Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Screenshots

 


Poster

Cumulative rating: No Ratings Posted     

Synopsis

Four green phantoms want some fun, so they invite ghostbusters Mickey, Donald, and Goofy over to their haunted home with the aim of driving them crazy. But things don't work out as planned.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Goofy
Donald Duck
(Voice: Clarence "Ducky" Nash)

Credits

Director

Burt Gillett

Animator

Dick Heumer
Ed Love
Izzy "I." Klein
Milt Kahl
Marvin Woodward
Rex Cox
Bob Wickersham
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Don Williams

Story

Dick Friel

Music

Albert Hay Malotte

Voices

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney
Clarence "Ducky" Nash
Pinto Colvig
Billy Bletcher

Trivia

A special transparent ink had to be developed by Disney to make convincing transparent ghosts.

DVD

Mickey Mouse in Living Color
Have a Laugh, Volume 1
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 8:48
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Color Type: Technicolor
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Print Format: 35mm
Negative Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Original Language: English

Reviews and Comments

From Mac :

One of the bonafide color classics. I think every one likes this cartoon! No wonder - it's a great premise for a cartoon and it never falls short of its potential.

Did you notice the sign on the door that read "Ajax Ghost Exterminators"? This is the first cartoon that 'Ajax' was used as the name for a brand for a product or service in the Disney shorts. It pops up with just enough frequency for Disney shorts fans to notice, but never caught on quite like the 'Acme' name in the Warner Bros. cartoons. Still some one on the Mouse Works cartoons picked up on it - in that series the Ajax name was overused and appeared on anything and everything. An attempt to create a Disney 'Acme', perhaps?

I wonder if this short inspired the idea for 'Ghost Busters'. Although I can think of plenty of ghost cartoons, this is the first cartoon I know of where characters are offering a service to rid a house of ghosts – a fun, cartoony spin on exorcisms. Also Goofy's line in this cartoon "I ain't uh-scared of no ghosts" is enormously similar to the line in the Ghost Busters song: "I ain't afraid of no ghosts". Could it be a direct reference or merely a coincidence?

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

Now, on to one of my favorite if not my all time favorite Mickey shorts – Lonesome Ghosts. I’ll admit, I didn’t come into this one unbiased. Lonesome Ghosts has been a favorite of mine for over 20 years, since I first saw it one Halloween on Disney Channel. You know, back when Disney Channel aired Disney cartoons? No, you don’t remember that? Yeah, it was a while ago.

It’s also a cartoon that I appreciate more now that I have seen all that came before it. Not that the other Mickey cartoons of 1937 weren’t good, but Lonesome Ghosts was the first one I watched where I said, “This could have been made today.” Think about that. If you saw Disney produce a short today, and it looked like Lonesome Ghosts, would you be surprised? Probably not, and that’s a testament to the work of these animators over 70 years ago.

The set up of having bored ghosts contact Mickey, Donald and Goofy is brilliant. How many times have we seen the old saw that ghost hunters come to a spooky old house? I saw it just last week in a bad SyFy movie. That story is beautifully represented here, because it’s the ghosts who call, just because they’re looking for something to do.

I also like the fact that each of the three characters gets a little moment to play with the ghosts. This is one of those shorts that feels like it goes by so quickly, because each segment is action packed and fun. Mickey gets the first shot, as the ghosts play with a door, opening from the floor, the wall and flooding the room through the door.

Donald goes next, trying to fight a ghost, as you would imagine. It’s interesting to note that each of these three little vignettes reveals the character’s nature, rather than just being one note gags. Mickey gets overwhelmed by the ghosts, Donald tries to fight, and Goofy gets tricked into, well, a goofy situation.

My favorite part of this short is Goofy and the ghost at the dresser. The ghost mirroring Goofy in the mirror and the ultimate end of Goofy getting shoved out the door are just hilarious. It’s really the way that Goofy will ultimately go in his solo series, and it’s great seeing a sneak peek of that.

The final gag is a classic as well. The trio get covered in molasses and flour, leading their appearance to scare the ghosts away. It’s the typical Disney ending, as the leads sort of blunder into the solution, rather than showing their wits. It’s part of what makes this short so endearing. Again, one of my all time favorites.

From Tom Wilkins :

I understand that Halloween movies are supposed to be scary, but once again I am the ace finding the twisted plot.

The reasoning behind this twisted story is because the beginning makes absolutely no sense: the opening scene shows a haunted house on a very windy night ... with SNOW on the ground! Somebody please tell me what areas receive snow for Halloween! I don't get it. However, inside the house of slamming shades are four ghosts complaining that they have not had a scare in a very long time. It did not take long for the fourth ghost to notice an ad in the paper. He calls the other three ghosts over and explains the ad which reads; "Notice ... we exterminate all kinds of GHOSTS." So the ghosts agree to call them up.

Of course these exterminators are Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, who were fast asleep when the ghosts call. After simultaneously waking up on the third ring, they all battle to answer the phone, but Mickey emerges answering and hearing all the howling sounds in the background. So the three exterminators, later to be compared to the Three Stooges for their antics, trudge through the snow to the haunted house ... trust me, I understand this sounds real strange.

The exterminators didn't quite get a red-carpet welcome as the ghosts awaited them. Mickey knocks and the door falls inside, where they enter inauspiciously. Just as they are about the get off the door, the door rises and all three get rolled off, tumbling into the house. Meanwhile, Goofy gets his nose caught in a flying mousetrap. That sure smarted.

They continue to hear the sounds of ghosts, so the three of them continue to search. Mickey is shown first ... little did he know a ghost was behind him. So, the ghost knocks on his head, scaring the wits out of Mickey. Where the edit takes place is here (thanks to the political Disney TV goons): Mickey fires his gun at the ghost, obviously missing him (or going through him), so a chase down the stairs ensues. Another ghost hides behind the door and shuts and locks it before Mickey could catch it. The door then gets pulled off, landing on Mickey before he gets up and puts his feet on the door again, but gets ejected immediately when the ghosts march to the tunes of the Revolutionary War. They tap dance away behind the doors and as Mickey opens them up, he gets all wet as a stream of water comes flying out and the ghosts go surfing.

Donald, on the other hand, is immediately scared as a ghost comes from behind him and drops dishes; a second drops a link chain while a third whaps him with a piece of wood. Donald's temper is obvious ... even one of the ghosts mock what he is doing! But the ghost somehow pays for it when Donald socks him one to the chin. Somehow, the ghost hides under some fake water and comes up spitting in Donald's face. Needless to say, Donald dived unsuccessfully and came out all wet when he put on his hat.

Goofy gets scared immediately with loud banging sounds, causing him to rip a wall apart just trying to escape! Although he exclaims that he wasn't scared of no ghosts, he gets kicked from behind by one of them and then chases him into a clothes drawer. Once Goofy stands straight, he looks into a mirror only to find a ghost, which he certainly took his time to figure out. After some mimicking, Goofy finally figures out that it was a ghost behind the mirror, which of course he subsequently gets kicked through the mirror for seven years bad luck. Goofy then falls into the drawer, trapping him completely. Little did Goofy realize that he was choking himself trying to just get out of this predicament ... even that did not phase him. He decides to pinch his rear end with a pin and feels the harsh reality.

As Goofy fights to get out from inside the drawer, the ghosts shove him out of the room and down the stairs ... and right into Mickey and Donald. The ghosts bowled a perfect strike they did not want...all three exterminators (and the drawer) crashed into stacks of molasses and white powder. Assuming that Mickey, Donald, and Goofy were trying to get out of this sticky situation, the ghosts were scared off when they saw them, exclaiming that they were seeing ghosts! The scaring party had ended ... the ghosts ran over dishes, through the window, and out of the house and into the night on snowy ground.

Donald says it best at the end; "So you can't take it ... you big sissy!" After observing this cartoon, I need a nap just to calm down!

From Christine Williams :

I have this on a small hand held movie projector. You put your eye up to the view finder and turn the handle on the side and this short plays frame by frame. The faster you turn it the faster the movie plays. It's pretty old but still works. I love it!

From Ryan :

I was reading Mr. Tom Wilkins comments and I noticed what he said about what areas get snow around Halloween. Well, it is possible for many places to get snow around Halloween. Colorado, for example. That whole state is practically covered with mountains. You're bound to have snow up there on or around October 31. Montana, North/South Dakota, Minnesota, Canada. In fact, where I live, it snowed on Halloween when I was in 4th grade. I overheard one kid say "It seems more like Christmas than Halloween. Oh well, we'll just go trick-or-treating on Christmas. " Perhaps this short doesn't take place during Halloween. We were not informed from the short that it was Halloween. Just because it's scary (actually it's not scary, it's funny) doesn't mean it has to take place during the Halloween season. It could be in January for example. Well, I've been off topic long enough and must get to the short. I thought it was really funny when the ghosts were terrorizing the trio. One ghost taps Mickey's head and Mickey points his gun at the ghost (why try and shoot a ghost ghosts are already dead). Donald is even more fun to bug because he loses his temper so easily. Another ghost sneaks up behind him and screeches, causing Donald to jump with fright. He then jumps up and down in his usual tantrum position and what do you think the ghost does? He impersonates him of course. Goofy on the other hand is carrying an axe (again how are you going to hurt a dead spirit?). A ghost hides in a dresser's mirror and Goofy says "I know you. You're a ghost!" Well after that, the ghost pushes the dresser down the stairs with Goofy trapped in it. He, Mickey, and Donald all crash into some barrels of molasses and bags of flour, which make "them" appear to be ghosts. The other ghosts get scared and run like the wind. I always wondered what Donald was saying at the end. I then closed captioned it and he turned out to be saying "You're a fine target ya big sissies!" This is a great short and I recommend it to all Disney fans out there.

From Tim Melnarik :

This is flat-out the funniest of the Mickey/Goofy/Donald shorts. The gags are non-stop and quite inventive.

From Alan Hampson :

I have watched a copy of this short repeatedly since 1979 when I taped it from British TV. I believe it is the quintessential Disney trio cartoon. Particularly impressive are the backgrounds, the pace and comic timing. I have had to wait such a long time for it and the other classic Mickeys to become available in the UK on video. Apart from a very short video release when Rank video distributed in the very late 70s nothing has been provided for the serious student of classic Disney (to 1944) and early 50s Donald Duck shorts. DVD is the answer to our prayers.

From Taylor Kerekes :

This is one of my all-time favorite shorts. This cartoon is just hysterical! I especially like the part when the ghosts were playing songs to the revolutionary war. Man, was this short funny! It's got great gags, great humor, and great comedy. This could make a great short for Halloween. And I wish I could watch this in October more often! Ha ha!

From Per Nilsson :

This is one of the best short ever featuring the trio; Mickey, Donald and Goofy. It's actually one of the best short ever made by Disney. As a kid I had this one on 8mm film (and still do), which made it possible to watch it over and over again. Many shorts lost their attraction by too much viewing, but this one is still a real favorite!

From Bob :

A wonderful cartoon, I've seen it many times along with Trick or Treat and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Have not seen it in a few years, although I remember every detail. It has very funny moments and despite the struggles of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy to get the ghosts, there is a cool ending.

From Sam :

Who ya gonna call? Mickey, Donald, and Goofy become ghosts exterminators who are lured to a haunted house by some silly spirits in this classic short. The scene with Goofy and the ghost in the mirror is The Goof at his best, and the scene where Mickey trying to catch the ghosts is hilarious as well. A Disney staple around Halloween, this great short is just as fun whatever time of year.

From Ross :

Boo! Let's go ghost hunting with Mickey, Donald and Goofy. This cartoon is sensational times ten! It all starts when four scary funny ghosts call our three on the phone and then Mickey, Donald and Goofy are off for some spooky fun. The three separate, and go ghost-busting. Mickey fires his gun at one ghost, but it gets blown up when the ghost sticks his finger in it. Donald punches a ghost with a good shiner, but the ghost dives in the water, and Goofy, after he and the third ghost mock each other in the mirror, wrestles himself in the dresser thinking he's got all four ghosts. Then he falls down the stairs, crashes into Mickey and Donald, and they all get covered with molasses and flour. The ghosts see them and they scream, "Aaaah! Ghosts!" and they run away crying into the horizon. And Donald says, "So you can't take it? You big sissies!" Wonderful cartoon to celebrate for Halloween.

From Baruch Weiss :

I first saw this short on "Mickey's Magical World" and many of the scenes were snipped out. That was probably done in order to fit within the running time of the video. Great short; the three ghosts in this short were probably the inspiration for the "Ghostly Trio" in the "Casper" series.

From Jerry Edwards :

One of my favorite Mickey/Donald/Goofy shorts. The special effects of the ghosts and ghostly scenes are marvelous. As usual, there are gags everywhere. Most of them very enjoyable for me.

From Dee Guerrero :

I love this short! I actually have this reel. Sometime in the 1970's Action Toys came out with this movie projector thing and these Yellow Plastic Cases with a mini Film reel inside. I still have this to this day!

From Andrew :

This short was actually released in December rather than October, so there is a good reason why there's snow. Also so we could see the ghosts' footprints when they run off. One of my favorite shorts though. I don't think you'd want to call these guys, of course.

From Al Galen :

I remember this short from "A Disney Halloween" with Snow White's Magic Mirror. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are similar to "Ghostbusters" who did not exist until the 1980s. It can be seen on "House of Mouse" in Halloween-themed episodes. The screaming sound heard in the beginning of this cartoon was later used on the television series "Zorro" in its fourth 1957 episode "The Ghost of the Mission". Appropriately, it aired on October 31 that year. I recommend this animated short to audiences who are fans of classic Disney.

From Jarg Niederberger :

I had this film (or rather part of it, most of Donald's part was missing) on a silent super 8 film. Watched it often and liked it a lot. I even played with the idea to do my own soundtrack.

Once while ill, I viewed it frame by frame in the editing viewer. That's when I found an error by the animator that I never saw mentioned elsewhere. When Goofy is stuck in the piece of furniture, just before he chokes himself, he sticks his arm out of a drawer opening, but then - from one frame to the next - the arm switches to pass through the hole his neck is in. Seems the animator realized the chocking would look silly with the arm stuck through the drawer and took the easy way out.

Speaking of errors. Why do the debris of the window fly "into" the house when the ghosts run through it?

From Bryan Hensley :

This 1937 Mickey, Donald and Goofy cartoon is a perfect one for Halloween. Since it's a part of Mickey's House of Villains! The name Ajax seems to have been used before the same-named gorilla terrorized Donald's house later on in that same movie! Anyway, my Daddy has always wondered about Mickey's plan to surround the ghosts. How can you surround ghosts? It was three against four, but it's amazing what molasses, flour, and other gooey stuff can do to anybody who crashes into it! The lonesome ghosts thought the others were ghosts, and were scared to re-death of them! When Mickey, Donald and Goofy were separated, they didn't have too much luck exterminating them. The ghosts reappear at the House of Mouse and change shapes and sizes for some strange reason, before and after their short was played. As Donald points out at the end: "So you can't take it, you big sissies!" Ghosts can be afraid like anything living! I hope you enjoy this classic short masterpiece of spooky proportions!

From Michelle Forni :

First for Tom Wilkins "Somebody please tell me what areas receive snow for Halloween!" I live in Wyoming and have only had 7 years of 36 that have not had snow on the ground by Halloween. Around here the costumes are made to fit under snow suites or are warm enough that the kids can wear them in cold weather. Most Halloween parties are inside. Also we are not talking always just a light snow dust, but we have had years when there was up to 14" on the ground and yes the wind was blowing. We even have really old houses that are left in fields that have been abandoned around here still. So who knows maybe the story plot was biased out of this area. I really enjoyed this cartoon when I was young and wish it was still playing during Halloween today. I sing the opening song to my kids, they think the song is great and they haven't even seen the cartoon. It is your typical older Disney cartoon, the main characters (Mickey, Donald, and Goofy) are picked on my outside characters, at first the outside characters have the upper hand, but in a totally unpredictable way and usually by mistake, our favorite characters win out again. Thank you for providing this site, it has been a long time since I've seen any images of this cartoon, now at least my kids can see what I'm singing about.

From Mike :

The ghosts are the best part of this cartoon. Their antics alone make this one of Mickey's best cartoons.

From Eric Zimmer :

All I can say is I love this short! I remember when I first saw it as a kid & I've adored it! The animators have done a brilliant job, as did the background artists! This cartoon appears to be the inspiration for Ghostbusters! This is purely from inspiration--all the Disney cartoons are very inspirational! That's what I think! One of the best Mickey, Donald & Goofy shorts ever!

From Rebecca :

This is definitely one of my favorite Disney shorts featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. It is very hilarious, the animation is flawless, the gags are very funny. Goofy is particularly hilarious. This cartoon features some of his most funny moments in his career. It's too bad that the Walt Disney company doesn't make more cartoons featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy anymore like they used to. I always thought those were the best cartoons!