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For those who were born after the advent of the VCR and the DVD, back when this short was made the only way audiences had to see any films was when the studios that controlled them released (or re-released) them to theaters. So for Mickey to return to screen after an almost 5 year absence was a really big deal. If you accept the notion that cartoon are for children there would be quite a few children now in the audience who had never seen the black and white Mickey or even the earlier color adventures. It would still be a few years before Disney would create his television classics "Disneyland" and the "Mickey Mouse Club". In fact 1947 is the year network television became affordable to the
American public. But the cartoons featured there were of a much earlier vintage.
Hail the returning hero - Mickey is back!
Sadly, part of Mickey remains intact from the feature to the short, and that’s his bland personality. The mouse who used to be so mischievous and fun loving is now a generic bachelor, devoid of personality. It’s a trend that we’ve seen often in the post-World War II shorts. Donald and Goofy have also been cast in generic roles quite often, where you could have swapped one for the other and it would not make a difference.
The premise of Mickey’s Delayed Date is that Mickey and Pluto are napping when Minnie calls up. She is upset, because Mickey is supposed to be out with her for a hot date. The rest of the short is spent with Mickey trying to get ready and arrive to the date on time. It’s no easy task, since he was dead asleep when Minnie called, so the entire first half of the short is a mad scramble around his house to get ready.
Further taking away from Mickey, however, is the fact that Pluto does most of the work in the first half of this short. Mickey is in the shower, so we get to see Pluto struggle around the room trying to get Mickey’s hat and clothes together. It’s okay, but doesn’t really stand out in the major gags that Pluto has been involved in before.
The second half of the short is Mickey’s journey to the date, which involves a lot of stumbling through a large city, falling into things and ending up looking like a bum. That turns out not to be a problem, but it is a much needed change from the first half. Still, it’s not quite enough to salvage a short that features too little personality and originality, especially for Disney’s flagship character.