The premise itself is very good – Mickey and a robot (I presume made
by Mickey, but it’s never stated) have a prize fight against Beppo the
Gorilla, who was last seen in the early short
The Gorilla Mystery. Just
the simple fact of a fight between a robot and a gorilla being accepted
as the norm made me laugh. Kudos to Disney for the set up alone.
The twist, and you know there had to be one, is that Mickey’s robot
doesn’t fight well at all, until Minnie blows her car horn. When that
happens, the robot goes nuts and tears up the gym and punches everything
in sight, so long as it has Beppo’s picture on it. Like I said, it’s
the kind of twist you’d expect from the Warner Bros. cartoons, but it
works really well.
The work on the robot is the best animation in this short. It’s the
kind of frantic, kinetic work that you don’t often see from Disney.
Mickey, Minnie and even Pluto to some degree are very controlled figures.
Even when Pluto runs amok, he is still in control of his limbs. The
robot, on the other hand, goes wild, arms and legs flailing everywhere,
motion flying all around.
As you could probably predict, the fight goes the wrong way for the
majority of the time, until Minnie realizes what’s wrong. She runs outside,
grabs the car horn and brings it inside. After a quick squeeze, the
robot goes nuts again, destroying the gorilla, then blowing up itself.
The plot is the big thing in this short, and with a good premise
and a fun twist, it works really well. Sure, we have some good animation
work on the mechanical man, but Mickey and Minnie are the same as we’ve
seen before. The real thing this short accomplishes is fun. It’s amusing
to watch and easy to digest. That’s something that should not be underestimated.
As usual, there's a wealth of detail in this one. Check out the brief
scene of people outside the boxing stadium – lots of different characters
doing different things – excitedly acting out the match, arguing over
who will win, trying to get a look at the poster or even someone just
standing scratching his bum – it's all here. There even a brief cameo
of Horace (the first to enter the stadium) if you look quick. Also there's
tons of details in the animated crowds inside the stadium, cunningly
shaded so as not to detract from the action in the foreground. It must
have been a lot of work to bring this cartoon to life!
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