Disney Channel will debut the first-ever extended episode of the Emmy Award-winning "Mickey Mouse" cartoon shorts as part of a themed day of programming in honor of Mickey Mouse's birthday on Monday November 18th (8:00 p.m., ET/PT). The special seven-minute comedic cartoon titled Potatoland finds Mickey, Donald and Goofy on a road trip to Idaho to fulfill Goofy's lifelong dream of visiting what he fondly remembers as Potatoland theme park. The short will be available on WATCHDisneyChannel.com, the WATCH Disney Channel app for smartphones and tablets, Disney.com and iTunes the day after the linear premiere. Here's a clip:
On Monday "Mickey Mouse" cartoons will air every half hour on Disney Channel beginning at 1:25 p.m. ET/PT, leading up to the premiere of Potatoland.
Meanwhile, Floyd Gottfredson, artist of the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip from 1930-1975, created many of the greatest Mouse adventures ever told - and his work is being celebrated in a spectacular on-going set of hardcovers from Fantagraphics Publishing. The latest volume, just released last week, concludes Gottfredson’s seven-year stint on the Sunday Mickey color page - including his legendary team-ups with Donald Duck master Al Taliaferro.
Co-edited by David Gerstein and Gary Groth, standout stories in this volume include "The Robin Hood Adventure," in which Mickey joins the Merry Men; “Sheriff of Nugget Gulch” where Mickey faces Gold Rush gunslingers; and "Mickey’s Rival!" where he outwits the ever-greasy Mortimer Mouse.
Restored from rare line art sources and enhanced with an authentic recreation of the strips' 1930s color, This Volume 2, titled Robin Hood Rides Again, also includes more than 25 pages of extra features - including non-Mouse Disney comics by Gottfredson; rare behind-the-scenes art; and commentary by a Round Table of Mickey scholars. I recommend it highly!
Although Disney had already produced one Mouse cartoon, the silent Plane Crazy (included in Film Forum’s anniversary tribute), Walt decided instead to premiere his new creation with a bang - plus the added innovation of music and other sound effects. When Steamboat Willie, the very first all-synchronized animated cartoon (carrying the credit "A Walt Disney Comic drawn by Ub Iwerks"), opened at NYC's Colony Theatre (now Broadway's Broadway Theatre) on November 18, 1928, it was nothing short of a sensation. The stage was set for Mickey’s unparalleled decades-long career. In a rise to stardom as meteoric as Charlie Chaplin’s, the Mouse soon became the world’s most famous movie star, his shorts often out-drawing the feature films they “supported.”Film Forum's 85th anniversary Mouse Party program, co-starring Mickey’s main squeeze Minnie Mouse and other barnyard pals, includes pristine 35mm Mickey Mouse short subjects direct from the Disney archive, including early b&w comedy classics (1928-1933) such as Puppy Love, Blue Rhythm, The Gorilla Mystery, and Building a Building, not to mention a bonus sing-a-long; Technicolor breakthroughs (1936-1941) like Thru the Mirror, Mickey's Trailer, Mickey's Rival, and Nifty Nineties; plus one astounding sneak surprise short.
This special "Mouse Party" has been programmed by animation producer-director Greg Ford, guest curator of the Whitney Museum’s legendary 1980-81 Disney exhibition. In the late 80s, Ford revived Warner Bros.' theatrical cartoon division with The Duxorcist and Night of the Living Duck, following up with numerous tv specials, the compilation feature Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, standout short subjects like Blooper Bunny, William Tell Overture and Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers, and independent historical documentaries about the making of animated cartoons.