The 'Frozen' Short 'Get a Horse!' Insults the Disney History It Intends to Homage

Reviews
by Sam Adams
November 29, 2013 10:16 AM
62 Comments
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Although they're largely positive, the reviews for Disney's Frozen, an animated adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" with the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, have a hedging quality to them: The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips says it "basically works," which is not a quote likely to be gracing a whole lot of posters. 

But there are few such reservations attached to reviews of Get a Horse! the short film that precedes it. Not every review of Frozen acknowledges the feature's short-subject companion, but those that do tend to rave. The Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey calls it "nothing short of terrific," and The Hollywoord Reporter's Todd McCarthy goes so far as to compare it to Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. and Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo. At Vulture, Bilge Ebiri writes:

Oh, and get there on time. Get a Horse! the 3D short that plays before Frozen, is absolutely eye-popping. It blends the aesthetics of the original Mickey Mouse and savvy use of the proscenium to create what must be the most startling 3D experience I've ever had. No joke, it nearly turned me into Uncle Josh at the Moving Picture Show; I kept taking my glasses off to make sure that Mickey fucking Mouse wasn't standing right there in front of me.

While one hesitates to take issue with a critic who manages to slip a passing reference to a century-old Thomas Edison short into his review, I must here depart from the estimable Mr. Eibiri and say that Get a Horse! is a clumsy, charmless attempt to link Disney's hand-drawn past to its computer-generated 3D future. It feels about as inspired as an interoffice memo.

Advance promotion for Get a Horse! -- this being Disney, the short is an automatic Oscar contender, with its own pre-release campaign -- suggested the studio had unearthed a previously unseen Mickey Mouse short from 1928, but that turns out only to be the setup for the film's punchline. Beginning with a dim, flickering black-and-white image that in 3D seems to hover in the middle of the theater like a wandering spirit, Get a Horse! literally breaks the fourth wall as Mickey and his pals bust through the screen and spill out into the "modern" world of stereoscopic CGI. The only thing that's genuinely vintage is Walt Disney's voice, which the filmmakers sampled and reshaped to give voice to their thoroughly modern Mickey.

Part of what rankles about Get a Horse! is its self-serving subtext. As many critics have noted, Frozen is a callback to the "Disney Renaissance" that began with 1989's The Little Mermaid -- which like Frozen was loosely adapted from an Andersen story -- an unabashed musical whose casting favors Broadway names like Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad over established movie stars. Get a Horse! forcibly extends that continuity by six decades, linking Disney's current product to its founder and mascot -- you know, the one that would have entered the public domain long ago were copyright law not irredeemably corrupt

But in "breaking through" the 2D frame like some cartoon '80s hard-rock act, Get a Horse! implicitly slights the tradition it purports to homage. It tells viewers -- not just children, but anyone who's never seen a black-and-white Mickey short -- that the "classic" format is something to be patiently endured until the real action starts. Even though both are modern creations, the 3D animation looks garish and clunky next to to the faux old-school imagery, but it's loud and attention-grabbing, "awesome" in a manner that suggests Mickey's new pal Poochie could show up at any minute. 

In a review at Cartoon Research, animator Mark Kausler goes into detail about the ways that Get a Horse! fails to recapture the spirit of Disney's early work. (Be sure to scroll down and read the response by Get a Horse! director Lauren MacMullan, who says "I was always being urged to have the plot spool along quicker than was normal for the era, and to have Mickey burst out of the 2D as early as possible, in case we lose the mainstream audience.): 

The animation in Get a Horse! is very good, but not really of the 1928 period. The action is mostly on ones, very frantic throughout, and has the total immersion, roller-coaster mind set of this century's animation. The Barn Dance has one of the best sequences ever done with the silent era style, and that's when Mickey is dancing with Minnie and his shoes grow to enormous size as he clumsily steps all over her body (see frames below). Although author and historian Mike Barrier would characterize this kind of thing as "violation of the body," which in his view held back the development of personality in drawn animation, I see it as true CARTOON acting. Mickey's shoes don't grow big just for the hell of it, they grow to convey his utter ineptness in dancing. Minnie's body isn't stepped on and stretched and distorted because Ub was playing with the medium; her body is "violated" to show what's in her mind and her attitude toward Mickey's dance steps. In Get A Horse, there is some "violation" going on, as when Mickey creates a step ladder out of his leg for Minnie to climb upon, but it doesn't serve the acting well, there is no real reason for Mickey to make a step ladder out of his leg than showing off the flexibility of his cartoon body.

(Note: "On ones" means that a new drawing is created for each frame, rather than every other as was more often the case in early animation.)

Frozen itself is an amiable mess, with a handful of dynamite songs, lively performances, and confused story structure that arbitrarily shifts points of view to avoid dealing with the fact that in Andersen's original story Menzel's frozen-hearted princess is the villain. It's transparently inspired by Disney's far superior Tangled, which was also about a young woman overcoming emotional trauma, but sets that aside for amusing but slightly desperate sequences involving an animated snowman. (More troubling is the fact that said snowman has been the centerpiece of Frozen's marketing campaign, which literally buries its female protagonists.) But it doesn't leave the sour aftertaste of Get a Horse! which insults Disney's history while pretending to honor it.

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62 Comments

  • David | March 31, 2014 10:32 AMReply

    The Snow Queen is not the antagonist in the original story, the mirror mentioned in the first part is the cause of Kay's troubles and the Snow Queen merely represents him leaving a world he can only see as being ugly into the arms of winter. To say the character is evil is to also deny that she is merely winter come alive, such as Jack Frost, and leaves at one point to cool the tops of Mt Etna and Mt Vesuvius.

  • Ree | February 8, 2014 9:01 PMReply

    Sometimes I wonder if people try and be hip and sound intellectual by trashing something that everyone enjoys so they can appear to be intelligent and above everyone else. This is one of those times. Get a Horse was fun and reminiscent of the old Disney cartoons. It was whimsical and fun. This review also makes me wonder if he is friends with one of the other studios that are a contender for Best short film and is trying to push doubt in the general audience.

    This whole desire to pick faults on things is becoming rather trite.

  • ann onnimus | February 4, 2014 4:52 PMReply

    wow, so many angry hipsters....

  • Bill Thompson | February 2, 2014 9:56 AMReply

    I'm not down with the backlash against Frozen, it's a great film and I will make no qualms about loving that film.

    However, I wrote a lukewarm review of Get A Horse! back when I saw it in front of Frozen. My issue isn't with the turn to 3D, although I can see what you're saying in that regard. My problem with the short is that the character of Micky is a jerk. It's emblematic of how Disney has been bumbling the character of Mickey Mouse the past few years. His cartoon on The Disney Channel is really bad, and it's bad because Mickey Mouse is not Spongebob Squarepants. That's what Disney is turning Mickey into, and they are somehow trying to justify it under the pretense that they are paying homage to classic Mickey. They aren't though, they are bastardizing a character who is real hard to get wrong.

  • Derrick Still | March 5, 2014 12:02 AM

    In what way are the new Mickey Mouse shorts bad, I've seen maybe 4 (I don't watch tv often) and it seemed fine to me

  • Anonymous | February 17, 2014 3:22 AM

    Sorry, Bill Thompson, but you're completely wrong in your opinion on Mickey's personality.

    His character in Get a Horse and the Disney Channel shorts is reminiscent of the more mischievous, rascally personality that he had in the late 1920's and 1930's.

    So, go do your research and you will see that they are NOT "bastardizing" or "bumbling" the character in the slightest possible manner as well as how completely wrong you are!

  • Hank1138 | February 1, 2014 6:13 PMReply

    I find the sudden backlash against Frozen pretty darn funny, finding these loud voices picking holes where they aren't (or at best are minuscule), sure Frozen ain't perfect, but it's as darn near perfect as any princess oriented animation has been for some time.

    But most importantly to this thread Get a Horse! In no way insults the history of the Walt Disney Company. Sure the bulk of the action takes place in the 3D cgi world, and the 'technical' animation in the old school 2D world isn't exactly the same as it was in the late 20s, but the gag construction, humour, voice work (let's not forget Walt is the voice of Mickey in this), and the message throughout pretty much spells out 'old is good'. The fact that 'progress' is represented by Big Bad Pete and his car (with it's horn spouting 'make way for the future') get there just desserts. And despite this wonderful new fangled 3D malarkey, where do Mickey and his pals go in the end? Do they hang out in the 3D world? No they return to there 2D world. Again reiterating 'old is good' and that Disney have no intention of forgetting there origins. For me this short using classic Mickey, classic style sight gags, causing an entire movie theatre to roll in the aisles with laughter, shows how relevant Mickey and more importantly the Walt Disney Company has become to the modern world, that the old fashioned family values that the studio was built on (with one eye firmly on the future) are the values that matter today. Basically Get a Horse! Is classic Disney, but it's also modernist Disney, that like Mickey and his pals in the short itself has one foot rooted firmly in history and one sprinting into the future.

    And although the author of this article is entitled to there opinions, it's worth pointing out that they feel a little 'deliberately' anti the short (and Frozen) purely to go against the status quo, due in no small part to no real (or flimsy at best) argument against there merits.

  • Calum | February 1, 2014 5:24 PMReply

    Both were fantastic, and this writer obviously has some agenda against the films.

    The short was absolutely clever - it was there to get kids into 3D, and also introduce the cartoons they've never seen. It was a warm-up act, and all it needed to be, and to proclaim it was a slap in the face to Disney animation - you REALLY have no idea what you're on about.

    You may prefer Tangled over Frozen, but that does not make Tangled a better film. I loved Tangled, but Frozen is far superior in its story and songs, and the characters are much more relateable - add to that the fact they're also breaking all the rules they set up, it's a magical movie that's specially moulded for this generation. Family is important - and that message was much clearer than in Tangled.

    I don't have time for writers like you, who call themselves journalists but everything they write is opinion. That's not journalism, that's whinging.

  • Bill Thompson | February 2, 2014 9:59 AM

    Film criticism and film writing is opinion, that's all that one can write about an art form that is entirely subjective. You can take issue with what any person writes about film, but to dismiss what they are writing because it's opinion is a swing and a miss at what constitutes film and film criticism.

  • Ryan | February 1, 2014 5:12 PMReply

    I really think this is a stretch. While watching it I was not a casual viewer, I thought of it as trying to understand what they're trying to say. To think that animators are trashing the old form of animation is absurd. These animators love classic Disney films! Why do you think they got into the industry? This was their way of saying they want to be like classic Disney and blend it with their own style. To think otherwise is pure ignorance. You're going for your own agenda instead of thinking of the people that actually worked on the project. They are not 16 year olds screaming for more noise and action. These are adults who have studied animation and love where it once was and they're trying to mimic their heroes. Get a grip on yourself.

  • kary | February 1, 2014 2:07 PMReply

    I don't care what the reviews say... I love this shortfilm even more than Frozen. (BTW Tangled was way too better than Frozen) This short was an amazing, one of the best 3D experiences I ever had. I enjoyed it a lot I was laughing so hard and I wasn't the only one, I think everyone in the audience really loved this short.

  • Todd | February 1, 2014 12:51 PMReply

    I am in the group of people that found "Get a horse" to be the startling and amazing use of 3-D they have ever experienced. I was simply amazed, wowed from start to finish. The reviewer might consider watching what is on the screen instead of boring his readers with his interpretation of the "subtext". The audience I sat with laughed out loud throughout and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.

  • Bill | February 1, 2014 1:26 PM

    Yeah, f*ck you reviewer for offering a perspective on the film that jars with my superficial reaction to it!

  • Donna | February 1, 2014 11:41 AMReply

    I hated "Get a Horse". There was little charm to invite me into its storyline, which is how the early shorts excel. It was exhausting to watch and I remained under-whelmed, even resistant to whatever it was trying to accomplish (pop my eyes apparently). The other comments, with their strenuous defense of their enjoyment of the short, remind me of musical humor a la PDQ Bach. If you aren't familiar with structure and form of classical music, PDQ Bach doesn't make much sense -- you won't enjoy the inside jokes about surprise endings, unexpected rhythms, inappropriate instruments, etc. Perhaps that's why so many people are rhapdsodizing about Frozen (ugh) and Get a Horse (quadruple ugh) .... they can't tell the difference between Little Mermaid/Toy Story and Frozen. Sorry if I sound dismissive/arrogant, but I remain startled at how awful Frozen/Get A Horse is and how much the general population like it.

  • Brittney | January 28, 2014 8:18 PMReply

    From the perspective of an animator and Disney fan....

    The short and the movie were fantastic. Being able to capture the essence of the original Mickey and blending it with that of modern times was truly brilliant. To those who complained that the short was awful because of that, and/or there is no "arc", you are entitled to your far-fetched opinions. (To address one of the previous comments..) Not every short Disney has made is full of tangible heart and soul and in need of a tissue box. Is it ok for the animators to have fun and show their skills- absolutely. The "heart and soul" came in the form of the amount of work those brief minutes took to complete.

    Kids in today's generation have grown accustomed to what I will call the "now syndrome." They want what they want and they aren't willing to wait for it, hence why taking some 6 years to see Frozen will make them restless.

    I will say that I am personally not a fan of the 3D modeling that was used, but that is a style preference. Nonetheless, "Get a Horse" is awesome.

    The movie itself is stunning, both in the animation a script. It wasn't the "typical" royalty. The characters were witty and also highly relevant to today's time.

    I grew up on Disney (the movies produced in the 90s), with that said Chris M ( the second comment), yes, having catchy, belting songs is what Disney (animations) are known for. If you don't care for constant burst of singing- then stick to Disney's "live-action" material.

  • Hallie | January 26, 2014 6:21 PMReply

    I think you people are reading way too deeply into a cartoon. Why not just enjoy it as it is... A cartoon?

  • Chris M | January 26, 2014 12:25 PMReply

    I've seen both Frozen and Get a Horse. I actually loved Frozen- though I always find it a bit much how Disney can't wait to throw in a belting song- seriously, Disney, must everyone break out into song every five minutes? Is that how life is at Disney Studios? One big songfest? Emotionally charged situations like firings and good lunches must take hours to make it through.

    Anyway, I sought out others who were rubbed the wrong way by 'Get a Horse'. As the author points out, the 3-D animation is 'garish', but I find it more startling than anything. It screams at you for no good reason other than to get your attention- kind of like most creative work on the internet these days. But that's not it's greatest flaw. Where it really falls short, and sadly disappoints, is how it has no substance. It just feels like a large team of animators showing off.

    "Gee, audience, look what we can do!"

    My reation: No sh*t. With corporate Disney money you can hire all of China to make animations dance all around the walls of one's living room built from gold... OK, I lost the analogy. My point is, I'm not impressed with the obvious. I'd prefer something more subtle and heartfelt- and THAT'S what the homage misses. It has no heart. I don't give a flip who comes out ahead in this short- they could have made mouse stew from the lot of the protagonists for all I cared about them, because I didn't- and that's the point.

    All the glitter, style and technique in the world is complete emptiness without soul.

    I'm glad to hear bored 4 year old boys like it. I think that's who they were aiming for.

  • henrietta | January 24, 2014 2:43 AMReply

    I took my 3 grandchildren to see Frozen , it was a total surprise to see the short film before , I
    absolutely loved it , the kids said that it was better then the whole " Frozen "film ,
    fantastic .

  • louise | January 22, 2014 2:24 AMReply

    Ive taken my kids to see Frozen twice and they loved it so much that they have begged to see it one more time at the movies before it finishes playing. I was going to take them, and then I remembered about this mini-movie and honestly the thought of sitting through it for a third time means I'll probably skip the whole thing completely. it was awful to try to keep my children still during it for the first time, and the second was virtually impossible...a third?

    its like taking them to the Grand Prix and then expecting them to sit through a horse pulling a cart around the track for ten minutes.

  • Rick | January 16, 2014 1:36 PMReply

    C´mon, the cartoon was fine!, i was with my 4 year old nephew, he was dead bored when it started, it was black and white, i was fascinated, im an animator, it was really nice to see an old disney cartoon from the 30's in the big screen, then when it turn into 3d, my nephew's expression was amazing, we thought they were real, in the movie, then he was like, these are dolls. That's what it was amazing, dont over analyze a cartoon, is not sexual, violent blah, that's the mood in that age, remember Betty Boop? or Popeye? c'mon!... Is like people saying the Road Runner is too violent, or the 3 stooges should be banned... pffffff...

    and the mix, between 2d in B/w and the 3d in color, is perfect, see it again, look for the details, and think in the amount of work in there...is not just a silly cartoon..it was really well made.

  • Matt | January 16, 2014 10:05 AMReply

    Yet another person who refuses to accept that the times, they are a-changin'. Look, I am a Disney FANATIC, and I love the original shorts as much as anyone. Having said that, yes, Disney did rush through to 2D sections...because it is aimed at TODAY'S generation.

    The short wasn't made for "us"...it was made for today's generation, with NODS to the 2D style of yesteryear. Its purpose was to show TODAY'S kids what cartoons used to look like, which it did to perfection.

    It's a great short, and your cynicism isn't going to change that.

  • Adele | January 14, 2014 9:36 PMReply

    Seriously?

  • Kate plus 8 minus crazy | January 11, 2014 8:32 AMReply

    I don't understand the reference to the city of Poughkeepsie when Minnie asks "Where are we, Poughkeepsie?" If anyone can explain this I would appreciate it.

  • Adam | January 8, 2014 6:19 PMReply

    "..implicitly slights the tradition it purports to homage." This sentence implicitly slights the language it purports to homage.

  • chris | January 6, 2014 12:52 AMReply

    Sam is right; "Get a Horse"'s subtext insults the older Disney cartoons in a way. Maybe that's just deconstruction, though. No matter what, the whole affair is an insipid, frantic mess with no arc to the story, a boring resolution and some ill-conceived themes. Also it was needlessly sexist and violent. So I agree with the the author.
    Now whats up with all these Disney freaks and their weird, hyper-sensitive commentary? Like someone insulted baby jesus or something?
    The maus' posse rolls DEEP!

  • derek | January 5, 2014 5:56 AMReply

    Everybody here (including the critic) who is overly critiquing a cartoon using words such as violence, sexual exploitation and the like embody everything that has become wrong with the world today. Generations of kids grew up watching these cartoons and did not grow inyo sexist fascist or neo nazi identities. They grew up having fond memories of cartoons from days gone by.
    So lighten up. Stop overly expanding on concepts that arent there and just enjoy the cartoon! Its some six minutes long; its barely taken nowhere near enough of your life away as the additional 30 mins you have spent writing a slating report on it!
    Get a grip.lighten up. And move on.

  • Huh | January 4, 2014 2:48 AMReply

    "...attempt to link Disney's hand-drawn past to its computer-generated 3D future. It feels about as inspired as an interoffice memo."

    Spend a day with a 3D animator. Go back in time and spend a day with a 2D animator. Then let me know if it...

    "...recapture(s) the spirit of Disney's early work."

    3D is a medium. Relax.

  • Rick | January 1, 2014 9:50 PMReply

    Look at the short through the eyes of a 5 year old waiting to see Frozen and you will realize how awful it is.

  • Wack'd | December 29, 2013 2:50 AMReply

    You want to argue that the short's historically inaccurate or rushed, fine, but I think it skirts executive demand pretty well if they do genuinely feel the 2D black and white is something to wait through. If anything it feels a lot like a celebration of that time and place, bringing one of its oldest gags into a new medium while retaining everything that made the classics such a joy to watch. I know I wouldn't have considered looking through any Mickey Mouse shorts before, much less the older ones--I'm far more of a Looney Tunes fan--but I've been trying to dig some up since I got back from the theater. "Get a Horse!" genuinely piqued my curiosity, and I don't doubt it probably left a lot of kids in the theater jonesing too.

  • Caroline | December 28, 2013 7:37 PMReply

    I wanted to take a moment to applaud Mr Adams' well rounded critique (especially in light of some negative responses). While my opinion varies from Mr. Adams' opinions, I appreciate his thoughts. He has taken into account peer responses and has replied accordingly. I found the short to be needlessly violent and visiting some of the early twentieth century's sexual discrimination (Minnie's objectification). I found this even more out of place in light of the fact that Frozen is advocating female independence. Good concept of past and present but poorly executed.

  • John | December 25, 2013 10:06 PMReply

    Why does this short have to be a replica of a 1930's Disney cartoon? This cartoon was made in 2013 and if should appeal to today's audiences. If they wanted us to see an old Disney short, they'd run an old Disney short. It's not like anyone under 40 has seen them. BTW get a horse was amazing.

  • Bill Thompson | February 2, 2014 10:02 AM

    My daughter is well under 40, as am I and my wife, and we've seen countless old Disney shorts. The great ones hold up, and they can, and do, easily appeal to today's audiences.

  • Søren | December 22, 2013 12:13 AMReply

    I enjoyed the short (and adored Frozen), but I think it's important to point out how the film gets things "wrong" in more detail than is laid out here.

    What is fundamentally incorrect about the first part of this short is twofold. One, it does not appear to be hand-drawn, even though it is. It feels too clean, in a way not dissimilar to a lot of vector-based animation on modern television, and that instantly breaks the "1928 feel." Second, and perhaps more importantly, this short particularly seemed to evoke moments from Ub Iwerks' legendary Plane Crazy. In that short, as with many other early Mickey shorts, Mickey is the god-like (or human-like, if you think in terms of animator/animated) agent for whose will *the world* bends, not the other way around. In other words, although there's nothing stopping Mickey from using his leg as a staircase, in the days of Plane Crazy, he would have used some other animal, item, etc. and repurposed it as stairs to match his wishes. Mickey was kind of a jerk like that.

    On a related note, Mickey offering his leg to Minnie as stairs is probably the nicest thing "early Mickey" ever did. In the old shorts, Mickey was kind of... not very nice to her.

    Anyway, I enjoyed Get a Horse!, particularly when it gets into the interplay of 2D and 3D worlds. But black and white, 2D, and an "antique film" video filter can't cover up what is inauthentic about its opening sequence.

  • Jonathan | December 21, 2013 4:47 AMReply

    Please, Mr. Adams, never review anything ever again.
    You're very bad at it.
    Thank you.

  • Robert Poole | December 21, 2013 2:21 AMReply

    While I disagree that this short is total tripe, I do agree that while they tried (and tried incredibly well) to imitate the classic 30's style, I could still tell that these were the modern animators doing the work by the way some moments and characters moved. Not that I didn't like that either. Whenever Peg-Leg Pete was on screen, he had the best character animation, great gags, and possibly the wackiest and most inventive cartoon comeuppances I've seen in the modern animation era.

  • El Cocodrilo | December 19, 2013 12:50 AMReply

    This article is extremely nitpicky, I say lighten up.

  • daniel | December 16, 2013 2:25 AMReply

    for me this was the best part of the show i am 37 and grew up wth mickey so i was thrilled by the animation and the 3D was so amazing better then any i have ever seen and i watch 5 movies a week. this was outstanding so realustic my daughter me and my wife kept reaching out to see if mickey was real. mind blown! boom, thank you disney for giving my daughter a chance to see why mickey was such a big part of my heart as a child and give her a small part of me.

  • James Irwin | December 10, 2013 1:13 PMReply

    The article seems to be a lot of blather, but I hated GET A HORSE myself. I didn't care for the entire presentation (everything seemed too small and distant) and the 3D effects were middling at best (FROZEN however, was stunningly rich in 3D.) And trying to mimick a theatre setting made the whole affair dim and dingy. It was a forced gimmick, and I found it irritating. The only entertainment it offered me was Minnie asking "Where are we... Poughkeepsie" I don't understand people's positive reaction to it at all.

  • meccano | December 9, 2013 3:44 PMReply

    There seems to be some implication that current computer animation isn't made by the creative hands of animators. Ink and pen may have been replaced by cpu's and software, but the human artists remain. Certainly one can not like 'Get a Horse' but I don't think unDisneyesque to use updated or modern technology to tell a story. In fact, it is very much in keeping with Disney's own work of the time like the 'Alice' shorts or rival Fleischer's 'Out of the Inkwell' series. Throughout his Disney's life and after, his namesake animation has reflected modern uses of technology using sound, color, multiplane, TV, robotics et. al..

    While it is an interesting topic of discussion and debate, the fact the author mentions the corporate entity known today as The Walt Disney Company using "irredeemably corrupt" copyright law to protect it's characters doesn't add to the discussion of whether or not "Get a Horse' is an insult or homage to Disney's previous work. Know that the artists who worked on 'Get a Horse' aren't moonlighting as entertainment copyright lawyers and most likely too busy to keep track of what such corporate legal departments may or may not be up to in order to satisfy shareholders.

  • James Scott | December 8, 2013 9:41 PMReply

    The reaction of the audience in the cinema tells the whole story, the short is terrific and seems to have an overall positive review from everyone other than "qualified critics".
    Disspointing response Sam, thjs is something that has obviously had hours of thought go into it and the kids and adults alike loved!

  • David | December 7, 2013 11:24 PMReply

    The short was brilliant. It was worth the price of the 3D ticket alone.

    What I got out of it was that the folks at Disney were saying, "We're still number one, look what we can do." It was an experience very similar to the 3D shows at Disney World, and it succeeds in pushing the boundaries beyond anything you've seen before.

    Everything about it said, "We haven't left our roots, but that doesn't mean we don't still lead the pack, even in technology."

    This was especially evident when the characters swing into the audience three times, each a bit further, till they almost seemed to pass behind you Each swing further back and forth was not only to delight the audience, but to drive home the point that they're still in the business of creating magic.

  • kary | February 1, 2014 2:18 PM

    OMG finally someone said it... yeah The shortfilm was awesome, the movie... too much songs. I was like oh gosh here we go again, another song. I think Tangled was better, there's songs but no so many.

  • David | December 7, 2013 11:27 PM

    I should add that after the short, the movie was wonderful, if you're a ten year old girl, but I wish somebody had tole me it was a broadway musical. I would have stuck a fork in my eye to refocus the pain.

  • Joseph | December 6, 2013 1:16 AMReply

    This 'analysis' is utter tripe and wholly misguided. You can hate on "Get a Horse!" as much as you want, Sam, but I say "Get a Life!"

  • CJ | December 5, 2013 11:01 PMReply

    "In Get A Horse, there is some "violation" going on, as when Mickey creates a step ladder out of his leg for Minnie to climb upon, but it doesn't serve the acting well, there is no real reason for Mickey to make a step ladder out of his leg than showing off the flexibility of his cartoon body."

    The step-ladder thing was done to show that Mickey Mouse is a gentleman. He cares deeply about Minnie and doesn't want her to jump and potentially injure herself by missing the wagon. It develops his character.

    God, for people who overanalyze stuff this much, you sure miss the most obvious things. This entire review smacks entirely of reading into entirely the wrong things. I'm a huge fan of traditional animation and I thought that it was both an excellent homage to the classic age of animation and a tribute to what Disney's doing now and how far we've come as a culture since then.

  • Pop Bitez | December 5, 2013 2:53 AMReply

    Damn, to say you've got issues would be an understatement. You may not have cared for the short or film but, honestly, where is all the venom coming from? Did your parents beat you with a Mickey Mouse belt when you were a child? If they didn't I believe they should have, nightly. As for the matter of the public domain laws being "irredeemably corrupt", why should any artistic creation EVER be subjected to "those who want to reuse or reinvent them without permission"? What right or claim to anyone else's work should you or any other idiot be afforded? The talentless hacks of the world are the only people foolish and ugly enough to salivate at the idea of another person's work being released into the public domain, freed from the restraints of proper ownership, and primed for unmitigated rape and abuse. Why shouldn't the Disney family and corporation be entitled to continue to profit from Mickey until the end of time? Why should anyone ever be allowed to profit from another person's ingenuity and talent, regardless of how many years have passed?! The fact that the copyright on any creative property ever expires is the true corruption.

  • Sam Adams | December 5, 2013 9:26 AM

    My parents' child-rearing strategy to one side, copyright was designed to expire to as not to stifle innovation; after a certain amount of time, art is meant to belong to everyone. If you want to argue that copyright should never expire, go ahead, but that places you on the lunatic fringe. In an era when sampling and reappropriation are indisputably creative acts, it's anti-art to argue otherwise.

  • Dave | December 4, 2013 1:43 PMReply

    CRITICS = LOOSERS

    (I intentionally spell "losers" wrong because I know it rankles critics. HAW-HAW!)

  • emkay | March 15, 2014 4:22 PM

    wow you're such a winner go you omg so deep wow so much hilarity and laughter wow

  • Nancy C Fecca | December 4, 2013 12:13 PMReply

    Thank God I never take a critic's word. Water is never wet enough for you guys! Went to see Frozen and loved it and the short. Thought it was Crazy Good!

  • yragcom1 | December 4, 2013 8:57 AMReply

    A whole lot of extremely bitter people here. I had been waiting to see "Get A Horse" for months, and I TOTALLY agree with your assessment/review. Extremely frantic in execution and pace, and a concept that has been done before countless times in various WB cartoons.
    Also, I'd like to know how many of the naysayers here saw "Get A Horse" in 3D. I'm guessing the majority of people who commented, which would explain a lot.

    I've gotten over 3D quick, and refuse to let it sway my opinion of a movie. If it's good, it's good regardless of 3D. "Get A Horse" is OK, but not raving great.

    I found "Frozen" however, to be exceptional, much better than I anticipated it to be, and in my opinion, the best Disney movie since "The Lion King".

    In the end, that's all "Get A Horse" is, an extended, six-minute 3D assault

  • Marianne Gulbranson | December 3, 2013 8:02 AMReply

    It was wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • C. K Dexter Haven | December 2, 2013 5:46 AMReply

    Wow... Lighten up, Mary. Your bitterness and anger over this is ludicrous.
    You act as if this was done specifically do insult you.
    Shouldn't you be doing more constructive things -- like jerking off while hanging from a rope?

    For the record, I thought the short was ingenious and respectful and a wonderful way to introduce the older look and feel of classic animation to a new generation.

  • DarylT | December 1, 2013 3:08 AMReply

    A) your ignoring the many glowingly positive reviews for Frozen
    B) Mickey should never enter public domain
    C) The short doesnt subvert anything. Its a fun little idea that links the past to the present.

  • Elliot Cowan | December 1, 2013 12:56 AMReply

    Get A Horse was created with more passion and love for the medium that the idiot who wrote this could ever dream of.
    What a sad, sad guy.

  • Kim Bowers | November 30, 2013 7:39 PMReply

    The kids in the theater with us were heartily laughing at the old style portion of the feature. They loved it before the new Mickey popped out. I think that says a a lot. I think Walt would be tickled that they pulled off such a great surprise and delighted the audience in the process.

  • Steve | November 30, 2013 6:03 PMReply

    Sam "I Like To Hear Myself Talk" Adams.

  • John Baxter | November 30, 2013 2:37 PMReply

    I have been a serious fan of vintage Disney animation for decades, and yet I managed to thoroughly enjoy Get a Horse. Messrs. Adams and Kausler sound like two jaded theater critics ripping apart the latest modern-dress staging of Hamlet, rather than students of animation history who should be thrilled that Get a Horse even exists. Lighten up, gentlemen...

  • szegers | November 30, 2013 9:13 AMReply

    very interesting. i was planning to ignore Frozen, but i have to see this for myself. i had just seen the preview clips and I did get that feeling that the movements weren't really silent-era (with missing the "action on thirds" trope and all)

    thanks!

  • Jukka | November 30, 2013 3:26 AMReply

    So here we are. Grown men overanalayzing a Disney short film starring Mickey Mouse.
    Now I understand. But man does this seem so useless... Just enjoy the show.

  • szegers | November 30, 2013 9:14 AM

    there's no such thing as overanalizing when it comes to loving animation history :)

    us geeks will be geeks so let us proceed with our hours-long conversations about wins or mccay and such

  • D | November 30, 2013 1:29 AMReply

    Silly reporter

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