Mick Mouse gets updated with a retro look in a new series of shorts by animator Paul Rudish (Samurai Jack). His appearance is based on the character’s original designs Rudish told the Wall Street Journal.
“He’s had evolutions through his timeline,” he explained. “Getting into development I started looking back, referring to old model sheets. My personal favorites were the black and white ones or the color ones from 30s with the rubber hose animation and the dot eyes on the white face and that sense of surrealism that those old cartoons had, with odd body shapes and facial expressions. I drew on that.”
The cartoony characters are juxtaposed on painted backgrounds but the real contrast is watching these beloved icons engage in irreverent humor. “There are no rules,” Rudish declared on TV Guide.
“These new cartoons may come as a shock to anyone who thinks of Mickey only as a corporate logo or the friendly greeter at the Disney theme parks,” he warns viewers. “We’re taking the character back to his roots, when he was not only a lot of fun but also very funny.”
The cheekiness is apparent from the first episode, “No Service.” Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck try to order food for a picnic with the girls but they’re turned away by Chef Goofy. “No shirt, no shoes, no service,” he informs them. Mickey reluctantly gives Donald his clothes to form a complete outfit. Donald has a good laugh until the tables are turned on him. He’s admonished by Daisy Duck, despite her own lack of clothes. Just in case there’s any ambiguity that Disney characters are in fact naked, the cartoon ends with an iris out of a pantless Goofy scratching himself. “Boy, some people ain’t got no class,” he comments.
Mickey Mouse Shorts airs on the Disney Channel Fridays at 9:25 PM EST.
Download on iTunes.