Director: Wilfred Jackson
Release Date: July 11, 1932
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Peg Leg Pete
‘Mickey in Arabia’ can be described as ‘Gallopin’ Gaucho‘ in Arabia.
In this short Mickey and Minnie are tourists visiting some mythical Arabian country on a camel. Here they meet Peg Leg Pete, who has both his legs here, and who apparently is some sort of sheik. Pete captures Minnie, which leads to a continuous series of gags.
Despite its all too familiar story outline, ‘Mickey in Arabia’ is a major step forward in the Mickey Mouse series. It places Mickey outside his familiar barnyard and performance settings, and sends him on an adventure abroad, similar to the ones Mickey was having in Floyd Gottfredson’s comic strip of the same time. Mickey is at his best as the little hero, and he excels here.
The adventure notwithstanding, the Disney story men didn’t forget to fill the short with gags, making ‘Mickey in Arabia’ a fast paced and funny short. It also has a great score, which makes excellent use of Albert Ketèlbey’s ‘In a Persian Market’ to create an Arabian atmosphere.
The studio had hit the jackpot, and in the next two years Mickey would play the little hero more often, with delightful results. Indeed, already in the same year, ‘Mickey in Arabia’ would be topped by the excellent ‘Touchdown Mickey’ and ‘The Klondike Kid’.
Two years later, Floyd Gottfredson would reuse the Arabian setting in the Mickey Mouse comic strip ‘The Sacred Jewel’ (1934).
Watch ‘Mickey in Arabia’ yourself and tell me what you think:
This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 43
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: Musical Farmer
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Mickey’s Nightmare