Director: David Hand
Release Date: January 19, 1935
Stars: Mickey Mouse
Like in ‘The Castaway‘ (1932), Mickey has been shipwrecked, and he’s washed ashore at a tropical island full of cannibals.
When the cannibals try to cook a young native, Mickey scares them away in order to rescue the poor fellow. He then adopts this young native and they build a fort together, which they finish just in time, before the cannibals return to attack them. These eventually manage to overrun Mickey’s defense, and Mickey and the native flee on a self made ‘ship’.
Even compared to Disney’s two other embarrassing cartoons about cannibals (the Silly Symphony ‘Cannibal Capers‘ (1930) and ‘Trader Mickey‘ (1932, curiously also directed by David Hand), the depiction of natives in ‘Mickey’s Man Friday’ is backward and humiliating. Mickey’s man Friday uses his feet more than his hands and appears to be more closely related to apes than to men. This is so sickening to watch that this is one of the very rare cartoons of which I feel that they could have remained under the rug, despite the fast and clever ‘invention gags’ featured in this cartoon, which foreshadow comparable gags in ‘The Flintstones’.
Watch ‘Mickey’s Man Friday’ yourself and tell me what you think:
This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 72
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: Two-Gun Mickey
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Band Concert