Director: Burt Gillett
Release Date: December 21, 1929
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

Still from 'Wild Waves' featuring Minnie kissing MickeyIn his fifteenth cartoon Mickey is a lifeguard and he saves a nearly drowning Minnie.

To comfort his sweetheart Mickey does some playing and dancing. Some animals (pinguins, sea lions, pelicans and a singing walrus) join in. This is a particularly dull sequence, Minnie cheers up, calls Mickey ‘my hero’ and kisses him. Iris out.

In this short, there’s a story at least the first half of the cartoon, making it slightly better than most of the early Mickey Mouse entries. The cartoon starts with some nice scatting by Mickey. Unfortunately, the fledgling lip-synch still accounts for some strange facial expressions on our hero. The drowning and saving part is the most interesting sequence, and contains some nice water animation, as well Mickey defying gravity by swimming through air.

‘Wild Waves’ was the first short directed by Burt Gillett. Gillett had joined Disney in April 1929. He would become the principal Mickey Mouse director of 1930 and 1931, and in 1933 he would gain fame with ‘Three Little Pigs‘. His career at Disney’s would last until 1934, when he left for the ill-fated Van Beuren Studio.

‘Wild Waves’ also was the last Walt Disney short to feature music by Carl Stalling. When Ub Iwerks left Disney in January 1930, Stalling soon followed, believing the studio had no future without this master animator. For his last film Stalling not only provided the score, but also the singing for Mickey and the Walrus. The singing walrus would be reused half a year later, in the Silly Symphony ‘Arctic Antics‘, while the dancing sea lions returned in ‘The Castaway‘ (1931).

Watch ‘Wild Waves’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 15
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Haunted House
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Just Mickey

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