Director: Walt Disney
Release Date: March 6, 1930
Stars: Mickey Mouse
Mickey is the sole performer in his fourth concert cartoon (after ‘The Opry House‘, ‘Mickey’s Follies‘ and ‘The Jazz Fool‘, all from 1929). This time he’s playing the violin, presenting his reading of the fifth Hungarian dance by Johannes Brahms, Träumerei by Robert Schumann (which makes him cry) and, as an encore, the finale from ‘Overture William Tell‘ by Gioacchino Rossini.
The whole setting is such that we’ve got the feeling we’re part of the audience ourselves, and that the man with the mocking laugh is among us. Later, the Warner Bros. studio would expand upon this idea of cartoon figures and audience interplay.
‘Just Mickey’ contains some good facial expression animation of Mickey, besides some great shadow effects during his rendering of ‘Träumerei‘. Moreover, the hand movements in this short are remarkably convincing. It is an early showcase of Walt Disney’s ambition to improve the art of animation. Being the first Mickey Mouse cartoon after Ub Iwerks’s departure in January 1930, it shows the studio could do very well without him…
Watch ‘Just Mickey’ yourself and tell me what you think: