Friday, December 2, 2011


I had the opportunity and the honor to animate Mickey Mouse on a number of occasions. In "Who framed Roger Rabbit" it was Dale Baer who handled most scenes for Mickey's cameo, but I did a few as well. A couple years later in 1990 the studio produced "The Prince and the Pauper", and I got the chance to animate a few key sequences. 
To tell you the truth, it was intimidating to get started on such an iconic character. 
I have always loved Mickey Mouse shorts, but since the character's look changed over the years, which design should we apply for this new featurette?
After studying just about all of his classic films, we agreed that the most charming looking Mickey was from the period of the late 1930ies to early 1940ies.
Time to go back to the archives and study Fred Moore. It was so much fun
to find out, how Mickey's hands really work and how to do graphic cheats with his ears and nose. 
The section I particularly enjoyed animating was when Mickey and the Prince meet for the first time. They both have the same design, but the acting needed to be specific to each character. Mickey is humble and shy, the prince is confident and cocky.

I had discussed "The Brave Little Taylor" (probably my favorite Mickey short) with Frank Thomas, who admitted that Mickey's old concept for his eyes gave him trouble when animating certain acting scenes. 
Still, those scenes in front of the King and Princess Minnie are animated GOLD.

The last Mickey short I worked on was "Runaway Brain" from 1995.
I can't shake the feeling that the world is truly waiting for a cool Mickey comeback, he's been away from the screen way too long, wouldn't it be nice.......