Directed By: Lauren MacMullan
Starring: Walt Disney, Marcellite Garner, Russi Taylor
Line form this film: "Where are we... Poughkeepsie?"
Trivia: This movie features archival recordings of Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse
Inspired by early Mickey Mouse cartoons and featuring one of the most original ideas I’ve ever seen in a short film, 2014’s Get a Horse! is nothing short of amazing.
We open with a small, black and white 4x3 screen. After spotting them from his front yard, Mickey Mouse (looking like he did in the ‘30s) hitches a ride with some of his friends on a passing horse-drawn wagon. Before long, they pick up a few more passengers, including Clarabelle Cow and Minnie Mouse, and as the group slowly makes its way down the road, the impatient Peg-Leg Pete pulls up behind them in a motor car and starts blasting his horn, insisting they move over so he can pass. It‘s then that Pete lays eyes on Minnie Mouse, who he’s instantly smitten with. Mickey does what he can to keep Minnie safe, but Pete is too fast for him, and snatches Minnie from the wagon before anyone else can grab her. Then, to make his getaway, Pete slams into the back of the wagon, shattering it into a dozen pieces. The impact sends its occupants flying off in every direction, but Mickey and his pal Horace Horsecollar don't immediately hit the ground; instead, they’re tossed into the movie screen, which is projecting their adventures to a paying audience. Suddenly, Pete gets an idea of how he can get rid of Mickey Mouse once and for all. It’s at this point Get a Horse! really gets interesting, with Mickey and Horace (now in color) entering the world of today, where they find a few modern devices that, hopefully, will help them break back into the movie and save Minnie before Pete rides off with her.
Combining standard animation with computer graphics, Get a Horse! is an homage to Disney’s past accomplishments, as well as a clear indication that the studio’s current crop of animators are as creative as their predecessors. In a superb twist, archival recordings of the old voice actors, who worked for Disney in the 1930’s, are used for the characters in this film, with Walt Disney himself providing the voice of Mickey Mouse (only the word “red”, which Mickey says after he breaks through the screen and spots his red pants, had to be dubbed by a different actor). This, along with the classic animation style featured in the opening sequence, helped recreate the look and feel of an old-time Mickey Mouse short. Then, when the fourth wall (or in this case, the movie screen) is torn down, Mickey and his pals magically transform into CGI characters (in color, no less). From there on, Get a Horse! gives us both styles (hand-drawn and CGI), resulting in moments of anarchy that will have you laughing out loud.
I haven’t yet seen all of the movies that make up The Walt Disney Short Films Collection, but of the ones I’ve checked out thus far, Get a Horse! is, without question my favorite.