Mickey Mouse has experienced quite a renaissance lately. The Epic Mickey video games featured him prominently, and this summer’s series of shorts on the Disney Channel – funky, stylized world travelogues featuring the Mouse himself – have brought him back into the spotlight in a major way. In June, Disney announced that another Mickey Mouse short, “Get A Horse!,” would debut for the public before the studio’s animated feature Frozen this November (the studio showed it at the Annecy Film Festival on June 11 in France).
The interesting thing about the film is that no one quite knows whether it’s a long lost restoration or a new film done in a throwback style. Disney himself provides the voice of Mickey Mouse in the short, and the studio is billing it as a “never-before-seen” film, which would lead you to believe it’s something Walt Disney Animation has found covered in dust on a shelf.
But who are we kidding? Shelved projects from the Mouse House, and certainly long lost films we’ve never heard anything about, are a bit rare. Everything Disney did or tried to do is well-documented and has been dragged out into the light of day. And trotting out a long-lost hand-drawn classic might be a little awkward in the wake of the studio’s dismantling of its hand-drawn animation division, wouldn’t it? This is surely something new. But to keep the air of mystery going, the studio hasn’t been forthcoming on answers.
This short would of course mean Walt Disney’s first on-screen credit in many years, and it pairs neatly with the first ever fictional portrayal of Walt this Christmas in Saving Mr. Banks. The synopsis of “Get A Horse!” is as follows:
Starring the one and only Mickey Mouse and featuring Walt Disney himself as the voice of the iconic character, this black-and-white, hand-drawn short follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they delight in a musical wagon ride—until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.
Is “Get A Horse!” really an old chestnut that Disney found in the archives, or is it something new made to look old with modern movie trickery? We may never know, but the hype surrounding the short may bring that many more moviegoers in to see Frozen.