58. The Flying Mouse – David Hand

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SUMMARY: A mouse who wishes he could fly like a bird is granted his wish by a good fairy, but finds that having wings isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

WHY IT’S HERE: In terms of message, ‘The Flying Mouse’ is one of the clumsiest Disney shorts. Although it seems that the intention is to put across the moral ‘Be yourself’, it actually comes across as a deeply conservative ‘Know your place’, discouraging dreamers from branching out and embracing new things. But for all its muddied waters when it comes to message, ‘The Flying Mouse’ is a huge step forward in storytelling. Eschewing the gag-based approach of the Mickey cartoons and the singing and dancing of the Silly Symphonies, ‘The Flying Mouse’ creates an original fable from scratch and, across its nine minutes, plays out like a condensced feature. Though the music plays a part, it is secondary to the plot here. Along with the adaptations of other well-known fables like ‘Three Little Pigs’ and ‘The Grasshopper and the Ants’, ‘The Flying Mouse’ speaks of Disney’s readiness to begin producing feature films.

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