73. Moving Day – Ben Sharpsteen

Moving_Day

SUMMARY: When Mickey and Donald receive a Notice to Dispossess on their home and property, they attempt to move their belongings out from under the nose of brutish sheriff Pete.

WHY IT’S HERE: By the time ‘Moving Day’ arrived, the series of shorts casting Mickey, Donald and Goofy as a trio was well underway and ‘Moving Day’ is a worthy addition to it, especially as it features a famous struggle between Donald and a plunger that stands as one of the best sequences in the series. However, ‘Moving Day’ is notable for other reasons. For one, although it casts Pete as the usual bullying brute, in this short he is also the law. Mickey and Donald are six months behind on their rent payments and, however much we still root for them, their attempts to escape with the furniture which is no longer theirs makes them the criminal element in this film! Also notable is Goofy’s sequence in ‘Moving Day’, which sees him battling with a troublesome piano. Although fights with inanimate objects had become a staple of these shorts, ‘Moving Day’ takes a step into the surreal when it becomes clear that the piano has taken on a mind of its own. The strange gags that ensue are a gamble and, to be honest, don’t really work. The beauty of these shorts was always how Mickey, Donald and Goofy, get themselves in a mess through their inabilities to deal with inanimate objects in everyday situations. Giving the piano a character of its own takes the cartoon to weird, troubling places, even if Goofy does not react accordingly. The final notable element of ‘Moving Day’ is that, apart from his bookending appearances at the beginning and end, Mickey barely features in the cartoon at all. The writers were clearly finding the superior comic potential of Donald and Goofy easier to write for and, as a result, Mickey is just forgotten about. This is a great shame, as it is the blending of these three distinct personalities that makes these cartoons such a joy. All in all, ‘Moving Day’ is still a good cartoon but it finds the series stumbling quite visibly.

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