91. Magician Mickey – David Hand

014-magician mickey

SUMMARY: Mickey, with technical support from Goofy, takes on Donald as he repeatedly heckles his magic act.

WHY IT’S HERE: In a departure from the usual Mickey, Donald and Goofy set-up, in which they are shown to be a team, ‘Magician Mickey’ pits Mickey against Donald. Unusually for these cartoons, Goofy is the one who gets marginalised, barely making a cameo as the lighting expert above the stage. Instead we focus on an ingenious, escalating war between Donald’s rude heckler and Mickey’s all-powerful magician. Using on the stage and the spaces around it as a setting, ‘Magician Mickey’ works in several virtuoso scenes of animated magic, including Donald’s transformation into various animals and a running gag in which a whole pack of cards keeps emerging from his bill. ‘Magician Mickey’ feels like a great forerunner for the likes of Tex Avery’s ‘Magical Maestro’, UPA’s ‘The Magic Fluke’ and, over six decades later, Pixar’s ‘Presto’.

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