Watch a New Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Short “No Service”

A second new Mickey Mouse short, No Service, has been made viewable (for American viewers) on Disney’s website. This short is night and day from the first one they made public, Croissant de Triomphe. It has a solid setup, fast-paced but clear direction, character-driven conflict and gags, and most importantly, it’s funny.

A couple weaknesses stood out. As with nearly every other contemporary cartoon, the short is padded with unnecessary dialogue. What does the audience gain from hearing Donald Duck say, “That’s not funny,” after we already see him fuming from being dissed by Mickey? The bigger issue is the backgrounds. As lovely as they are as illustrations, they don’t fulfill their primary purpose for the shorts, which is to stage the characters and gags. There are random background textures and details that distracted from the character action in nearly every scene. The backgrounds even obscured the jokes. For example, there’s a gag with Mickey’s tail in the framegrab below that I completely missed on the first couple viewings because of the random dark shadow area placed exactly where the gag takes place:

I don’t know the production order of the shorts, but No Service is a huge improvement over the first offering. These could end up being some of the funnier takes on classic cartoon characters, and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the series.


  • Roberto Severino

    I don’t know about everyone else here, but I loved this short and thought it was way better than Croissant de Triomphe! These two shorts are nowhere near as bad as what the curmudgeons and certain animation aficionados are making them out to be. I also appreciate your constructive criticism on what could have made the cartoon better. It’s the kind of commentary that I like best from this website.

  • broohaHAW

    Wow! Looks like the middle management at Disney is so busy scrambling to keep Frozen from collapsing in on itself that they’re inadvertently letting this team actually do their job and have fun with it!

    Looking forward to seeing more from this wonderfully creative team. The segment where he hides behind the wrought-iron gate was very nicely handled.

    • Steve

      You do realize that the team making Frozen and the team making these shorts arent even in the same city, right?

      • broohaHAW

        Glendale and Burbank are practically the same zone

        The studios are 2.8 miles away from one another.

        • Steve

          And that changes what I said…how? The point is, its not the same building. Not the same management. Not even the same city.

    • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

      If Frozen ended up being as enjoyable as this short, it would be the biggest surprise of the year.

      • broohaHAW

        Advice: Don’t hold your breath. Enjoy these shorts as they come and you’ll be much happier in the end.

  • Chris Rea

    These shorts are great, but the tweens look like garbage. I’d love to see ‘em traditionally animated. Beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.

    • Trevour

      This (like the previous short) is its sole distracting attribute. Totally distracting. But I already shared my opinion on that last time. I did enjoy this one more than the first though! Goofy’s design is hilarious, and it’s fun to see an ensemble cast. Will Horace, Clarabelle, or Pluto show up next?

  • TimmiT
    • Arnaud

      Thank you !

    • George

      and thank you again!

    • Mark Landmark

      Grazie!

    • Blanca

      Thaank you!!! :D

    • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

      Muchas gracias! :D

    • Jenny

      I LOVE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW. :D

    • DarylT

      Thank you

    • Afro Monkey

      Man thank you so much!

  • pizzaforeveryone

    i appreciate all the nudity

    • Chris Sobieniak

      This is everything I wanted when I was still a naive chap!

  • Sugar Pete

    Wow….way to minimize the positive and glorify the negative, Amid. These are super fun and I cant wait to see more. Period. Anyone else getting tired of the overly cynical negative atitude of the public these days? I blame American Idol.

    • Blanchette

      This is true. I dont understand why people my age (14) also hate these kind of things and look up to grown-ups shows when there is a lot to enjoy from this.

  • Teodor Ajduk

    Same as cartoon networks george and junior cartoons.
    But, it’s been 20 years from these… without improvements in animation, story or likeability of characters.

    Old Disney has made progress in a very short time…this carton network-nope.

  • Nickyle Edwards

    Mickey’s voice sounds closer to how Walt Disney portrayed him. That kinda doesn’t bother me, because it gives the short a little bit of nostalgia . Although, I can’t tell if it’s still Bret Iwan or not.

  • M Rahman

    Really Refreshing
    The Mouse is back in the House!

    • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

      As long as he’s not back at the House of Mouse or Clubhouse Mickey, I’m fine with that!

      • Matthew Broussard

        The House of Mouse cartoons were closer to the classic Disney style than this by far.

        • Cory Gross

          Maybe closer, but more bland.

        • M Rahman

          define your idea of classic because this draws more heavily on the original era before he grew eyes & became all realistic
          if you haven’t heard, surrealism is in now which again draws more from the classics

          • Matthew Broussard

            I’m referring to the 40′s and 50′s era when they had already moved beyond the Ub Iwerks-influenced surrealism. I can’t believe I’m getting downvoted for defending House of Mouse for being close to the feel of classics such as Mickey and the Seal and Canine Caddy.

          • M Rahman

            for better or for worse surrealism is popular

            & mid-late 20th century, Walt Disney was more focused on branching out, which only made easier WB’s & Hanna-Barbera’s domination of animation of this era

            Mickey himself was increasingly being reduced to reruns & appearances in animated films after the 40′s-50′s era (obviously something wasn’t working)

            you could really read up on it here:
            http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MickeyMouse

            Mickey might still be a universal figure, but our generation felt a greater televised impact from the latter companies’ mascots

            as I was trying to say, 2013 Mickey feels like he’s gone back to his roots with an obvious contemporary flare

          • M Rahman

            not going to argue House of Mouse didn’t broadcast those episodes

            For better or for worse surrealism is currently very popular

            Unfortunately for Mickey because Walt Disney was preoccupied with branching out, WB & Hanna-Barbera dominated the industry during the mid-late 20th century
            Mickey since the 40s-50s supposed golden age has been reduced to reruns & appearances in animated films

            read upon this page to understand the mouse’s demise
            http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MickeyMouse

            Mickey Mouse might still be universal, but our generation gravitated toward the televised impact of the latter companies’ mascots

            2013 Mickey as far as I can tell brought a revival to his roots & the contemporary flare is very welcoming

      • M Rahman

        ..back in the house of Disney
        because that channel has gotten pretty stale or inversely obnoxious since this Mickey left

  • Ryan

    Ha! This is great! Real top-notch stuff.

    I’ve seen people complain that these shorts are Flash (Harmony actually) animated, but there’s far more squash in stretch in these things than there is in the traditionally animated “Phineas and Ferb” and “Gravity Falls.” Compared to “No Service,” those two shows are incredibly stiff.

    Also, I find it endlessly amusing that Disney’s biggest icon is now being supervised by a bunch of ex-Cartoon Network employees.

    • Baron Lego

      Yeah, I’m not sure why people grumble about the animation end of these shorts just because they’re animated in Harmony- they’re nicely done with a decent amount of different posing and expressions.

      Save that kind of scorn for crap like Johnny Test…

  • Toonio

    Donald Duck looks generic and those head turns are all too cookie cutter for my taste (there are millions ways to do head turns and everybody does the same one).

    The only nice cartoon moment is when mickey is hiding behind the bars. Bravo even if they took it from somewhere else.

    Good job overall even with all the constraints and rushed feeling.

    And wait a minute, was goofy scratching his balls at the end! O____o

  • Shazbot

    The old Mickey is new again in these shorts, and I love both of them. I do have some issues with the way Donald looks, especially his beak. Kinda sloppy, and not in a fun, loose, 2D way. It just looks bad. I hope the animators won’t promote style over substance and WILL keep Mickey and company “on-model” as much as they can. But bravo on what I’ve seen so far. Again, I love these new shorts.

    • Geoff

      According to a certain tabloid, Donald recently went through a botched bill lift. I imagine he’ll be getting it fixed soon, before he ends up looking like Joan Rivers

  • TheJones

    I think there are some amazing moments that can be appreciated on a real technical level rather then passing it all off as a kind of ‘ low budget animation, what do you expect’ kind of view. Micky flipping through the air from the breach umbrellas was great and that ,plus other moments, seem to have more put into them then just skewing, stretching ‘ect’. Each medium is going to have its own pros and cons after all, but its how animators work past it that shows the potential.
    Its so true that tight schedules and smaller budgets are present with most tv productions though, just because things aren’t under that ‘feature hand drawn’ quality category doesn’t mean we cant enjoy it – animation is meant to have lots of forms! Can’t wait to see more!

    • Funkybat

      As a kind of “limited animation” this is really amazing. The strong art design is a big part of it, but the use of the digital tools to maximum effect where it works best is also part of why these shorts work.

      The stylization “covers up” much of what would look glaringly digital if the characters were drawn to classic or even “House of Mouse” era models. HOM looked good for 90s-era traditional limited animation. That look could still be done today using something like Toon Boom, but it would waste time & money because the animators would basically be ignoring all of the deformer/tweening tools, and just using TB as a digital paper and ink/paint tool.

      I applaud Disney and Mercury for being willing to take risks with the characterization, content, and visual style. It’s not exactly how I’d draw them, but it’s bold and vibrant compared to most Disney Trinity projects in the modern era.

  • Brad

    Good gags, but a higher frame rate would make the facial movements seem more fluid. It kind of took me out of it when they talked. However, in the end it made me laugh.

  • wgan

    very different animation style, some neat ideas, overall I enjoyed it and kept watching till the end without losing patience.

  • Jen Hurler

    I think these are cute. Different, yes. Not what we remember and are fond of, but frankly, they’re made for kids today, and not for us, and their taste is very different.

    And I would LOVE to see Oswald get in on some of these adventures.

    • Shazbot

      YES!!!! THIS!!!! When is Oswald going to get a comeback? Come on Disney!!! Give him a guest spot at least in these new toons!

  • Ryan

    Yeah, it’s great. If Cartoon Network doesn’t want anymore, Disney TV Animation is more than willing to benefit from their talent.

  • Roberto González

    I already liked Croissants de Triomphe but yes, this was more character driven. I thought Donald was actually a lot of fun. His design looked a little weird at first but I think a lot of his facial expressions look like his old self (in particular his look when Goofy discovers the ‘fake’ ID). Donald tricking Mickey with the short feather was also fun. Donald was kind of an asshole but in a good spirited prankster way, not as sadistic as Daffy in The Looney Tunes Show. It was surprising to see Goofy so angry but he was still in character. Daisy and Minnie looked really cute too. This was very enjoyable.

  • Josh

    I definitely appreciate the critical eye Amid and hope they keep improving with more shorts.

    I haven’t been able to watch the short yet (not available outside the US) but the models are pleasantly appealing and have a good color scheme. The scene I saw with Goofy looked really nice! Kudos to all!

  • Jeff

    i love the look and hope that they make tons of these

  • Marv

    The extreme stylization in both background and character design distance this effort away from classic Disney and closer to a CN effort. That’s neither good nor bad, just self-evident.

  • FigmentJedi

    They actually got another guy to do Mickey in these shorts, Chris Diamontopoulos, while Bret does other Mickey projects.

    • Geoff

      Really? Chris Diamontopoulos? That’s cool. I worked with him on a film 12 years ago. Really nice guy. Wish I’d kept in touch with him. Keep seeing him everywhere lately

  • smoothoperator350

    While I agree that maybe there was a little too much dialogue I can’t help but think that the positives out-weight the negatives here, but being positive doesn’t generate clicks as easily as complaining.

    I found this short to be pretty good, its nice to see a fresh style that isn’t trying to fit in with the others, as well as some genuine classic cartoon comedy at a decent pace, my only complaint is that the video player stopped mid-way and decided to automatically play something else. But a refresh fixed it, the voice work sounds close enough to the originals, and even though I’m not a flash buff I think this is well animated.

    But then again maybe I should complain about a few little animation errors I found, thats more interesting than mentioning what the show did right, right?

  • Steven Bowser

    I don’t like Flash animation. I feel like it is CG animation posing as hand-drawn animation. The animator just manipulates a 2D puppet in a computer. It lacks the charm and life of real hand-drawn animation and comes off looking cheap and lifeless.
    On the bright side, the art design for this short looks great and I like the textures and character designs a lot. It looks good when it isn’t moving.

    • M Rahman

      In actuality barely any shows even use the traditional hand-drawn method of animation.because it’s insanely time-consuming especially when mistakes are made.

      When an animator just manipulates a 2D puppet, that’s either a stylistic choice, they’re tight on budget/time or don’t feel the need to put in the extra effort like almost every cartoon imported from Canada.

      When the software is put to great use, you get something as fluid & remarkable as Motorcity. In retrospect the puppet thing is what really bugs you.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Pjgs9I9Ns

      • Steven Bowser

        I think that video pretty much says it all. Thanks!