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Second Season of Mickey Mouse Shorts Will Debut in April

A second season of Mickey Mouse shorts will begin airing April 11th at 9pm (ET/PT) on the Disney Channel. Each new short will be available the day after its cable premiere on WATCH Disney Channel, Disney.com, iTunes, and YouTube. Some of the shorts will be Minnie-centric this year, such as Eau de Minnie, in which Minnie’s new perfume takes over the city. No word on how many shorts will be in the second season, but the first season, which debuted last March, totalled 18 shorts.

Here is a preview of the second season opener Cable Car Chaos:

Season two will be led by the same creative team: Paul Rudish, who exec produces and directs some of the shorts, Clay Morrow and Aaron Springer as lead directors, and Joseph Holt as art director.

These Mickey shorts are a quirky project. Most of them are under four minutes in length, which is an unusual format for any studio to be using nowadays, and they don’t seem to fit into any overall Disney strategy for classic characters. Whatever the thinking is behind them, I’m happy they exist because the best ones in the bunch rank among the funniest and most appealing studio shorts produced in modern times.

The shorts are packed with personality and a point of view, elements that were lacking in the more high-profile Oscar-nominated theatrical Mickey short Get A Horse! Lacking the budget of the latter for full animation, these shorts manage to exhibit fine craftsmanship of a different kind, with custom expressions and poses for each cartoon, sharply-timed gags, and gorgeous (although occasionally discordant) backgrounds.

To their credit, the team producing the shorts has a confident contemporary take on Mickey and the gang and is unafraid of trying new things. In one of the later first season episodes, Flipperboobootosis, there’s an impressively ridiculous gag that keeps going and going, and ends up lasting for fifty seconds. In Bad Ear Day, we, the audience, only hear muffled sound after Mickey loses his ears. One of the tamest (and sweetest) shorts from the first season, O Sole Minnie, is presented in Italian. These playful gags push the form in a way that is all too rare in mainstream TV animation nowadays.

There’s still room for improvement. Hopefully in the second season, we’ll see more comic exchanges between characters, instead of the first season’s overreliance on frenetic action sequences with questionable comic payoff. In too many of the shorts, characters pursued random objects or otherwise avoided each other, and thus neglected one of the most effective devices for creating comedy, which is shoving characters into each other, both figuratively and literally.

  • Guest

    My only comment was going to be about missing those Minnie/Daisy shorts so that’s cool that some were confirmed to be “Minnie-Centric” for season 2.

    • ILDC

      They must have figured if these shorts are going to stay on Disney Channel, they might as well have strong female appeal.

  • While I have not been able to watch all of them, I have been extremely impressed with the work done by Paul Rudish and Mercury Filmworks (they also did animation for Disney’s Wander Over Yonder).

    The animation and storytelling does bring a fresh and present style to the characters like other properties we see. However, their take on these characters actually make sense and have a strong understanding on what they want to do with them. I think we like to call it having the soul of the characters and the show present in their project. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing more of this project…and maybe a complete series DVD set with special features within the next few years, if not a couple.

  • Rodan Thompson

    I think these films are terrible… (the raping of Mickey Mouse) While the animation is very well stylized and the gags are not all that bad… I find it disturbing what they’ve done to The Mouse.

    • IcyTea

      Care to explain? I’m pretty sure Mickey Mouse Club House is what you should be referring to…

      • Roberto Severino

        Yup. I completely agree. These shorts are a 1000x better than that horrid show.

  • ILDC

    Mike and Matt Chapman making a Mickey Mouse cartoon for Disney. 10 years ago that would have been unimaginable, but here we are now.

  • Roberto Severino

    Great review! You present a lot of valid points and I’m really pleased with how these shorts continue to improve and become even more awesome overtime. “Bad Ear Day” is one of my favorites too.

  • Roberto Severino

    Maybe since these shorts have been so successful, they will be able to have a bigger budget for the animation. I still love the shorts and all but that’s a very good point.

  • I didn’t realize these shorts were being treated as a TV series with seasons and all. No matter. I believe Rudish and his team have done an amazing job with these shorts thus far and I’m excited to see more of them in the future! It’s a fun and fresh take on the characters that’s been needed for some time now.

  • ILDC

    It could happen. Matt did write for an episode of Wander Over Yonder. Mike now seems to work only on Yo Gabba Gabba!, but he and Matt have a development deal with Disney.

  • Toonimated

    Here’s a tip…want people to take you seriously?…don’t put all those ellipses…it makes you look…like…a tool…

    Seriously though, I disagree with your position. These shorts aren’t meant to be a ripoff, they’re a homage. They respect the mischievousness and silliness of the original shorts, trying to avoid the safeness of the character taken in previous years.

    Also, it’s not a “ripoff” at all. Ripoff implies the stealing of characters or plot lines or settings, which is not what the new mickey shorts are doing at all. If anything, it’s a reimagining.

    This is also nothing like baby looney tunes/muppet babies. I’ll agree that they were in the wrong for simply trying to cash in what was hot at the time, but this isn’t happening here. Those shows also weren’t rip offs, once again reimaginings.

  • Toonimated

    Also I don’t get how you can call these shorts “innovative and clever” and “crude” in the same sentence. I don’t think you actually know where you stand on these shorts and just looking for conflict.

    Also ALSO, don’t call these shorts “the raping of” please. You being hurt over a cartoon does not size up with rape.

  • mick

    That was great. It made me smile, ticking the one box I require

  • Tedzey71

    Good news! I hope they use Peg Leg Pete more!

  • Mickeley

    hmm this shiw looks real nice in screenshots, but the animation is very tweeny and the pacing is really slow and terrible.
    So its exactly like that Loony Tunes show

    • Roberto Gonzalez

      The Animation is indeed very Tweeny but slow pacing? I think they are usually quite fast and frantic. And its not like The Looney Tunes Show. Its funnier and truer to the original characters.

  • Nah, you’re not a traditionalist. These shorts are the closest Mickey has since gotten to his origins in 1928-30. They do a fantastic job of fusing modern style with the original [email protected]$$ s**t-disturbing Mickey character, before he was a bland corporate symbol.

  • This is great news! The Mickey shorts were, hands-down, the best thing Disney did last year. I was actually excited to see each one as they popped up on YouTube (“New York Weenie,” “Bad Ear Day,” “No Service” and “The Adorable Couple” are my favourites, but my fiancee and I are known to quote variously from any given one). I neither know nor care where they fit in an overall corporate strategy: they’re just darn good cartoons and I hope they keep making them ad infinitum.

  • Funkybat

    I like that the multi-platform nature of today’s media serves as an opportunity to free animated (and other) entertainment from the hard constraints placed on them by film and TV.

    There were very strict time constraints for TV animation, due to the half-hour block format and the length of time each act could be to make room for commercials. Even in theaters, where commercials are not a factor on presentation time, there was still a general understanding that feature animation was to be 70-80 minutes in length, and shorts between 5-8 minutes in length.

    With the internet offering multiple methods of distribution, people don’t have to think in those terms when plotting their story or boarding it out, which means more variation and exploration.

  • Funkybat

    I like that they are not trying to over-produce these. There has for so long been this cloud hanging over the Disney Trinity characters, where anything animated done with them had to be THE best, THE most thought-out, worked, re-worked, idea or execution EVER. I believe it has intimidated people within Disney from even trying to do anything with Mickey/Donald/Goofy because of the insane scrutiny and prominence given to any proposal, let alone finished work.

    “Mickey Mouseworks/House of Mouse” was a decent attempt to do something down-to-Earth with them and the expanded Disney universe, but I don’t think anything involving Mickey has gotten this much positive fan reaction from the general public since “Runaway Brain.” I hope they keep doing what they are doing with these, and not try to make them a bigger deal than they are. I like that they have made the characters more accessible to today’s audience without compromising them too much. They needed to be taken down from pedestals and unfrozen from cryogenic suspension. I honestly have enjoyed these even more than “Get A Horse” though that was another laudable move to rejuvenate the original Disney characters (always nice to see Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow get some screen time!)

  • Funkybat

    I thought the look of them and the characterization were probably more faithful, but the pacing and humor of these feels more lively somehow. The best House of Mouse shorts were probably the modern Goofy “How To” shorts, but then, those were some of the best classic Disney shorts as well!