Disney unveiled a new Mickey Mouse short today called Croissant de Triomphe, that can be viewed HERE. It is one of 19 new shorts that will begin airing on Friday, June 28, on the Disney Channel, Disney.com and other Disney-branded platforms.

Paul Rudish (Dexter’s Laboratory, Sym-Bionic Titan, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) is exec producing and directing. Aaron Springer (SpongeBob SquarePants, Korgoth of Barbaria) and Clay Morrow (Dexter’s Laboratory, Chowder, Camp Lazlo!) are also directors. Joseph Holt is the series art director.

If the newly released short Croissant de Triomphe is any indication, this will be a handsome and distinctive series, featuring a mixture of Cartoon Modern-styled backgrounds, Thirties-influenced character designs (complete with pie-cut Mickey eyes), and loose, expressive animation. It’s easily one of the best revivals of a classic cartoon character that I’ve seen, remaining faithful to the original while adding a fresh visual twist. The three-and-a-half-minute running time of the first short is perfect, too. It’s great that studios are awakening to the fact that there can be other lengths besides 7- and 11-minute episodes.

My prime observation about the first short Croissant de Triomphe is that it struggles to find the humor in its set-up, which is Mickey driving around Paris on a scooter. Outside of a handful of lukewarm attempts at gags (including Minnie’s tonsils appearing in a phone, nuns knocked into the air like bowling pins who then float down, an appearance by Cinderella), the cartoon emphasizes frenzied videogame-influenced action sequences over slapstick. Even obvious gag set-ups—for example, Mickey dressed as a knight and lancing croissants—have no comedic payoff.

Whatever may have been lacking in the classic Mickey shorts, they at least emphasized personality-driven humor, something that is completely absent in this new short, which relies on conventional situation-based comedy. Hopefully as the crew finds its footing, they will be able to balance the accomplished action sequences with a more spirited comic sensibility.

UPDATE: Andy Suriano, who worked on these new shorts, has updated his blog with a complete list of everybody who worked on the cartoons at Disney. It’s one heck of a line-up:

Paul Rudish
Jenny Gase-Baker
Aaron Springer
Darrick Bachman
Clay Morrow
Chris Roszak
Chris Hacker
Andy Suriano
Joseph Holt
Illya Owens
Chris Savino
Derek Dressler
Alex Kirwan
Dave Wasson
Robert Lacko
Stephen DeStefano
Justin Martin
Justin Parpan
Narina Sokolova
Rae McCarson
Alonso Ramirez Ramos
Kali Fontecchio
Tara Billinger
Jasmine Bocz
Todd Popp
Steve Lininger
John Chang
Monica Mitchell
Animation produced at Mercury Filmworks (Ottawa)