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Gamer Tuesday!

By Pedro "Pap" Hernandez

 

August 11, 2020  (Originally published May 29, 2012)

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Farewell to Snow White's Scary Adventures Week: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Fighting Game (Mickey Mouse in Runaway Brain)

With each passing day, gaming is becoming a very common activity for everyone to enjoy with friends, family or just by themselves. In fiction, gaming is often used as a device for two characters to bond and let their interactions develop them in the narrative, while in other pieces of fiction it is used to present the character as someone that has no ambition in life and would rather spend his/her time playing a game over doing something substantial. Today's Gamer Tuesday article is going to be an unique one as rather than taking a look at a game that was released in the market, we are going to be highlighting a game that only exists in a fictional universe that was used to convey an element of the character. I am of course talking about Disney's Runaway Brain starring Mickey Mouse!

Runaway Brain, first released in theaters in 1995 during the theatrical run of A Kid in King Arthur's Court, is easily one of the darkest shorts Mickey has ever starred in, and one that presented him in the most unflattering way. Throughout the decades, Mickey Mouse has been presented as a lover, a mischievous little guy, a fighter and a hero to all. Runaway Brain does away with all of that and instead he is presented as the no-good slacker boyfriend, a very common character archetype made popular in the 90s, that causes a lot of trouble for himself and Minnie Mouse.

This is where the concept of video games as a narrative device steps in. When we first see Mickey, he is clearly obsessing over his game, yelling loudly while his dog Pluto cheers him on. His eyes have a clear black ring around them, indicating that Mickey has been playing for a very long time. Surely enough, Mickey Mouse is portraying the negative image of a gamer, a very bold move on Disney's behalf, considering Mickey's status as cartoon icon and corporate mascot.

Now, just what game is Mickey obsessing over so much? Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Fighting Game! If that sounds outrageous, trust me, the creators of Runaway Brain truly went there for the sake of a joke. This is easily one of my favorite gags in the short, simply because it says SO MUCH in so little time that it might be easy to miss its references. First off, this Snow White fighting game is a parody of two very popular fighting games from the 90s: Capcom's Street Fighter II and Midway's Mortal Kombat series. The Snow White fighting game seems to be referencing Mortal Kombat more than Street Fighter, a really bold choice as Mortal Kombat is one of the most violent fighting games on the market, and its release in the 90s inspired many a controversy, including the creation of the ESRB ratings board.

Now onto the small details of this brief segment. Mickey Mouse is playing as Dopey. In the bottom of the screen there are seven character slots, one for each of the dwarfs (Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, Happy and Bashful). Only Dopey's slot, however, has his portrait. The rest of the slots have tombstones with RIP (Rest in Peace) written on them. This indicates that Mickey has lost six times prior to the match he is currently playing, and Dopey is his last character standing.

Dopey is fighting off against the Old Hag version of the Evil Queen in a dungeon-like setting. When we first see the game in action, Dopey is performing a kick attack on her. The way he attacks her seems to be inspired by Lui Kang's (Mortal Kombat) infamous bicycle attack. As Minnie Mouse enters the scene and steps in front of the TV, the Old Hag is launching apples at Dopey, referencing how fighting game characters have a missile attack of sort (such as Street Fighter's Ryu's signature move, the fireball known as the Hadouken).

Mickey's game ends when the Old Hag hits Dopey with an apple due to Mickey being distracted by Minnie's anger. Finally, the game controller Mickey is using seems to resemble the design of the Sega Genesis controller. The scene runs for exactly 40 seconds, ending when Minnie disconnects the game in order to gain Mickey's attention. Yet, in those 40 seconds we got an unflattering portrayal of Disney's most beloved creation, a moment of plot development that leads to the short's main conflict and a fairly accurate portrayal of a typical fighting game from the 90s.

What makes this scene stand out is the choice of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a fighting game. That truly does the scene for me and for a lot of people. The film is to this day seen as one of Disney's finest films, the first film that launched an entire legacy of films, shorts, TV shows, theme park attractions (its attraction at the Magic Kingdom will be closing down for good this week) and many more. This short, though, isn't afraid of poking fun at Snow White's legacy at the Walt Disney Company, creating a Mortal Kombat parody using the film's likeness for a far stronger impact on the audience.

To take an initiative from Albert Gutierrez's Saturday Matinee column, here are the places you may find the short. As explained at the start of this article, Runaway Brain was originally released in front of A Kid's in King Arthur's Court. Later, it was attached to 1997's George of the Jungle. In the United Kingdom, the short played before Lilo and Stitch in 2002. During the 90s it was never featured on any home video release. Runaway Brain would finally be available on home video through the release of Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol.2. Unfortunately, that set has been out of print for years and it is hard to find.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, on the other hand, can be found on almost every media outlet out there. Even if all versions of the movie have been sent to the fabled Disney Vault (including its recent 2009 Blu-Ray), it is a movie that is quite easy to find, and has aired on television several times.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Fighting Game... doesn't exist. Though, wouldn't it be great if Disney was gutsy enough to release it as a full game? I would certainly pay to play it...


Past Gamer Tuesday

Animated film based games
Aladdin
Aladdin (SEGA)
Alice in Wonderland
Alice's Paint Adventure
Beauty and the Beast Board Game

Beauty and the Beast - two games
Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure
Beauty and the Beast Computer Game 
A Bug's Life
Cars: The Video Game

Cars Game Reviews
Cinderella's Midnight Dash
Disney Friends
Disney Friends - The Friends of Disney Friends
Finding Nemo Games
Hercules

Jungle Book, The
Lion King, The
The Little Mermaid
Little Mermaid II: Pinball Frenzy
Pinocchio

Pocahontas
Tangled, the Video Game
Tarzan
Tigger's Honey Hunt
Toy Story

Live Action film based games
102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue
Disney's A Christmas Carol
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
Muppets
Muppets Cruise Party

My Muppets Show
Prince of Persia
Roger Rabbit

Mickey and Friends
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse HD Remake
Disney Golf
Disney Magicboard Online
Disney Sports Soccer

Disney Super Speedway
Donald Duck
Donald Duck: Goin' Quakers
Epic Mickey
Epic Mickey 2: Power of 2

Goofy's Hysterical History Tour
Lucky Dime Caper, The
Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse
Magical Tetris Challenge
Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow

Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mousecapade
Mickey Mouse Magic Wands
Mickey's 123's: The Big Surprise Party
Mickey's Dangerous Chase
Mickey's Great Adventure in Tokyo Disneyland

Mickey's Speedway USA
Quackshot
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Where's My Mickey?

The Kingdom Hearts Retrospective
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

Part 11
Part 12

Fun Finds
Diddy Kong Racing
Rayman 3
Sonic Colors

Miscellaneous
101  Dalmatians in Kingdom Hearts
2013 recap
Some of the Bravest Disney Characters
Carousel of Gaming Progress
Christmas list
The D Show
Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Grooves

Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Mix
Darkwing Duck: Remastered
Disney DVD games
Disney Fighting Game that was never made
Disney Infinity

Disney Infinity: Frozen
Disney Infinity: Holiday Guide
Disney Infinity: Play Set Wish List
Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life

Disney Princess
Disney Villains Revenge
Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure
Disney's Game and Watch
Disney's Sing It Family Hits

Disney's Th!nk Fast
Easter Egg in Kinect Disneyland Adventure
Epcot's Innoventions
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Future of Star Wars Gaming and LucasArts

Game Guide for 2012
Guilty Party
Hidden Levels of Mickey's Speedway USA
How the Pap saved Christmas
Just Dance Disney Party

Kingdom Hearts III announcement
Kingdom Hearts III Dream Summons Predictions
Kingdom Hearts III prediction
Kingdom Hearts III live action predictions
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Lady and the Tramp appearance
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Love Scenes in Video Games

Marvel Super Heroes (Arcade Game)
Mickey Mouse games released during Presidential terms
Monsters, Inc. Scream Arena Introduction
Nightmare Before Christmas Appearances
NintendoLand
Pico Games

Pop Century's History of Video Games
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Fighting Game from Runaway Brain
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Steamboat Willie through the years
Summer Games

Tiger Handheld Games
Video Game References found within the parks
Where's My Water?
Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
Wreck-It-Ralph Trailer Analysis
Wreck-It Ralph Trailer Analysis Part 2

Wreck-It Ralph Meet and Greet queue
Wreck-It Ralph's appearance in All-Stars Racing Transformed

Park themed games
Adventures at the Magic Kingdom
Adventures at the Magic Kingdom clarification
Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea
Disneyland Explorer
DisneyQuest

Disney Fireworks
Disney TokyoSea snack appearance
Finding Fantasyland
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Magic Kingdom Board Game

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom: Tortuga Tavern
Toontown Online
Toy Story Mania!
Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour
Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour - Looking back after a year

Pap's Picks
E3 Highlights
The Marvel Connection
Top 5 Weird Games
Top Marvel and Disney super hero games

Television Based Games
Bonkers
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers
Darkwing Duck
DuckTales

DuckTales: Remastered
Goof Troop

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