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Saturday Matinee

Disney Cartoon #6: Mickey's Delayed Date" (October 3, 1947)

by Albert Gutierrez

Mickey and Minnie.  Just look at it.  Mickey and Minnie.  It sounds so melodic, so perfect.  They've become two names so connected with each other, it's hard to believe Walt ever thought Mortimer would have worked.  The love story that is Mickey and Minnie never has been fully told, at least not to my knowledge.  We've never seen a "how they met" animated short, and despite plenty of themed merchandise featuring the twosome, they have never actually married.  But they've become quite a staple for Disney couples, they're a pair that we accept immediately and expect to stay together.  To celebrate the love story that is Mickey and Minnie, this week's Saturday Matinee focuses on "Mickey's Delayed Date."  It's a rather "normal" short that establishes Mickey and Minnie as a regular couple doing regular couple things.  But as always, it has that bit of Disney magic in it.

It's the night of the big dance, and Minnie Mouse is angry.  Mickey is nowhere to be seen and she's been waiting for him.  She calls the house and asks for Pluto to give the phone to Mickey, who's napping comfortably in his arm chair.  She gives him a very stern talking-to and threatens to break up with him if he doesn't meet her at the dance soon.  Mickey quickly gets ready with Pluto's help.  Looking quite dapper and posh, Mickey quickly heads out to meet Minnie.  What he fails to realize is that the tickets for the dance have fallen out of the envelope Pluto gave to him.  Pluto chases after Mickey in order to give the tickets to his master.  

But Mickey has problems of his own.  He can't get a taxi, is splashed in a puddle, nearly loses his top hat, runs about in traffic, and ends up rolling down the street in a trash can.  When he finally reaches the dance, he's a little worse for wear and is about ready to give up.  Fortunately, the dance is themed to "Hard Times" and his ruined suit and tin can top hat match perfectly with Minnie's raggedy dress.  She's actually delighted that he put so much thought into his costume.  The two are ready to go inside, once he has his tickets.  Thankfully, Pluto shows up in the nick of time and Mickey gives him a grateful wink.

The story of "Mickey's Delayed Date" could easily lend itself to a screwball comedy.  It contains a healthy amount of physical comedy, and turns ordinary situations into extraordinary humor.  And as I said earlier, it's nice to see Mickey and Minnie doing things that an ordinary couple would do.  Gone are the days of chasing after a steamboat or battling knights in ye olden days.  We get a modern Mickey and Minnie, one indicative of the times.  In addition, it's also great to see Mickey as a more active player again.  Re-issues of older shorts aside, this is actually Mickey's second cartoon appearance since 1942, he had no new material from 1943 to 1945 and "Squatter's Rights" was his sole outing in 1946.  And "Squatter's Rights" served more as a Pluto vs. Chip 'n' Dale cartoon than starring Mickey.

For those interested in watching "Mickey's Delayed Date", there are three DVDs that feature this short cartoon. "Mickey & Minnie's Sweetheart Stories" is a compilation disc with eight shorts, focused on the popular couplings like Mickey & Minnie or Donald & Daisy, with Pluto getting some attention as well.  The much-scarcer "Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two" also contains the short (and all of Mickey's cartoon filmography from 1939 to 1995).  Finally, there's also a "Best Pals: Mickey & Minnie" compilation disc from the Classic Cartoon Favorites line.  


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