Mickey Mouse: Real World References
In my article Mickey Mouse Shorts: Diversity and Comedy Coming Together I talked about how the 2013 Mickey Mouse shorts were a return to the classic Silly Symphony shorts, but with more references to the real world and more diversity from some of the female characters. The article Mickey Mouse: Animal Confusion talked about how some of these episodes had actual animals in the shorts despite the setting being filled with anthropomorphic animals. Of course, while both articles dealt with different aspects about the new Mickey Mouse shorts, there were some similarities between them. Namely, the fact that the shorts taking place in foreign countries were surprisingly accurate to how the location looked in real life. This article will talk about how certain episodes set in foreign areas manage to make references to their settings in a real world context. While these shorts still had the same comedic whimsy as other Mickey Mouse shorts, there was enough realism that the viewer could watch a short and be amazed at how certain aspects to foreign nations were portrayed somewhat accurately. Like in the short Tokyo Go where the viewer got to see Mickey Mouse interact with the main source of public Japanese transportation. Another good episode where the viewer got to see Mickey Mouse interact with an aspect of the real world which was based on a recent event was the short O Futebol Clássico, where Mickey tried to get a good view of the World Cup finals in Brazil. And for a more recent short, One Man Band poked some fun on some aspects about England.
Japan as a country has been portrayed as being fairly technologically advanced compared to other countries. From video games to transportation, Japan has been portrayed as a fairly advanced place to live. So it would make sense that the short Tokyo Go would have Mickey Mouse play the role of a passenger trying to use Japan's bullet trains to get to what was most likely his job. Of course, Mickey Mouse shenanigans ensued and Mickey found himself shoved into the wrong train. In typical Disney fashion, Mickey had to find a way to get back on the right train. Which involved getting past most of the passengers using their clothes, using metal rings like monkey bars, and even getting into a sumo wrestling match with an actual sumo wrestler, and eventually making his way up the train. As a reference to Japanese culture, this part of Tokyo Go actually referenced some aspects about Japanese culture in regards to its people. In regards to the people in trench coats, the reference here was the white-collared job of salaryman that most adult males in this country possessed. The heavy metal people represented the more rebellious youth, And the sumo wrestler was used for more comedic purposes. Of course, one really hilarious sequence came near the end of Tokyo Go when the Super Mario Bros. franchise was referenced while Mickey was trying to get on the right train. Humorously though, Mickey did not get to keep the coins he gathered. And as a reference to an aspect of Walt Disney himself, Tokyo Go ended with Mickey getting to this job on time as a conductor for a smaller train.
Recently, Brazil hosted a major soccer tournament where players from all around the globe competed to see who was the best player that year. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Germany was the winner. Coincidentally or as a reference to this event, O Futebol Clássico had Mickey Mouse go to Brazil to watch this event. Of course, typical Mickey Mouse shenanigans ensued and Mickey was forced to find better seating. Mostly because a giant pig was inconveniently sitting in front of Mickey. Of course, Mickey decided to find better seating. And at first, this was an alright plan. The first seat Mickey decided to sit resulted in a giant wave motion to move throughout the stadium. Unfortunately, that same wave caused Mickey to fall into seating where a rival team was sitting. Naturally, the resulting beatdown had Mickey actually participate in the gamer. And eventually become the ball. As soon as that matter was settled, Mickey found himself outside of the stadium, missing the game. Fortunately, Mickey came up with another idea to watch the game. So by strapping three balloons to a lawn chair, Mickey managed to get a bird's-eye view of the game.Of course, once Mickey started to actually enjoy watching the game uninterrupted, a group of birds decided to peck at the balloons attached to Mickey's chair. However, rather than suffer major injury from falling from the sky, the giant pig from earlier managed to save Mickey with his hair. O Futebol Clássico even ended with Mickey's team winning their game.
In the 1964 movie Mary Poppins the viewer was first shown one of the characters performing in a one-man band. In the Mickey Mouse short, also called One Man Band, Mickey Mouse basically played his own one-man band. Unfortunately, the plot of this short was that Mickey was having a hard time actually doing his profession. Mostly because all of his areas had people who did not like him playing. First was a policeman yelling for him to leave a park, next were a group of people yelling at Mickey to leave what looks like a financial district, and finally getting forced to leave a cricket field by the players. Pretty soon Mickey made his way to Buckingham Palace, which started out alright. Until the Queen of England, who, as a humorous reference to the monarchy, was a Corgi, appeared and ordered her guards to seize Mickey. Who, in a subversion of the idea of them always being completely still, actually try to chase and catch Mickey. What followed was a chase sequence that made even more references to London's unique aspects. Like double decker buses, the London Bridge, and even Big Ben. Humorously, there was a scene where Mickey and the guards stopped their chase sequence to have a break to drink some tea. Of course, Mickey eventually does get captured. But rather than get punished for his music, the corgi Queen of England decided to make Mickey the royal music maker for all of England. All in all, a humorous short filled with popular references to the part of the world One Man Band took place in.
Mickey Mouse has become very popular, both locally and nationally. As a result, some of the shorts were able to take place in different locations around the globe. Also, as a result in the increased need to include more diversity in the Mickey Mouse shorts, some of the shorts taking place in foreign countries would have Mickey speak in the native language. Some shorts, like Tokyo Go referenced Japanese culture by having Mickey Mouse try to catch a runaway bullet train. O Futebol Clássico referenced Brazil's relevance when it came to the game of soccer. One Man Band even had Mickey in a role that reference an aspect of London's many forms of entertainment. And they were all entertaining.