Another Mickey short, more fun times – that’s what you get with The Grocery Boy, the second of the Mickey Mouse cartoons of 1932. This one takes a little different set up, and we see a different side of Minnie, but we get the familiar chaotic ending featuring Pluto. It makes for somewhat of a formulaic short, but it’s still very enjoyable.
The set up is unique – Mickey is at the grocery store in the middle of a small town, picking up groceries for Minnie. He even takes a call from her in the midst of his shopping spree, as she asks him to come home quickly. When he runs outside, we see a typical small town Main Street. You have to wonder how much this Main Street was modeled after Walt’s boyhood home in Marceline. It’s interesting to think that early models of Main Street in Disneyland could have already been percolating in Walt’s head.
The interesting personality work in this short takes place when Mickey gets home. Minnie intentionally ignores him, acting haughty and sticking her nose up in the air. It’s not something we have seen from her before. Minnie has been a caring, sometimes irritated partner for Mickey, but this is the first time we’ve seen her play things a little more coy.
Of course, all that false pride disappears when Mickey gets bonked on the head by an ironing board and iron. A quick kiss from Minnie causes the bump to go down, and then we’re back to a typical Mickey/Minnie relationship. I wonder what caused the animators to go down the different path in the first part of the short. It’s interesting to be sure.
The cooking scenes are extremely fun. There’s no other way to describe them. I really enjoy cooking, so these scenes were really nice to watch, as Mickey and Minnie prepare a virtual feast, including turkey, vegetables and a cake. There’s a little bit of musicality to this piece, but not for the sake of a silly dance, but instead as the rhythm of the cooking. That makes a difference, as you don’t devolve into dance for dancing sake, but instead the story moves forward with a beat that makes it more interesting.
Of course, with Pluto around, and food being cooked, you’re bound to have a patented “Pluto runs through the house, upends Mickey and Minnie and ends up with everything destroyed” sequence. And that’s what we get here. Pluto gets the turkey and starts running wild with it. This part features some fun pieces like a Napoleon bust landing on Mickey’s head, as well as the table coming apart to drop the cake on Mickey.
The Grocery Boy is fun, pure and simple. It seems as though that is the main goal of the Mickey shorts since the midst of 1931, and they have been doing a great job of accomplishing that goal.
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