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Disney: Brave Little Tailor

King: Did you kill seven [giants] with one blow?
Mickey: Uh, yes, your honor, and how!
King: ...well, how?
Mickey: I was all alone, I heard them coming, I looked up, and I was surrounded!
King: Yes?
Mickey: They were here, there, everywhere! A whole bunch of them! They came at me from the right, the left, right, left, left, right!
King: Yes, yes, go on!
Mickey: They were coming closer! The fight was on! I swung and missed! I missed and swung! I swung again and again and again! They were right on top of me!
King: And then?
Mickey: And then, I let 'em have it!
Mickey Mouse, initiating a highlight of animation acting

One of the finest shorts in the Classic Disney Shorts lineup, based on The Brothers Grimm story of the same name, The Brave Little Tailor (1938) takes place in The Middle Ages, with Mickey playing the role of the tailor of the title, as his boasts of taking down ordinary house flies land him in hot water when the people mistake his claims to be related to giants and choose him to take down a rampaging giant. He'd still do anything for Princess Minnie, though...

On a side note, the most famous scene is, surprisingly, NOT Mickey's fight with the giant (although that does double as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome) but rather, the second opening quote, which is considered by many an animation nut to be a true highlight of animation acting (and Disney veterans Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston thought so, too). This is also the second to last appearance of the original "White skinned, Dot-eyed" Mickey Mouse design, the last being "Society Dog Show", and the next shorts "Mickey's Surprise Party", "The Pointer" and Fantasia's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" using a new design for Mickey from there on out. (Although it has been used in a certain game...)

This short is No. 26 on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list.

This short provides examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: The ultimate fate of the giant: He's trapped in place and his breath is used to power a windmill, which in turn operates a medieval amusement park. Granted, the giant is asleep at this point, but still.
  • Animation Bump: Any scene with the giant.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever
  • Colossus Climb
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: The giant rolls up a haystack into a cigarette and uses a potbellied stove as a lighter.
  • Covered in Kisses: Minnie does this to Mickey.
  • The Middle Ages: Complete with hennins and poofy sleeves.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink / True Blue Femininity: Minnie's dress has a blue top and a pink skirt.
  • Random Smoking Scene: Despite the fact that this tale is set in the Middle Ages, the giant at one point starts rolling and smoking an improvised cigarette!
  • Shout-Out: Mickey's patented giant toppling method of binding him with thread until he topples over would be echoed decades later in The Empire Strikes Back, in which AT-ATs are brought down in a similar manner—except in this case, there are snowspeeders instead of tailors, and tow cables instead of thread.
    • The scene where Mickey describes his encounter with the flies to the king is reanimated for Epic Mickey.
    • The title character in the film Rango gets himself in an almost identical situation with an almost identical boast, claiming that he killed seven outlaws with a single bullet, and then finds himself the new Sheriff.
  • Square/Cube Law: Not directly mentioned, but the giant's size is certainly used to Mickey's advantage and plays a big role in the giant's literal downfall.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Mickey is promised the Princess's hand if he can stop the giant.
  • This Billboard Needs Some Salt: The giant picks up an entire well and drinks from it, then rolls up a haystack and smokes it, using a stove as a lighter.
  • Visual Pun: The wanted sign for the giant says, "Citizens beware! Giant at large." This is posted next to a wall-sized poster of the giant himself.
  • We Do the Impossible: "Seven in one blow!" Played with in that Mickey was only referring to flies with that statement, and chose the wrong moment to make that declaration without specifying what he killed seven of.

The Big SnitThe 50 Greatest CartoonsClock Cleaners
Ferdinand The BullAcademy Award for Best Animated Short FilmPeace on Earth

alternative title(s): Brave Little Tailor
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