Follow TV Tropes


Disney / The Prince and the Pauper

Go To

A 1990 short film from Disney loosely adapting Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, starring Mickey Mouse as both the prince and the pauper. It was shown in theatres with The Rescuers Down Under. The film served as the setting of the final level of the video game Mickey Mania.

Tropes used by the film:

  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: When the Prince divulges his identity to a coachman, he sarcastically says "And I'm the Queen Mother!"
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: After the king's death, Pete confronts Mickey, having figured out that he's not the prince, and orders him to do whatever he says. To make sure Mickey cooperates, Pete shows him that he and his guards have captured Pluto. They have Pluto tied and chained up with a pile of sticks at his feet, so apparently they were going to burn him at the stake. This doesn't stop the guards from giving these silly grins when they show Pluto tied up.
  • Advertisement:
  • Animals Not to Scale: The owl is human height, and the weasels are about four to five feet tall, much bigger than normal sized owls and weasels respectively.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: The Prince, once he finally manages to make it back to the throne room in time for the ceremony. Mickey was about to be the subject of one in spite of his protests, so he was quite happy to have it interrupted.
  • Big Bad: Pete, Captain of the Guard.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Prince makes a dramatic entrance just as Mickey seems done for. Pluto also saves the Prince from Pete when he has him cornered.
  • British Stuffiness: Horace as the prince's teacher.
  • Butt Biter: Pluto, to Pete in the climax.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: When Donald and the Prince are put in the dungeon.
  • The Cameo: Clarabelle as a peasant woman.
  • Chandelier Swing: The prince does one when he first confronts Pete. Donald and Goofy also do this when they arrive moments later.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Comically Serious: Horace is the Prince's stuffy and stoic teacher, whose monotone voice and inability to realize that the Prince is the one causing trouble rather than Donald are hilarious.
  • Darker and Edgier:
  • Dark Reprise: The weasel guards sing an altered version of the Mickey Mouse March to better fit Pete as they drive back to the castle in a coach.
  • Decomposite Character: Mickey's different personalities are divided amongst the titular characters—Pauper Mickey is a meek Nice Guy, while the Prince is a naughty, but good-hearted action hero.
  • Dirty Coward: Pete. He throws his weight around and hides behind his men. Once he's backed into a corner, he's actually quite the pushover.
  • Disney Villain Death: How Pete and the weasels presumably meet their end after getting entangled in a rolling chandelier that rolls out a window. They could've survived the fall, only to be imprisoned later on.
  • The Dog Bites Back: A literal example: Pluto does this to Pete in the climax after the latter used him and Mickey as pawns for his schemes — and not a second too soon, as Pete has the Prince cornered and is about to do him in once and for all. (See also Butt Biter.)
  • Dying Candle: As the king of England brings Mickey, who he thinks is his son, to his room in his final moments, he makes Mickey promise to be a just and wise ruler. Mickey, unable to bring himself to tell the truth, promises as the candle goes out.
  • Evil Laugh: Pete does a deep, bellowing laugh a few times, while the weasels have more high-pitched cackles. Most notable is the scene where they take the Prince to the dungeon, and Pete and the weasels all laugh together.
  • Fake King: Pete's plan with Mickey. Essentially, Pete holds Mickey's dog Pluto hostage, threatening to kill Pluto if Mickey doesn't do whatever Pete wants.
  • Fat Bastard: Guess. A hint: It's the fat corrupt captain of the guard.
  • Furry Confusion: Aside from Pluto and Goofy, the featurette shows Horace Horsecollar and normal horses.
  • Furry Ear Dissonance: Horace Horsecollar has ears like cows ears in this featurette.
  • Glad I Thought of It: According to the Prince, that phrase and "Guards, seize him!" is all you need to fake it as a ruler.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Only the Big Bad, Pete, is smoking. None of the good characters smoke and neither do Pete's weasel henchmen.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Sported by both Pete and Goofy.
  • Grass Is Greener: Both Prince Mickey and Pauper Mickey.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The king, although one can imagine his appearance based on solely how his hand (in shadow) appears to be gloved just like both Pauper!- and Prince!Mickey.
  • Humiliation Conga: Pete and his henchmen. Firstly the real prince shows up just as Mickey is about to be crowned, outing Pete as a treasonous would-be usurper, then a battle ensues where Pete and his whole freaking guard get their butts handed to them by Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, as well as the Prince. Pete tries to pull an I Surrender, Suckers move on the Prince, but only with short-lived success. And if that wasn't humiliating enough, Pete endures an incredibly embarrassing moment in front of the whole court and exits by being caught up in a chandelier and crashing through a stained glass window, his frilly underwear still on show.
  • The Hyena: The weasel mooks laugh a lot, especially when attacking.
  • Identical Stranger: As per the original The Prince and the Pauper, the Prince and the Pauper are both Mickey Mouse.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Pete does this to the Prince when the latter confronts him. He admits defeat and asks the Prince spare him, after which Pete bows down before him, saying, "Your Majesty is too kind...". But the Prince (and not Pete) is standing on a rug, which Pete then pulls out under the Prince's feet, and then viciously goes on the attack.
  • Intermission: Not in the movie proper, but in the film's theatrical release with The Rescuers Down Under, a 10 minute intermission started during this film's end credits to allow people to get up and take care of business before The Rescuers Down Under started, as shown here.
  • King Incognito: In this version, The Prince is smart enough to take along his royal ring as identification when necessary.
  • Kitchen Sink Included: Among many other weapons thrown at The Prince, Donald and Goofy in the dungeon, a kitchen sink is also included.
  • Knight of Cerebus: This film's version of Pete is significantly darker than other interpretations, being a corrupt captain of the guard who takes advantage of his dying ruler's ailment by raiding and pillaging the kingdom to his heart's desire while making everyone think he is doing it under orders from the king himself, thereby ruining the monarch's reputation in the eyes of his citizens. To add to that, after realizing the prince has traded places with an identical-looking commoner (Mickey), he decides to blackmail Mickey into becoming a Puppet King by threatening Pluto's life while (presumably) planning to execute the real prince to ensure nobody will believe Mickey is not the true heir to the throne. And when the prince arrives to expose Pete, Pete flat-out tries to murder him in full view of everyone else.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: The Prince is first seen sitting through a boring trigonometry lesson, passing the time playing tricks on his assistant Donald. When he trades places with Mickey, the latter has to endure the various lessons set for the Prince, all of which he fails miserably.
  • Let Them Die Happy: When Mickey is summoned to meet him, the dying king can't tell the difference between Mickey and his own son and tells the boy whom he thinks is his son to rule justly and wisely. Mickey can't bring himself to tell him the truth and plays along for the sake of making him die happy.
  • Mooks: Pete has an army of weasel soldiers, who are lifted from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
  • Mythology Gag: While Captain Pete and his gang of weasel soldiers pass by Mickey and Goofy in the beginning of the film (which Pluto chases due to the sausages hanging off the carriage), the weasel soldiers sing praise to Pete to the theme tune of the The Mickey Mouse Club.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Inverted. In the original novel, the King and the Prince are Henry VIII and the future Edward VI respectively. Here, both come with No Name Given. Furthermore, the King is described as "a wise and good king", which is a bit of a Historical Hero Upgrade assuming he is still Henry VIII which is not for sure.
  • Near-Villain Victory: In the climactic sword fight between the Prince and Pete, the latter corners the former and knocks the sword out of his hand and is then about to deliver the coup de grace when Pluto rushes up and bites Pete in the rear.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: After Goofy accidentally maces a weasel on the head, he kisses him on the nose and babbles, "Thank you, I had a lovely evening..." before fainting.
  • Pig Man: A fat pig is briefly shown working as a coachman and enforcer for Pete.
  • Prince and Pauper: A loose adaptation of the original Mark Twain story.
  • Private Tutor: The prince is introduced receiving instruction on Trigonometry from the chamberlain (Horace), who seems to handle the prince's education as well, and bored out of his mind. The prince begins to amuse himself by tormenting Donald Duck.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Played straight with Mickey (as usual) and the prince, but averted with a female peasant mouse that shows up for a few seconds of one scene.
  • Seize Them!: One of the two phrases the Prince tells Mickey to use while pretending to be prince. Later, Mickey uses it on Pete, only for Pete to turn it around.
    Mickey: The Captain is an insolent scoundrel! Guards, seize him!
    Pete: Seize him! He's an impostor!
  • Spit Take: A semi-wild take done by Pete's weasel lackey right after Pete realizes the Mickey that he threw out was actually the Prince.
  • Spot the Impostor: Pluto can tell which one is his master Mickey.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Horace has actual dialogue for the first time here (not counting comic appearances).
  • Token Human: The trumpeters.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The film has what is probably one of the most sinister and least bumbling incarnations of Pete ever.
  • To the Tune of...: Mickey and Goofy's song about living like a king is sung to the tune of "La Donna e Mobile" from Rigoletto.
  • Villainous Glutton: In one scene, Pete is shown messily chowing down on food and drinks stolen from the peasants.
  • Wicked Weasel: They appear as Pete's henchmen. However, they're not as evil as the ones who hunt a certain rabbit, only as evil as the ones who swindle a certain toad into trading the deed to his estate for a stolen motorcar.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness:
    • The weasel mooks all have yellow sclerae.
    • Pete's sclerae also gain a yellowish tint in a few scenes, such as when he confronts and threatens Mickey after the king's death.


Video Example(s):


I promise (Disney's Prince and the Pauper)

Mickey, who is passing as the prince due to beign identical, can't bring himself to tell the truth to the dying king who is at his last breath, and promises him that "he" will rule the country fairly and wisely so he could finally rest in peace

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / LetThemDieHappy

Media sources:

Main / LetThemDieHappy