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Disney / The Prince and the Pauper

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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!"
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: Pete, Captain of the Guard.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Prince makes a dramatic entrance just as Mickey seems done for.
  • British Stuffiness: Horace as the prince's teacher.
  • Butt Biter: Pluto, to Pete.
  • 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.
  • The Comically Serious: Horace
  • Darker and Edgier: This Pete is an abusive captain of the guard who sullies the king's reputation by doing acts of extreme abuse of power under his name and made a Sadistic Choice to Mickey that he'd kill Pluto if he didn't become a Puppet King. Finally, when the Prince exposes Pete's scheme for all to see, Pete does something really perfidious: he surrenders gracefully, then viciously attacks the Prince when he lets his guard down.
    • Also a sad death scene of the possibly kind king who can't even tell the difference between Mickey and his own son as he was dying, Mickey plays along for the sake of making him die happily.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fake King: Pete's plan with Pauper!Mickey.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Identical Stranger: As per the original The Prince and the Pauper, the Prince and the Pauper are both Mickey Mouse.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Pete tries to do this to the Prince during the climactic Sword Fight. 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 the battle resumes.
  • 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: While it is downplayed a bit at the end, this film's version of Pete is significantly darker than other interpretations, being a corrupt captain of the guard who takes advantage of the dying king's ailment by raiding and pillaging the kingdom to his heart's desire and making everyone think he is doing it under orders from the king himself, thereby ruining the monarch's reputation in the eyes of the kingdom's citizens. To add to that, after discovering the prince has traded places with a 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 imposter!
  • Spit Take: Done by Pete when he finds out the Mickey he threw out was really the Prince. His weasel lackey also does one right after that.
  • 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.
  • 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.