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 Mouse 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 Moment of Awesome) but rather Mickey describing how he killed the flies, as seen in the opening page 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 (Though, nowadays, Disney will use the old design when they're doing retraux throwbacks.)
Not to be confused with The Brave Little Toaster.
This short provides examples of:
- Adaptational Villainy: In the Fifty Happy Years book's retelling of the short, the Giant tries to kill Mickey for insulting him.
- All There in the Manual: Although the giant has No Name Given in the short, he gets called Gustav in the comics.
- 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.
- Subverted even further in the Fifty Happy Years Book. The book suggests that this is indeed a happy ending for the giant and everyone else as well.
- Animation Bump: Any scene with the giant, courtesy of the talented Bill Tytla.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: What caused the misunderstanding and set the plot in motion. Three men had been talking about the giant outside Mickey's house with one asking the others if they had ever killed a giant, at just the moment Mickey stuck his head out the window saying he had killed seven with one blow. Since he didn't clarify they were flies, the trio assumed he was jumping into their conversation, leading them to spread word of his "accomplishment" to everyone.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever
- Bad Vibrations: The giant's arrival is heralded by the ground shaking.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: Mickey's eyes are visible when he gets swallowed by the giant.
- 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 Ditz: The giant.
- Giant Foot of Stomping: Mickey has to scramble to keep from being trampled by the giant's foot.
- Hobbling the Giant: Mickey defeats the giant by wrapping him up with thread all the way down to his ankles, then pulling on it so he falls and hits his head.
- The Middle Ages: Complete with hennins and poofy sleeves.
- Mistaken for Badass: Mickey killed seven flies with one blow, but unluckily, people incorrectly assume he killed seven giants.
- One-Hit Polykill: Seven at one blow!
- 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!
- 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.
- Spiritual Sequel: Recieved one in 1985 through the very first book in the "Walt Disney Fun to Read Library", called "Mickey Meets the Giant". This book adapts the second half of the original fairy tale where Mickey has to use his wits and farming tools to defeat the Giant (who is a Palette Swap of the one from the short). Unlike in the short, Mickey's outfit in the book is the same as in "Mickey and the Beanstalk".
- Standard Hero Reward: Mickey is promised the Princess's hand if he can stop the giant.
- Sustained Misunderstanding: After Mickey boasts about how he "killed seven [flies] in one blow", everyone in the kingdom thinks he was talking about giants while Mickey thinks they're impressed that he killed so many flies at once. It's only after the King appoints Mickey as the "Royal High Killer of the Giant" that he realizes the misunderstanding.
- Swallowed Whole: Happens to Mickey as the giant absentmindly tosses him into his mouth with some pumpkins and then drinks from a well. The bucket tied to the well saves him from the giant's stomach.
- 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.
- Uvula Escape Route: Mickey is swallowed by the giant when he eats from a pumpkin cart Mickey was hiding. Mickey hangs onto the giant's uvula to keep from being swallowed. This gives the giant hiccups, so he picks up an entire well and drinks from it; Mickey escapes by hanging on to the well's bucket.
- Vocal Dissonance: The baby who says "Jiminy Crickets!" has a deep, gravelly voice.
- The Voiceless: Minnie has no dialogue in this short, except for whispering in the King's ear (though the sound used is the same one used for when the knight whispers to the King). The opposite happens in the Fifty Happy Years book, where she verbally gives Mickey words of encouragement for his bravery, then showering him with kisses.
- 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.
- "Wanted!" Poster: There's one of the giant which appears to be almost life-sized.
- 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.
- Ye Olde Butchered English: During the montage of citizens talking about Mickey supposedly killing seven giants, a worker in a manhole is next to a sign reading "Ye Man at Worke".