Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Brave Little Tailor

Go To

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 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.)


This short provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: The Giant has this in the Fifty Happy Years book's retelling of this short. He is not as stupid as he looks and tries to kill Mickey for insulting him twice.
  • 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.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever
  • Bad Vibrations: The giant's arrival is heralded by the ground shaking.
  • Advertisement:
  • 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.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Mickey is promised the Princess's hand if he can stop the giant.
  • 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.
  • 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".


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: