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Western Animation / Mickey Mouse Works

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In 1999, the stars of the Classic Disney Shorts returned to starring in regular cartoon shorts. But rather than being made to play right before selected movies in theaters (although a few of them actually did premiere there anyway beforehand), these new cartoons were going to be shown alongside other Disney cartoons like Recess and Pepper Ann. Mickey Mouse (starring in his first cartoon series produced by Disney Television Animation) and the gang's new show, titled Mickey Mouse Works, made its debut on ABC's One Saturday Morning programming block on May 1, 1999. It followed a Three Shorts format, with each five-minute short starring one of Mickey's gang, and even mixing characters who rarely, if ever, interacted in the older cartoons (i.e. Mickey taking care of Donald Duck's nephews or Mickey trying to impress Minnie Mouse when he thinks she's leaving him for José Carioca). Sometimes, the characters starred in newly-made installments of the Silly Symphonies, in which the stories were set entirely to music and without dialogue. Once per Episode, there would also be one or two 90-second gag shorts with the following umbrella titles:

  • Mickey to the Rescue: Mickey breaks into Pete's none-too-secret hideout to rescue Minnie from the traps within.
  • Maestro Minnie: Minnie conducts shortened musical pieces with a rather rebellious orchestra.
  • Goofy's Extreme Sports: Goofy performs extreme sports. It's exactly what the title says.
  • Donald's Dynamite: Someone apparently has it out for Donald, because he keeps finding lit bombs in the middle of his activities that just won't leave him alone.
  • Von Drake's House of Genius: Professor Ludwig Von Drake shows off his latest invention, which then always backfires in some way. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Pluto Gets the Paper: Pluto has humorous incidents while trying to fetch Mickey's newspaper.

In addition, Mouse Works also occasionally ran shorts that ran twice the usual length, dubbed Mouse Tales, in which the characters performed classic stories they hadn't already done adaptations for.

On January 13, 2001, Mickey Mouse Works was replaced with a new series titled Disney's House of Mouse, which has the cartoons presented within the framing device of a nightclub being run by Mickey and Co. For tropes specific for that series, go here

Mickey Mouse Works provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The animatronic parrot on the pinball machine in "Pinball Mickey" is clearly a three-dimensional computer model masked with cel shading.
  • Accidental Pervert: There are two cases. Mickey falls into this trope in "Future Mania" after Ludwig Von Drake hooks him up to his future-viewing machine. When he tries to contact Minnie on a viewing monitor, he ends up seeing her in a towel. His attempts to keep Minnie from getting angry only serve to dig himself deeper. Donald falls into this trope in "Donald's Rocket Ruckus" when he mistakes a woman (a very tall duck) for Huey, Dewey and Louie in disguise and rips off her dress.
  • Accidentally Real Fake Address: In a Pluto Gets the Paper mini-short, Mortimer Mouse, who is running from Pluto after stealing Mickey's paper, jumps inside a cab and tells the driver "The other side of town, and step on it!". The cab only goes less than a block before stopping at the corner of The Other Side Of Town St. and Step On It Blvd.
  • Acquaintance Denial: In the short "Mickey's April Fools", Mickey tries to prove his identity to a will executor after faking his death, and he brings in Donald to prove that he is, indeed, Mickey Mouse. After Donald has an Imagine Spot about living Mickey's glamorous life, he grins deviously and says, "Never seen him before!"
  • Affectionate Parody: The short "Dance of the Goofys" parodies a segment from Fantasia.
  • Ajax Products
  • Afterlife Angst: In the short "How to Haunt a House", Goofy becomes a ghost (but only temporarily) and complains "I'm not ready to be dearly departed!".
  • All Just a Dream: The Donald Duck short "Donald's Goofy World" and the Pluto short "Minnie Takes Care of Pluto" both end this way. Donald is revealed to have only dreamed everyone turned into Goofy in the former cartoon while the latter short revealed that Pluto was only dreaming that he went to Hell.
    • Also, A Midsummer Night's Dream was shown to have ended this way, in which Mickey had this dream of him and Minnie getting married, which seems to upset her for some reason.
  • The Alleged House: The short "Mickey's Mechanical House" has Mickey Mouse putting up with things like clattering pipes and a creaky roof in his house, prompting him to move into a technologically-advanced abode.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: In "Around the World in 80 Days," when Mickey tells Goofy "We're going around the world in eighty days!" Goofy just stands there and continues to sweep; when Mickey tells him to get a move on he asks "What's the hurry? We're not leaving for eighty days."
  • Animation Bump:
    • Certain shorts, such as "Mickey's New Car" and "Roller Coaster Painters," have much more fluid animation than the majority of shorts.
    • A somewhat backward example: seven shorts from the first season were colored traditionally on cels, while the rest of the shorts are colored digitally.
    • "How to Haunt a House" was animated at Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida, and is easily the best animated short of the series.
  • April Fools' Plot: "Mickey's April Fools" takes place on April Fool's Day and has Mickey prank Minnie by faking her out after making it look like he was going to propose to her as well as prank Mortimer by tricking him into thinking he run him over. After Mickey hears of an inheritance of one million bucks, his earlier prank on Mortimer backfires when he has to prove that he's not dead. The executor turns out to be Mortimer in disguise, who proceeds to tie Mickey to a pole by his shorts and lies about being Mickey to take his inheritance of one million bucks, which it turns out was a bunch of male deer rather than dollars. The other executor reveals herself to be Minnie in disguise, but she leaves Mickey where he is as payback for pranking her into thinking they'd finally marry.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In "Mickey's Rival Returns", Mickey is flung into the sky where you can see a few states which are labeled... completely wrong. For example, Nevada has New York written on it and New Mexico is labeled as Florida.
  • Art Shift: Donald briefly turns into a CGI when getting sucked into his computer in "computer.don".
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: In "Turkey Catchers", Donald disguises himself as an attractive female bird to lure the turkey into a trap.
  • Author Guest Spot: In "Mickey's Mix-Up," the nasty fax Mickey intended to send to Mortimer ends up going to Roy E. Disney.
  • Babysitter's Nightmare: A recurring antagonist for Donald Duck is Baby Shelby the Turtle, who he is forced to babysit by Shelby's mother. Donald then quickly is put in a living hell courtesy of Shelby being a relentless daredevil. Most of the shorts end with Shelby's mother asking Donald to look over Shelby again and Donald suffering a nervous breakdown. Then we have the Mickey, Donald and Goofy cartoon "Babysitters"...
  • Babysitting Episode: The Baby Shelby shorts, as shown above.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • "How to Be a Waiter" is a perfect example of this trope. The cartoon starts out by showing the lowdown of being a waiter, but it becomes too much for Goofy, and so he shoots for a better career as a movie star, which is pretty much what the cartoon remains about. Ironically, the movie Goofy stars in casts him as... a waiter!
    • "How to Wash Dishes" does pretty much the same thing, right up to the Book Ends ending, except replace "waiter" with "dishwasher" and replace "being a movie star" with "Goofy going on vacation".
    • In "Topsy-Turvy Town", it looks like as if the executioner is about to chop Mickey and Minnie's heads off as part of their punishment for breaking the titular town's rules, but then it turns out he was only cutting some lemons for two glasses of ice cold drinks and said "punishment" is a luxurious beach vacation spot. Mickey and Minnie are both perfectly fine with this.
  • Beach Episode: The cartoon "Mickey's Rival Returns" is set entirely at a beach, and as the title implies, features the return of Mickey's rival, Mortimer Mouse. The plot revolves around Mickey challenging Mortimer to a game of volleyball to win Minnie's affection, and even though he won, Mortimer tricks Minnie into thinking Mickey only won because she is his "trophy". Although Mickey does triumph at the end when he sends Mortimer flying after he tries to give Minnie a kiss during their luau date.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Minnie finally delivers her pie to Daisy in "Minnie Visits Daisy", but she ends up in jail because she resorted to breaking and entering. On the bright side, the short ends with Minnie throwing the pie into Daisy's face in a rare instance of Daisy getting her comeuppance for obliviously putting her friend through hell.
  • Black Comedy Burst: The Halloween themed shorts. Both Goofy's and Donald's are very dark but are Played for Laughs and full of slapstick.
  • Blatant Lies: Usually spoken by Mickey to get himself out of trouble. Never works.
  • Body Horror: Played for laughs in "Donald's Goofy World". Donald's dream - in which everyone and everything has turned into Goofy - culminates in Donald turning into Goofy himself.
    Goofy: (on Donald's television) Now YOU'RE Goofy too!
  • Breakout Character: Applies as the first time Minnie and Daisy have been the leads of their own cartoons, even finally getting their own classic era styled faceplates.
  • Butt-Monkey: Donald, as per usual, gets stuck with all the bad luck, even in the show's intro.
    • Even characters like Minnie, Goofy and Pluto can be hit with this as well.
  • Canis Latinicus: Goofy, in a biking cartoon, is introduced as "Goofilious Bike-Pedalous".
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin':
    • Often, especially when it comes to Donald - as usual, the fates punish him for every transgression, overblown or otherwise.
    • A good singular example involves Mickey, however - he finds an envelope on the ground and instead of trying to find the owner he buys a bow for Minnie. Immediately after he finds out that the money was from Minnie herself to give to orphans in order to keep them from being kicked out on the street. Ouch. Hijinks ensue as Mickey tries to get the bow back so he can resell it and reclaim the money.
  • Captivity Harmonica: In "Big House Mickey", there is a brief scene of Mickey playing the harmonica while in jail.
  • Cardboard Prison: In "Big House Mickey", Mickey easily escapes from prison because the prison guard stupidly demonstrates the easiest way for a person to bust out (which is to knock him out and take the keys).
  • Cartoon Bomb: The entire plot of "Donald's Dynamite" shorts is his being plagued by Cartoon Bombs when he's in the middle of doing something.
  • Cast as a Mask: Per usual, Donald's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie were voiced by Russi Taylor, but in "Donald's Halloween Scare", they disguise themselves as Chief O'Hara, who is voiced by Corey Burton. When their disguise is revealed, Louie still wears the Chief O'Hara mask and says "Come back, you maniac" in Chief O'Hara's voice.
  • The Cat Came Back: The bombs in those "Donald's Dynamite" quickies just won't leave Donald alone. At least, not until they explode.
  • Chained to a Railway: The subject of one "Mickey to the Rescue" quickie, in which Mickey saves Minnie from being tied down in the path of an oncoming train, driven by Pete. Unfortunately, Mickey is not very good with untying knots, so both Mickey and Minnie wind up tied together. Fortunately, however, Mickey manages to hit a conveniently-placed switch, sending Pete's train down another track.
    Pete: I knew I shouldn't have put in that second set of tracks!
    • Mickey and Minnie, still tied up, manage to get off the tracks. Then the train comes back in the opposite direction, cutting the ropes and freeing the mice.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • "Mickey's Christmas Chaos" (retitled "Mickey's Christmas Crisis" when repurposed on House of Mouse), where Mickey competes with Mortimer over who's better at decorating their house for Christmas.
    • "The Nutcracker", an adaptation of The Nutcracker with Mickey and friends as the characters.
  • Closer to Earth: Played straight with Minnie, played with with Daisy - both Donald and Daisy can play the more grounded in their relationship Depending on the Writer, as Donald is impulsive and temperamental while Daisy is childish and often oblivious to others.
  • Characterization Marches On: All of the characters have specific characterizations for their cartoons, which are consistent in show but somewhat different from what they've had previously. For example...
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: "Donald's Dinner Date" has Daisy threatening to dump Donald unless he makes it through the entire date without getting angry. And wouldn't you know it, their waiter turns out to be Goofy. Donald's patience is tested throughout the short, but in the end, it's Daisy that gets angry. Donald manages to remain calm... well, until he gets the bill.
  • Come Back, My Pet!: In "Pluto vs. The Watchdog", Mickey, thinking Pluto is too idiotic to be a watchdog, buys a new dog named Muncy. However, the watchdog is really working with Pete so he can rob Mickey. Pluto saves the day at the end.
    Mickey: (about Pluto) What! A! Watchdog!
  • Composite Character: In their adaptation of The Nutcracker, Drosselmeyer replaces Fritz as the one who breaks the nutcracker.
  • Correspondence Course: In "How to Be a Spy," Goofy is actually seen listening to (and misunderstanding...) the instructions about how to be a spy on a tape recorder.
  • Couch Gag: Donald constantly tries to finish the Mickey Mouse Works title sequence with a display reading "Starring Donald Duck", which always backfires in some way.
  • Covered in Kisses: A cute white Maltese terrier with blue eyes named Tiki does this to Pluto in the short "Pluto's Penthouse Sweet". Pluto likes Tiki but realizes that if he wants to stay with her, he'll have to marry her and leave his owner Mickey Mouse. So he tries to escape from her endless barrage of kisses. At one point he hides in a grandfather clock. It turns out that Tiki was in the clock waiting for him. There is a struggle and once he leaves most of his body is covered with lipstick marks. Tiki is not shown to wear lipstick and all of the other times she kisses Pluto she leaves no such marks. So she either put on some lipstick when she got Pluto alone in the grandfather clock or this was all just for comedic effect (the latter is more likely).
  • Crisis Catch And Carry: In the short "Donald's Halloween Scare", Donald does a Wild Take in which his ghost flies out of him and runs away. Donald is too scared to move, so his ghost grabs him.
  • Cutaway Gag: In "Mickey's Airplane Kit," and a whole series of them in "Daisy's Big Sale."
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Mickey, Donald and Goofy work as Pete's pit crew in the short "Pit Crew". When Pete gets impatient on the three coming over to fix his racecar up, he threatens to pinch their heads off.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Happens in "Mickey's Christmas Chaos", where Pluto ends up the one winning the Christmas decorating contest instead of Mickey or Mortimer.
  • Death is Cheap: The narrator lampshades this in "How to Haunt a House", where he assures Donald and Goofy after they die and become ghosts that they will only remain dead until the cartoon is over.
  • Depending on the Writer: Daisy is either the Straight Man to her boyfriend Donald as she usually is or is a complete idiot who never understands that her actions make things inconvenient for her friends.
  • Disney Acid Sequence:
    • Mickey's dream sequence in "Hickory Dickory Mickey".
    • "Bird-Brained Donald" features one as well.
    • "Mickey's Piano Lesson" also has a bizarre dream sequence of Mickey having to deal with sentient music notes and a giant piano monster. All set to the tone of the 3rd movement of "Moonlight Sonata", no less.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Hinted at in the end of "Future Mania". After Ludwig Von Drake is put into his own future viewer by Donald, Goofy, and Mickey, who are all furious with how bad their visions of the future turned out, Ludwig is initially okay with being in a vision of the future because he gets to spend time with a duck gynoid. Said gynoid then starts to become unnecessarily clingy.
  • Downer Ending: "How to Wash Dishes": Goofy overcharges the credit card the narrator gave him at the beginning of the short for his vacation, resulting him being forced to pay off his bill by washing dishes at the restaurant he got overcharged at in the same position he was in at the beginning of the cartoon.
  • Drunk with Power: Goofy, of all people, in "Sandwich Makers", in which he is put in charge of a sandwich shop with Mickey and Donald as workers. Goofy eventually takes his "How To Be In Charge" book seriously and grows mad with power as 'captain', calling his friends yeomen and throwing them in "the brig" (storage closet).
    Goofy: "Chapter Three: Who Needs Friends When You've Got Power?!" (thunder crashes)
  • Episode Title Card: The main ensemble gets faceplates, followed by "A (character's name) cartoon", as in the classic era. Daisy and Minnie each get one for the first time. There's a separate one for episodes shared by the main trio: Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. All of them have corresponding leitmotifs.
  • Escalating War: In "Rollercoaster Painters", Mickey and Donald become so obsessed with winning a lifetime pass to an amusement park that they each try to outdo one another in how much of the park's roller coaster they can paint. One thing leads to another, and they wind up getting into a paint war on the coaster, with Mickey pitching buckets of the red paint he was using at Donald, and Donald pelting Mickey with water balloons full of the blue paint Donald was using. In the end, neither of them win — the winner, instead, is Goofy, who simply did his painting duties in a slow-and-steady way.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Phantom Blot's Hidden Hideout. It's at the White Pages!
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Or Portuguese, in the case of "Mickey Tries to Cook". Here, the reason Mickey tries to cook is that Minnie is tired of the ham, tomato and cheese sandwiches with cheese that are all Mickey knows how to make, and he sees her at the grocery store with Jose Carioca who offers her an exotic-sounding dish. At the end of the cartoon, it turns out that Jose also made a ham, tomato and cheese sandwich with cheese, and just told the name in Portuguese.
  • Exact Words: In one Pluto Gets the Paper short, Mortimer tricks Pluto to entering a taxi and tells the driver to take Pluto "to the other side of town and step on it." The taxi moves... just a few feet away and then Pluto gets out. Mortimer soon realizes why; he sent Pluto to "The Other Side of Town" street and "Step on It" lane!
  • Exposition Already Covered: In Season 3 "The Nutcracker", when Ludwig Von Drake is about to give Minnie a nutcracker doll, the narrator interrupts him and spoils the surprise for Minnie, which annoys Ludwig.
    Narrator: This year, Godpapa Drosselmeyer made a special gift for young Maria.
    Ludwig: Alright, little one, now this took me-
    Narrator: It has taken him all year to built.
    Ludwig: Right, all year. (back to Minnie) It's a beautiful-
    Narrator: A beautiful nutcracker.
    Ludwig: Oh! You're not a narrator, you're just a great, big, surprise spoiler!
    Narrator: Ignore me and just give her the doll!
    Ludwig: Fine, fine. (back to Minnie) Alright, here's the no longer surprise nutcracker, take it already.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: In "How to Camp", the two aliens Goofy encounters end up turning to ash with their eyes remaining intact.
  • The Face of the Sun: Even the SUN turns into Goofy in "Donald's Goofy World", much to Donald's horror.
    Sun Goofy: Hi, Donald! It's a beautiful day!
  • Faking the Dead: Mickey's prank on Mortimer in "Mickey's April Fools" involves tricking his rival into thinking he's run him over, which later backfires on Mickey when he tries to collect his inheritance of one million bucks and has to prove that he's not dead.
  • Fan Disservice: Clara Cluck posing provocatively and wearing revealing outfits in "Donald's Double Date".
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": "Answering Service" has Mickey, Donald, and Goofy dealing with the entire phone company being one of these.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: After trying and failing the narrator's lessons on how become "a gentleman", Goofy angrily takes a large club and whacks at both the camera and apparently the narrator. The cartoon ends with the camera's point-of-view lying on its side from the ground, the lens cracked, and the narrator speaking in a woozy voice.
  • Freudian Excuse: "Mickey and the Color Caper" has the Phantom Blot steal all the colors and turn himself into the Phantom Rainbow because he was apparently forced to wear his black cloak his whole life by his parents.
  • Fright Deathtrap: At the end of "How to Haunt a House", Goofy's ghost scares Donald into running out of the house, where he ends up hit by a car, becoming a ghost himself.
  • Fun with Homophones: A plot point of "Mickey's April Fools" is Mickey learning that he's inherited one million bucks. When Mortimer attempts to take Mickey's inheritance by lying that he is Mickey Mouse, it turns out that the bucks are male deer rather than dollar bills.
  • Gallows Humor: Surprisingly, an example is found in "Organ Donors" where Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are hired to bring an organ to a demented toymaker that wants Mickey's heart to bring his doll bride to life.
    Mickey: He didn't want to donate an organ! He wanted me to donate my organs!
    Goofy: And you're not even done with them.
  • Gender Equals Breed: Pluto has an Imagine Spot in "Pluto's Penthouse Sweet" where he and Tiki, the dog he fell in love with, have puppies. The boys look like Pluto and the girls look like their mother.
  • Gilligan Cut: Donald says no to the idea of dressing up like Daisy in "Mickey's Big Break". One clockwise screen wipe later...
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Goofy tends to lose his pants quite a bit, and underneath it's always white boxers with red hearts.
  • Halloween Episode:
    • "Donald's Halloween Scare", where Donald scares his nephews out of their Halloween candy and the triplets conspire to get even with their uncle by pretending to be zombies.
    • "How to Haunt a House" is a semi-scary episode where the premise is Goofy dying and becoming a ghost so that the narrator can instruct him how to haunt the living.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Goofy covers his shame with his hands in "Goofy's Extreme Sports: Feeding Sharks" for a small moment after stripping naked.
  • Happily Married: Mickey and Minnie at the end of "Around the World in 80 Days". This happens to them again as well as to Donald and Daisy at the end of the adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In all cases, the married couples are clearly happy to be together.
    • In the latter case, however, it turns out that Mickey was having a dream, and a scary one at that, according to him.
  • Hate Sink: Mortimer Mouse due to being a Jerkass to Mickey and always trying to steal Minnie from him by making him look bad.
  • Here We Go Again!: After Pluto finally gets Butch the Bulldog to stop being in love with him, "Pluto's Arrow Error" ends with Pluto accidentally using one of the Cupid's arrows he found to make an elephant fall in love with him.
  • How We Got Here: "Topsy Turvy Town" begins with Mickey and Minnie in a cell as a being in a shroud informs them that it's time for their punishment. The short then goes on to explain how Mickey and Minnie got into this situation.
  • Hurricane of Puns: In the Mickey, Donald & Goofy Cartoons, Goofy sometimes makes these, combined with Long List.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Donald's Double Date", Daisy asks Donald to build her a big brick fence because...
    Daisy: My nosy neighbor, Clara Cluck, always catches me when I look in her windows.
  • I Lied: The narrator to a Nutcracker special goads Donald into playing the role of the mouse king by saying that he'll win in the end. When he doesn't, the narrator claims to have "made a mistake."
  • Insomnia Episode: "Hickory Dickory Mickey" centers around Mickey being kept awake by Goofy's alarm clock's constant tick-tocking after agreeing to take him to the airport at 6 AM.
  • Interactive Narrator: In the Goofy shorts and in "The Nutcracker".
  • Interrupted Bath: "Daisy's Big Sale" has Daisy phone Minnie and demand her to come over to help her sell bows while Minnie is in the middle of a shower, resulting in Minnie having to drive over while wearing a bathrobe and a showering cap.
  • It's All About Me: A recurring gag in the end of the intro, Donald tried to change the Mickey Mouse Works logo into Starring Donald Duck, often ending badly for him.
  • Jail Bake: Mickey asks Goofy to do this in "Big House Mickey" when he is jailed after Mortimer frames him for theft. Goofy does a terrible job of hiding the file and the guard catches him red handed. The guard then goes on a rant about how a file wouldn't actually work, ending with the guard concluding that the easiest way to escape would be to knock him out and take his keys. Mickey asks him to demonstrate and the guard proceeds to do so to himself.
  • Jerkass:
    • Donald, sometimes, especially to his nephews. Daisy, particularly in shorts starring Minnie.
    • Mortimer Mouse is also a rather unpleasant fellow. Pretty much every short featuring him has him being a complete ass to Mickey and attempting to seduce Minnie.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Donald may be short-tempered and mean towards his friends and nephews, but he does show that he cares about them plenty of times.
    • While she often gives everyone else hell, Daisy is shown to actually care about Donald when she appears in his shorts and some of Minnie's shorts featuring Daisy end with Daisy sincerely apologizing to Minnie for giving her problems.
  • Karma Houdini: The crazy toy maker from "Organ Donors" does not get any comeuppance for trying to remove Mickey's heart and use it to bring his doll to life. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy just run away from him screaming, leaving him still at large with a chance to steal someone else's organs.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Goofy pulls this on himself when he finds a windmill-shaped key while running down his keychain in "Locksmiths":
    Goofy: Don Key-hote! Oh, now that's a stretch. Gettin' rid of that one! (throws the key away)
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Happens to Ludwig von Drake in the short "Future Mania". He has Mickey, Donald, and Goofy hooked up to a machine called the Future Viewer, which is intended to show the three how their lives will be better in the future. His experiment backfires because the improvements in technology actually make their lives worse, with Mickey's vision of the future even ending with Minnie beating him up and breaking up with him. At the end of the short, Mickey and friends get fed up with their torment and hook Ludwig to the machine. Ludwig at first enjoys his experience until his personal duck gynoid becomes clingy and his new car starts to go too fast.
  • Leitmotif: Everybody who had a cartoon starring them had a "title card" song that doubled as a leitmotif. That's Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Mickey/Donald/Goofy as a team, Minnie, Daisy and Pluto. Each motif appeared in most cartoons in which they appeared, even if they were not actually starring in them. Other characters also had motifs as well, such as Mortimer and Huey, Dewey and Louie. The title card motifs eventually carried over into House of Mouse.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: Goofy gets put through these in "How to Be a Gentleman." They don't exactly work.
  • Literal Money Metaphor: In "Mickey's April Fools", Mickey wins a sweepstakes that affords him "one million bucks". However, the lawyer (secretly Mortimer Mouse in disguise) is unconvinced that Mickey is who he says he is because he was declared dead (as a part of an April Fool's prank on Mortimer himself). Mortimer then tries convincing the real lawyer that he is Mickey so that he can get the prize. The lawyer gives him his bucks — a herd of a million stampeding deer. After this knocks him unconscious, the lawyer reveals himself to be Minnie.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Mickey accidentally sends a love note to Mortimer through his new fax machine, making him think he sent the angry note intended for Mortimer to Minnie. He gets into all kinds of shenanigans trying to retrieve the "angry note" before Minnie reads it, only to find out that Minnie's fax was from Daisy, and Roy Disney got the angry note.
  • Mad Scientist: The customer in the short "Organ Donors".
    • The young boy in "Dance of the Goofys" has Mad Scientist ambitions when he captures the Goofy Fairy King for science experiments.
  • Mickey Mousing: Of course. Notable scenes include the beginning of "Mickey's Piano Lesson", "Minnie Visits Daisy", as well as the cooking montage from "Mickey Tries to Cook" and the lunch rush in "Sandwich Makers".
  • Misophonia Gag: "Hickory Dickory Mickey" features an alarm clock that keeps Mickey Mouse up at night with an annoying ticking noise.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: The premise of "Minnie Takes Care of Pluto" is that Pluto is convinced by his shoulder devil that Minnie intends to kill him. This is not helped when Pluto believes that Minnie is trying to poison him when she attempts to feed him and later assumes she intends to bury him alive when she starts digging a hole for a plant.
  • Musical Nod: The general theme to Mouse Works (which recurred in many of the shorts) is actually a rearrangement of the classic Disney song "Minnie's Yoo Hoo," making this one of the few songs used in Mouse Works itself that was a nod to a previous one.
  • My Hair Came Out Green: In one short, Minnie Mouse accidentally dyes Pluto's fur purple after mistaking a bottle of purple dye for shampoo. She then tries to find ways to get the purple dye off, including painting the dog with a can of "Pluto-colored Paint" (which is the same shade of orange as Pluto's fur).
  • Mythology Gag: In "How to Ride a Bike", the narrator refers to Goofy as Mr. Biker, which is similar to how the short Motor Mania had the narrator refer to Goofy's characters as Mr. Walker and Mr. Wheeler.
    • "Mickey's April Fool's" is chock full of 'em, such as Mickey trying to prove his identity by transforming into his likeness from "Steamboat Willie," "The Band Concert," "The Brave Little Tailor" and even the Mickey Mouse Disco album.
    • One "Pluto Gets The Paper" sketch has Pluto trying to yank the newspaper off of a bubble gum wad, similarly to a sequence in Playful Pluto where he famously gets flypaper stuck onto him.
    • "Mickey's Big Break" has Mickey and Donald dress up as Minnie and Daisy, and with Clarabelle and Goofy commenting on how "Daisy" is starting to sound like Donald. In fact, that's how Daisy sounded like in her official debut in Mr. Duck Steps Out.
    • Each short also opens with a modernized reimagining of the "character head" title card sequences from the classic theatrical shorts (i.e. instead of a still shot of Mickey's smiling head on a sunburst fading to the text "A Walt Disney MICKEY MOUSE", Mickey's smiling head and the sunburst zoom in really close and back up a bit (ala the WB shield in the Looney Tunes cartoon Lumberjack Rabbit) and then zoom out to make way for the animated text "A MICKEY MOUSE Cartoon.") It's even been done with Daisy Duck, Ludwig Von Drake, and one with Mickey, Donald and Goofy's heads all together, which were not done in the classic shorts (particularly since Ludwig was created for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color TV show, and classic shorts featuring Mickey, Donald and Goofy generally just had the Mickey Mouse opening titles.)
  • Never Say "Die": Averted when Goofy asks a bunch of shadowy gangsters, "Please don't kill us."
    • Played straight, humorously so, in "How to Haunt a House", in which, in order to demonstrate the titular process, Goofy is arranged to be temporarily "not living" so he can become a ghost.
    • In "Mickey's Remedy", Mickey reminds Huey, Dewey and Louie that if they don't change their ways, they'll end up going to "The Bad Place". Similarly, in "Hickory Dickory Mickey", he delivers the alarm clock to "Hades" before spawning back at the bedside table with hints of fire.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: The Mickey, Donald & Goofy cartoons always feature the trio performing different jobs.
  • No Fourth Wall: Goofy in most of his shorts.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In the cartoon "Pluto's Seal Deal", Mickey mentions to Pluto to not have another incident with him saying at the end "No firetrucks and no news crew."
    • This is also used in "Daisy's Big Sale" when Minnie reminds Daisy that every time she helps her with her wild schemes, it always ends badly. We then see flashbacks of Minnie and Daisy being in full-body casts, getting arrested, and falling into wet cement, with no explanation given as to how those events happened to the girls.
    • Both shorts featuring the Phantom Blot imply that he already encountered Mickey and his friends before. "Mickey and the Color Caper" has Mickey immediately realizing that the Phantom Blot is the one making the colors disappear, while "Mickey Foils the Phantom Blot" has the Blot state that Mickey and his friends have met him again for the last time.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Minnie and Daisy come home to see both Mickey and Donald cross dressing while Goofy (with his pants down) takes their photo in "Mickey's Big Break".
  • On One Condition: In "Around the World in 80 Days", Mickey is challenged to go around the world not as a bet with friends, as in the novel, but as the One Condition allowing him to inherit money—otherwise the inheritance goes to Scrooge.
  • Opinion-Changing Dream: "Donald's Goofy World" has Donald becoming fed up with Goofy's, well, goofiness and announces that he never wants to see Goofy's face again. He then proceeds to get knocked out by his door (which he'd hired Goofy to fix) and has a hilariously strange dream where everyone and everything has turned into Goofy. He tries to watch TV, he gets nothing but shows about Goofy. He goes outside, all of his neighbors are Goofy. He runs into the forest, all of the animals (plus a flower that he picks) are Goofy. Even Mickey, Pluto, Daisy, and Donald's nephews have turned into Goofy. Eventually, Donald escapes back to his house, only to suddenly turn into Goofy himself. Then he wakes up, realizes that it was all just a dream, and blames Goofy... then finally realizes that maybe he was a little harsh on Goofy and apologizes, saying that at least there's only one of him.
  • Opening Shout-Out: At one point in "Donald's Goofy World", Donald happens across "Goofy's Goof Works" while channel surfing.
  • Origami Gag: In the short "Relaxing with Von Drake", Ludwig Von Drake demonstrates various massages on Donald Duck, including the "origami massage" that involves folding him into a paper swan.
    Von Drake: Looks like we made a swan out of that ugly duckling.
  • Overly Long Gag: Mickey, Donald, and Goofy drinking water by taking long sips in "Housesitters".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Mortimer frames Mickey for breaking into his house and stealing his property in the short "Big House Mickey". At the trial, Mortimer manages to incriminate Mickey by showing a videotape of himself disguised as Mickey and pretending to rob his house. This fools the judge even though Mortimer is much taller than Mickey and has a very different facial structure.
  • Potty Emergency: A part of the plot of "Housesitters", where Pete, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are hired to housesit for two hillbilly families who are feuding over an outhouse. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy do not get into conflict with Pete until all four of them have to go to the outhouse at the same time; Mickey, Donald, and Goofy having to pee after drinking a lot of water and Pete apparently ready to read a newspaper while doing his business.
  • Prison Episode: "Big House Mickey" is about Mickey ending up behind bars because Mortimer frames him for committing theft so he could beat him to a dinner date with Minnie.
  • Recycled Premise:
    • A good number of shorts fall under the premise of "Mickey, Donald and Goofy are X. Hilarity Ensues", where X is a job such as being painters or car washers or whatnot, complete with almost identical opening scenes. Lampshaded when the jobs get ridiculous ("Organ Donors", anyone?), and subverted when their job goes Off the Rails.
    • Also, there's a fair amount of "How To X" starring Goofy, which were in turn recycled from even earlier Goofy cartoons.
    • The 90-second shorts fall into this, depending on what title it's under.
    • "Mickey's Airplane Kit" is pretty much Plane Crazy but with revamped circumstances and a more solidly-characterized Mickey Mouse.
    • "Donald's Dinner Date" is very much the same plot as the classic Donald Duck cartoon "Cured Duck", where Daisy won't go out with Donald until he gets his temper under control, only to end with Daisy losing her temper.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The Phantom Blot only appeared in two shorts, but both of his appearances implied that he had already been menacing Mickey and his friends for quite some time. Fans unaccustomed to the comic series were likely baffled as to who he even was.
  • Rhyming Episode: The entirety of the short "Mickey's Mechanical House" is all done in rhyme; 'ala Dr. Seuss.
  • Saved by the Church Bell: In the Mouse Tales version of Around the World in Eighty Days, it seems that Mickey, Minnie and Goofy had failed the challenge and arrived back in England a whole day late. But then they hear church bells outside, and Mickey wonders why they'd be ringing on a Monday... before realizing that, because they crossed the International Date Line, they actually arrived a day earlier than they thought.
  • Saved by a Terrible Performance: Invoked in "Mickey and the Goat Man". After Mickey, Minnie, and Mortimer are captured by a Goat Man who claims to keep the things he likes, Mortimer give the Goat Man the offer to let them go if he and Mickey give him a performance that he loves. However Minnie tells Mickey to purposefully be extremely lousy which he does. The Goat Man loves Mortimer's performance but hates Mickey's. However he lets Mickey and Minnie go while telling Mortimer once again that he keeps the things he likes.
  • Scaling the Summit: "Mickey's Mountain" has Mickey and Pete racing on Unnamed Mountain to rename it (Mickey wants to name it after Minnie, while Pete want to name it after himself). At the end, it turns out that Minnie made it first, having taken a ski lift. Mickey still names the mountain after her anyway, much to her approval.
  • Sex Bot: The short "Future Mania" alludes to this. After Mickey accidentally sees Minnie in a towel, Minnie accuses him of leaving her for a mousedroid, which Ludwig von Drake then reveals to be a shapely mouse gynoid. When Mickey, Donald, and Goofy get fed up with Ludwig's future viewing machine for making their lives a wreck, Ludwig comments on how much fun he will have after he ends up with a duck version of the mouse gynoid.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • Mickey and Donald go to the trouble of photographing themselves in drag to replace a picture of Minnie and Daisy they accidentally broke in "Mickey's Big Break", but the short ends with Daisy tossing the picture aside and claiming that she and Minnie hated that old picture.
    • "Hickory Dickory Mickey" has Goofy asking Mickey to drive him to the airport at 6 AM. Mickey tries to get out of it by claiming that his digital clock is broken, but Goofy lets him borrow his alarm clock. Said alarm clock's constant tick-tocking drives Mickey insane all night. In the end, when Mickey gets up at 6 AM to drive Goofy to the airport, he discovers that the airport that Goofy is going to is right next door to his house. Mickey happily obliges by kicking Goofy out of his car after all the fuss he's been through.
    • "Mickey Tries to Cook" has Minnie becoming tired of Mickey always making the same thing - ham, tomato and cheese sandwiches with cheese. The next day, Mickey spots Minnie at the grocery store talking to Jose Carioca and thinks that she's going to leave him for Jose, so he tries to learn how to cook something else. Of course, Minnie's not leaving him for Jose - as it turns out, Jose just offered to cook Mickey and Minnie a romantic meal. And what does Jose make for them? Why, he makes ham, tomato and cheese sandwiches with cheese, of course! Mickey is fine with this.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    • How Mickey often answers the phone in the business-themed shorts. "Roller Coaster Painters, we paint roller coasters!"
    • The short "Mickey's Mountain" begins with the narrator describing the mountain as being an unnamed mountain known as the Unnamed Mountain.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "How to be Groovy, Cool, and Fly" at one point has Goofy dressed as Austin Powers and saying "Goofy, baby!"
    • Goofy does impressions of Sean Connery and John Wayne in "How to be a Waiter".
    • Humphrey the Bear scares the other bears out of Ranger Woodlore's hot tub in "Hot Tub Humphrey" by dressing like Elmer Fudd.
    • Parts of the score in the short "Pinball Mickey" (including the title card) are based on The Who's "Pinball Wizard."
  • Shrunk in the Wash: The episode Car Washers, which ends with Mickey telling Pete that his car shrunk in the wash. Pete is incredulous of this, but then he ends up forced through the car wash and becomes tiny, yelling at Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in a high-pitched voice.
  • Skewed Priorities: In "Double Date Don," Clara Cluck tries to get Donald's romantic attention by throwing herself into the ocean tied to some of his bricks. He dives in and rescues her, but his attention is focused on the fact that his bricks are safe.
  • Sleeps with Both Eyes Open: In the short "How to Haunt a House", Donald Duck achieves this by reading a book on sleeping with your eyes open.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Goofy shouting at an umpire uses his air horn to censor out his own (supposedly) foul language in "How to be a Baseball Fan".
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: In "Mickey's Big Break", Mickey pushes the split screen off while Goofy shouts in surprise at being shoved off.
  • Spoonerism: When trying to introduce himself to the Queen of England in "How to Be a Gentleman", Goofy can't get the phrase "My dear queen, I'm delighted to make your acquaintance" right and comes up with things like "My queer dean, I'm delighted to acquaint your maintenance."
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The Mickey, Donald and Goofy cartoons often boil down to Mickey getting the focus while Donald and Goofy are the sidekicks. "Mickey Foils the Phantom Blot" is a good example as Mickey is really the only one who moves the plot along. This could be seen as a subversion from the Classic Disney Shorts, where the mouse was almost absent in favor of Donald and Goofy's antics.
  • Tally Marks on the Prison Wall: "Goofy's Big Kitty" starts with Louie the Mountain Lion deciding to escape the circus. Before making his escape, he is seen using his claws to mark tallies in his cage.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Mickey tries to call Minnie, but the recording says that all the lines are busy. Mickey gets upset, but the recording not only tells him to not yell, but to not smash the phone.
  • The Television Talks Back: Donald's dream in "Donald's Goofy World" (in which everyone and everything is turning into Goofy) culminates in Goofy, who's on Donald's TV set, cheerfully suggesting that he give being Goofy a try. Donald refuses, and then this happens...
Goofy: But you get to wear my clothes!
(Donald realizes that he's suddenly wearing Goofy's clothes)
Donald: Huh?!
Goofy: And you get to look just like me!
(Donald runs over to the mirror, then proceeds to turn into Goofy himself)
Goofy!Donald: A-hyuck? (covers his mouth)
Goofy: Now YOU'RE Goofy too!
  • Token Human: "Dance of the Goofys" features a young boy with Mad Scientist ambitions who captures the Goofy Fairy King to use as a science experiment.
    • Also, Ranger Woodlore.
  • Totem Pole Trench:
    • Huey, Duey and Louie want to get on a ride in a theme park that Donald is guarding and says they're too small for in "Donald's Rocket Ruckus". In one scene Donald sees a very tall woman wobbling about and approaching the ride. Donald stops the "woman" and rips off her dress to find she's just a really tall now naked unbalanced woman. Donald then gets punched in the face.
    • Played straight (and combined with Latex Perfection) in "Donald's Halloween Scare", where Donald Duck is confronted by Chief O'Hara, who turns out to really be Huey, Dewey and Louie disguised while standing on top of each other and Louie wearing a rubber mask.
  • Unmoving Plaid: When the Phantom Blot became the Phantom Rainbow, the rainbow pattern stays in place and doesn't change to match the Blot's movements.
  • Unraveled Entanglement: In "The Phone Company", Donald is trying to reconnect some cords at the phone company and ends up tangled up in the middle of them.
  • Urine Trouble: Hinted at in "Minnie Takes Care of Pluto", when Pluto's punishment in Hell is to be trapped inside a fire hydrant. A Doberman begins sniffing at the hydrant and the scene pans out to show hundreds of other Dobermans waiting in line.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Daisy does this in the short "Daisy's Road Trip", stuffing a coin down her blouse after finding it in Mickey and Minnie's car seats.
  • Visual Pun:
    • In "Organ Donors", the toy maker explains to Mickey that he needs an organ (aka innards) after he explains this, Mickey exclaims that he has a screw loose. Then we see that the machine has a screw loose, which is then screwed tight.
    • In "Donald's Pool", Donald yells at Horace Horsecollar for horsing around, informs Pluto that no doggy paddling is allowed, and yells at some chickens that no chicken fights are allowed.
    • One of the recipes Mickey tries in "Mickey Tries to Cook" is putting everything into a casserole. After putting together all the food he used before, he then adds a kitchen sink.
  • Waiting Skeleton: "How to be a Baseball Fan" has a scene where Goofy has to climb to his seat. On his way, he passes a skeleton in one of the seats holding a pennant.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Happens in "Pluto's Penthouse Sweet", when Pluto finally gets alone with Tiki, but realizes that Mickey would be miserable without him. Things get worse Tiki refuses to let Pluto leave.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In "Mickey's Big Break", Mickey and Donald use the fact that they're only a few Tertiary Sexual Characteristics away from being Minnie and Daisy's twins in order to replace a picture that they ruined. Donald doesn't get it right the first time, though, because his first attempt at looking like Daisy has hair and breasts larger than Daisy's! Mickey doesn't fare as well either, having a floppy ribbon bow and the wrong kind of shoes. Their second attempts hit much closer to home.
  • Who's on First?: The aforementioned "The Other Side of Town" and "Step On It" streets. Additionally, there's one in "How to Be Smart", a Goofy cartoon, where he's followed the instructions and made it onto a quiz show, but doesn't know the answer to a hard question about a game-winning baseball play and exclaims "Heavens to Betsy!" The two players' names turned out to be Heavens and Betsy, giving Goofy credit for the answer.
  • The Worst Seat in the House: In the cartoon short, "How to Be a Baseball Fan", Goofy goes to a baseball game only to find that his seats are in the nosebleed section and he goes through an Overly Long Gag of climbing the stairs and seeing signs that tell him he's still quite a way away from his seat. Then when he gets there, he still can't see because of the hot-dog vendor, a big guy in front of him, and other fans Waving Signs Around.
  • Your Television Hates You:
    • In "Donald's Goofy World", Donald (after finding nothing but articles about Goofy in the Goofy Gazette) tries to get his mind off Goofy with a little television. He promptly gets nothing but shows about Goofy - specifically, he finds Goofy the Vampire Slayer, Goofield ("What's the deal with Donald's house? It looks like a boat, but it's not a boat!"), I Love Goofy, and Goofy's Goof Works.
    • "Hickory Dickory Mickey" has Mickey trying to drown out the tick-tocking of a clock he borrowed from Goofy with some television. He gets "The Tick-Tock Channel". Before this, he tries the radio, and ends up getting "The All-Tick Station" and "The All-Tock Station".
    • In another cartoon, "Pluto's Magic Paws", Pluto is looking for something dog-related to watch, only to find that every channel is showing cat-centric programming.


Video Example(s):


Mickey's Christmas Chaos

The plot of the short centers around Mickey and his rival Mortimer competing with each other on decorating their houses for the Christmas decoration contest. In the end, it was Mickey's dog Pluto that ended up winning. This also leads to both Mickey and Mortimer putting aside their differences and exchanging each other presents... that turned out to be boxing gloves that knocked them out cold.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DarkHorseVictory

Media sources: