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What's the story?
DISNEY'S SWEETHEART STORIES is a compilation of three Disney shorts from the '30s and '40s. In "Mickey's Rival," Mickey and Minnie are on a picnic when they're interrupted by the slick-talking showoff Mortimer Mouse, who attempts to impress Minnie with his wise-guy antics. When he goes too far and antagonizes an angry bull, it's up to Mickey and his beat-up jalopy to rescue them. Pluto goes "In Dutch" when he falls for a cute girl dog in a small Netherlands village. Unfortunately, they are both banished when their wooing causes them to accidentally ring the "Dike Emergency" bell. However, on leaving the town, they discover that the dike actually is leaking. Now they must warn the townspeople who will no longer take them seriously. Finally, Mickey and Minnie go on a date and take in a vaudeville show in "The Nifty Nineties," a period piece set in the 1890s.
Is it any good?
Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto discover the perils of romance in this enjoyable compilation of three Disney shorts from the 1930s and 1940s. "Mickey's Rival" is prime Mickey Mouse from his peak years in the '30s. Not only does Mortimer Mouse humiliate Mickey at every turn (he fools him with a trick glove, gives him an electric shock, and pulls the buttons off his shorts) but his sleek convertible adds insult to injury by harassing Mickey's humble jalopy. The car vs. car subplot is a lot of fun, and the cartoon climaxes with an exciting sequence in which Mickey and his car must save Minnie from an angry bull.
The other two cartoons are both very enjoyable, but they demonstrate a problem that occasionally cropped up in Disney's cartoon output of the 1940s. Sometimes the animators got so carried away with the artfulness of their animation that they forgot to be funny. Kids will still like watching the famous cartoon characters, but may not laugh quite as much. This is particularly true of "The Nifty Nineties," which features gorgeous animation of Mickey, Minnie, and various supporting characters, but contains very little actual gag content. Still the cartoons create a very nice atmosphere. Parents who are uncomfortable with the more confrontational antics of Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, or even Donald Duck, will find the action here a little calmer. Disney fans of all ages should be delighted.
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