Get a Horse! Is a dazzling and enchanting Disney animated short that was featured prior to the feature length film Frozen in cinemas. Wonderfully mixing antique and modern animation it’s a feast for the eyes and a reminder of how good Disney once was and what it’s capable of today. Directed by Lauren MacMullen, the first woman to solo direct a Disney film, it takes inspiration from Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr with its stepping through the screen antics.
The plot follows the typical type of early Mickey Mouse short. Using hand drawn, black and white animation, Mickey is enjoying a musical wagon ride with Minnie Mouse when they are pounced upon by the wicked Peg-Leg Pete in his automobile. Spying Minnie, Pete attempts to steal her from our hero and drive off into the sunset with her as his prize. Following a brief fight, Mickey and his steed Horace are literally pushed through the cinema screen and become bold, brightly coloured modern versions of themselves. Hilarity then ensues as the fight goes back and forth between monochrome and colour, old and new.
I thought this film was incredibly witty and inventive. Initially I assumed the short was a re-release of an old classic and had no idea that the characters were about to be launched into the 21st Century. The traditional black and white animation is exquisite and the soundtrack is excellent to match. I’m not as much a fan of the newer style but that might just be my old codger-ness coming through. Throughout its seven minute runtime, the film was drawing laughs from young and old in the cinema and was hopefully introducing the younger members of the audience to the wonderful older style of animation. The score is bouncy and full of brass and made my feet bop along from start to finish while it also makes use of archive audio to capture the real voices of Walt Disney, Marcellite Garner and Billy Bletcher, all long deceased. This really is a wonderful Disney short, the best I’ve seen in ages.
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Sherlock Jr 1924