Today I’m sharing my favorite of Disney’s modern Mickey Mouse shorts to date! Sleepwalkin’ is a treasure trove of classic cartoon convention in a small, action-packed package.
Mickey Mouse agrees to sit with Goofy overnight, because Goofy is concerned that his sleepwalking is out of control. Just as Mickey drifts off himself, a sleeping Goofy gets out of bed and decides to take a quick sprint around the city.
The cartoon opens with a sweet scene of Mickey carrying Goofy up to bed and tucking him in. This is a much more lovable Goofy than the crass, oafish character we saw in The Dog Show. I hope to see more of this cute friendship in future cartoons.
As Goofy exits his bedroom, the cartoon tropes begin in earnest. He busts through the wall, leaving a character-shaped hole behind. This has always been one of my favorite animation gags, and one that TV Tropes hilariously refers to as “effective displacement.” Within a few seconds, Goofy leaves these marks all over the city.
Mickey dashes to catch up to his friend, who is recklessly sleep-running in and out of traffic like a track star. Mickey does his best to wake Goofy or at least divert him from the busy street. He finally succeeds, but only when Goofy dashes up to the top of a high-rise apartment building. Mickey finds Goofy on the roof, in his bathing suit, ready to perform the high dive of his life.
Mickey races back down the building as Goofy jumps, and then we get another quick succession of classic cartoon gags. Mickey is preparing to break Goofy’s fall when he slips on a banana peel and tumbles into the street. Mickey sees stars as he bangs his head, and then he miraculously saves Goofy by kicking a portable sewer hole into position under Goofy. Classic!
When Mickey gets Goofy out of the sewer, the race is on again. Exhausted, Mickey brainstorms ways to end this marathon around the city.
The race sequence ends with a fantastic take on more classic cartoon tropes. A dream bubble over Goofy’s head reveals that he’s dreaming about running across a race’s finish line. A light bulb appears over Mickey’s head when he gets a great idea. Then Mickey interacts with Goofy’s dream bubble, and pulls the finish line tape from the dream so that Goofy can run across it in reality, thus allowing himself to sleep soundly again. I loved this modern take on a classic convention.
The short ends with Mickey getting Goofy back safely in to bed, only to be interrupted by the alarm clock. When Goofy awakes refreshed and suggests that he and Mickey go for a run, Mickey can’t get away fast enough!
Like all of the new Mickey Mouse shorts, this one came in at just under 4 minutes long. Despite their short run times, Sleepwalkin’ is the first one of which I wanted to see more. It probably could have felt too long were it stretched out much more, but I was so delighted by all the visual puns that I didn’t want it to end. If you haven’t yet watched Sleepwalkin’, you can see it at the DisneyShorts YouTube page, or right here.
What is your favorite modern Mickey Mouse short so far? Are you enjoying seeing classic cartoon tropes reinvented too?