Mickey and the gang stage "Uncle Tom's Cabin," but the crowd receives Horace's villainous performance as Simon Legree too seriously, bombing him off the stage with vegetables. Clarabelle's dramatic performance as a fleeing slave is also ruined, when dogs that are supposed to be chasing her are led astray and through the orchestra pit by a cat.
Stereotyped characterizations of black people were then common when Walt was alive. Mickey's Mellerdrammer was one of many films and cartoons of its era that referenced Uncle Tom's Cabin, and has been cited as 'particularly notable (though it later received more positive reception as years go by).' Henry Louis Gates Jr., wondered how the cartoon evaded censorship of mixed-race relationships, given that Mickey and Minnie portray Tom and Eva, and are "as they say, an item, and unmistakably so." (Additionally, Mickey is seen cross-dressing in the role of Topsy.)
In the beginning of this short, Clarabelle Cow appears in her dressing room applying lantern soot to her face and leaving an exaggerated area around her lips white. Mickey Mouse then takes a more "comical" approach to applying the makeup: He puts a firecracker in his mouth and lights it, which explodes, causing the ashes to paint his face black while leaving a large area around his lips white. Mickey's bushy side whiskers and white gloves are also a representation of the use of blackface.