Disney's Mickey Mouse Works was a television show that features the cartoon character Mickey Mouse and his friends in a series of animated segments. It is somewhat of an update of the classic Disney shorts. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and Ludwig Von Drake all star in their own segments. Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Chip and Dale, Scrooge McDuck, Pete, Humphrey the Bear, J. Audubon Woodlore, Dinah the Dachshund, Butch the Bulldog, Mortimer Mouse, and Clara Cluck all appear as supporting characters.
Mickey Mouse Works was made to recreate the golden age of Disney's animated shorts, featuring some of Disney’s most popular characters. By using basic colors and the original sound effects, tremendous effort was put forth to capture the look and feel of the classic Disney cartoons.
Each half-hour episode consisted of a variety of cartoons, varying in length from ninety seconds to twelve minutes. These shorts fell into three general types: the brief gag cartoons, the longer character-based cartoons, and the more classically-based "Mouse Tales" (usually the show's longest segment). The character-based segments also included "Silly Symphonies," carrying on the tradition of that series of theatrical shorts.
The gag shorts, which lasted 90 seconds each, were shown with the following umbrella titles:
- Mickey to the Rescue: Mickey tries to rescue Minnie from Pete's trap-laden hideout.
- Maestro Minnie: Minnie conducts an orchestra of animated, disagreeable instruments.
- Goofy's Extreme Sports: Goofy shows off extreme sports to the words of his offscreen narrator.
- Donald's Dynamite: Donald's activity is interrupted by the appearance of a well-placed bomb.
- Von Drake's House of Genius: Ludwig Von Drake shows off an invention of his which goes haywire.
- Pluto Gets the Paper: Pluto goes through a bit of problems trying to fetch the newspaper for Mickey.
With no established schedule or routine, Mickey Mouse Works was designed to look like one spontaneous flow. Adding to that feeling where the show's opening credits, which ended differently each week, the only constant being an elaborate interruption from a spotlight-stealing Donald Duck.
While most skits involved individual characters, some have Mickey, Donald, and Goofy running a special service group. Most Goofy skits have him doing a "how-to" segment, always accompanied by a narrator.
The show aired on the Russian version of The Disney Afternoon block since the block actually aired in the 2000's, and is one of few shows not to air on the Disney Afternoon block in the US but airing on the block in other countries.
- Mickey Mouse (voiced by Wayne Allwine)
- Donald Duck (voiced by Tony Anselmo)
- Goofy (voiced by Bill Farmer)
- Pluto (voiced by Bill Farmer)
- Minnie Mouse (voiced by Russi Taylor)
- Daisy Duck (voiced by Diane Michelle until "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Tress MacNeille starting with "Daisy's Road Trip")
- Ludwig Von Drake (voiced by Corey Burton)
- Horace Horsecollar (voiced by Bill Farmer)
- Clarabelle Cow (voiced by April Winchell)
- Huey, Dewey, and Louie (voiced by Tony Anselmo, in tandem with Russi Taylor)
- Chip and Dale (voiced by Tress MacNeille)
- Pete (voiced by Jim Cummings)
- Mortimer Mouse (voiced by Maurice LaMarche)
- Phantom Blot (voiced by John O'Hurley)
- Louie the Mountain Lion (voiced by Frank Welker)
- Butch the Bulldog (voiced by Frank Welker)
- Aracuan Bird (voiced by Frank Welker)
- Humphrey the Bear (voiced by Jim Cummings)
- Lion (voiced by Frank Welker)
Other supporting characters
- Chief O'Hara (voiced by Corey Burton)
- Scrooge McDuck (voiced by Alan Young)
- J. Audubon Woodlore (voiced by Corey Burton)
- Dinah the Dachshund (voiced by Frank Welker)
- Salty the Seal (voiced by Frank Welker)
- Clara Cluck (voiced by Russi Taylor)
- José Carioca (voiced by Rob Paulsen)
- Mr. Jollyland (voiced by Jeff Bennett)
- Mrs. Turtle (voiced by Estelle Harris)
- Baby Shelby (voiced by Jeff Bennett)
- John Cleese (MouseTales and Mickey's Mechanical House)
- Corey Burton (Goofy and Goofy's Extreme Sports)
When the show was replaced by House of Mouse in January 2001, many of the Mouse Works shorts were repeated on the new show, with some airing for the first time. However, the original Mouse Works format have never been seen again in the country. But when the shorts were shown right before and after Toon Disney's Big Movie Show on weekdays, they were shown with the Mickey Mouse Works closing credits. Two shorts, Minnie Takes Care of Pluto and the Pluto Gets the Paper segment "Vending Machine", appear to be the only two shorts that did not re-air on House of Mouse, because of the former's dark content.
Mickey Mouse Works was the first Disney television series to have episodes produced in a high-definition widescreen format, however they aired cropped on the show itself. Seven of the shorts were cel-animated, and so were produced in standard-definition in a fullscreen ratio and aired as such on the show. On House of Mouse, as the show itself was originally produced in high-definition widescreen, these seven shorts were cropped when aired. However, some of the digitally-composited shorts had some shots made in widescreen, while others fullscreen. To date, the show has not received a full home video release.
Several of the gag cartoons were released theatrically with various 1999 Disney movies and released to theaters as commercials for the show. These included:
- Goofy's Extreme Sports: Skating the Half Pipe with I'll Be Home for Christmas
- Goofy's Extreme Sports: Paracycling with Mighty Joe Young
- Pluto Gets The Paper: Spaceship with My Favorite Martian
- Donald's Dynamite: Opera Box with Doug's 1st Movie
In 2004, a DVD titled Mickey's Laugh Factory was released in Europe, which featured shorts sourced from this series. While some shorts have the Mickey Mouse Works title card background, others have the House of Mouse version (the Mouse Works version has various mechanics in the background, including one in the shape of Mickey and another with the Mouse Works text inside it. However, the House Of Mouse version has various moving swirls, camera zooms from the nightclub to the screen and back and shots of the audience of Disney characters applauding.) Cartoons include Hickory Dickory Mickey, Mickey Tries to Cook, Organ Donors, Mickey's Airplane Kit, Street Cleaner, Mickey's New Car, Bubble Gum, Mickey's Big Break, and Mickey's Mix-Up.
On November 11, 2008, the eighth wave of Walt Disney Treasures was released. One of the sets released in this wave, The Chronological Donald, Volume Four, features a handful of Donald shorts from both Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse as bonuses: Bird Brained Donald, Donald and the Big Nut, Donald's Charmed Date, Donald's Dinner Date, Donald's Failed Fourth, Donald's Rocket Ruckus, Donald's Shell Shots, Donald's Valentine Dollar, Music Store Donald, and Survival of the Woodchucks. Also, Around the World in Eighty Days was released on DVD in 2005 as part of the "Disney Learning Adventures" line.
Season 1 (1999)
|Episode||Original airdate||Featured segments|
|1||May 1, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald attempts to ride through on an elephant with a sign reading "Starring Donald Duck." The elephant sits on him.|
|2||May 8, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald brings down a window blind saying "Starring Donald Duck," which rolls up taking Donald with it.|
|3||May 15, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald sails through on a boat and unfurls the sail which reads "Starring Donald Duck." The sailboat then sinks.|
|4||May 22, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald brings through an elegant flashing electrical sign which says "Starring Donald Duck" and then turns into a time and temperature flasher.|
|5||May 29, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald unfolds an umbrella which says "Starring Donald Duck" which then gets zapped by a lightning bolt.|
|6||June 5, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald plants flowers which bloom into letters that spell "Starring Donald Duck." They are eaten from underneath by a gopher who pops his head up to let out a loud "burp!"|
|7||June 12, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald builds a brick wall in which he paints the words, "Starring Donald Duck." As one might expect, the wall falls over on him.|
|8||June 19, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald drives up in a truck with "Starring Donald Duck" painted on the side. The truck then drives away without him and then returns to run over Donald.|
Season 2 (1999-2000)
|Episode||Original airdate||Featured segments|
|9||September 11, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald flies by in an airplane with a banner that reads "Starring Donald Duck." After flying offscreen, the airplane blows up, leaving Donald flying the engine held together with a few leftover parts of the plane.|
|10||September 18, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald pulls down a blind that "Starring Donald Duck" which rolls up taking him with it.|
|11||September 25, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald pulls up in a train engine with a car attached to a banner that reads "Starring Donald Duck." But, while cleaning a smudge off of the side of the car, the side falls off, flattening him.|
|12||October 2, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald blows up a balloon which reads "Starring Donald Duck" but he blows it up too much and it pops.|
|13||October 23, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald drops down a huge block of granite which he carves into a monument which reads "Starring Donald Duck." The monument collapses around him, leaving a pile of rock which reads "Darn Old Duck."|
|14||October 30, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald brings through an elegant flashing electrical sign which says "Starring Donald Duck" and then turns into a time and temperature flasher.|
|15||November 6, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald attempts the boat and sail again, but this time he is squashed by a whale and sent to the bottom of the sea.|
|16||December 4, 1999||Donald's accident: Donald unfolds an umbrella which reads "Starring Donald Duck." The umbrella promptly folds, swallowing him up.|
|17||January 22, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald floats by in a hot air balloon reading "Starring Donald Duck" which suddenly punctures and deflates leaving Donald stranded in mid-air.|
|18||February 5, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald brings down a steel plate which reads "Starring Donald Duck. He rivets this over the regular logo, but not well enough as the plate falls over, flattening him into his hard hat.|
|19||February 19, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald attempts to bring down a series of stage curtains with his name, but is pelted with tomatoes and rotten vegetables before he can.|
|20||February 26, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald rides by on a stagecoach which reads "Starring Donald Duck" on the side. The donkey, however, gets mad and kicks Donald and the coach offscreen.|
|21||March 4, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald lays train track and brings in a train car which reads "Starring Donald Duck." But another set of tracks gets laid in front of it, and another train comes through which runs him down.|
|22||March 16, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald rolls out a magic disappearing box, shuts the curtains (which read "Duck Works"), but when he opens them, an upset tiger has appeared that grabs Donald and pulls him into the box and attacks him (the curtains close during this).|
Season 3 (2000)
|Episode||Original airdate||Featured segments|
|23||September 9, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald blows up a balloon which reads "Starring Donald Duck." But he inhales the contents of the balloon, inflates himself, and blows away.|
|24||September 16, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald rides by in a Goodyear type blimp with an electronic sign that reads "Duck Works." The sign begins to spark, shorts out and fries the blimp.|
|25||September 23, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald floats by in a hot air balloon which reads "Starring Donald Duck." The balloon releases out the bottom and blows him away.|
|26||September 30, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald rolls in a huge cake which reads "Starring Donald Duck." But Clarabelle pops out of it, grabbing Donald and kissing him into a frenzy.|
|27||October 7, 2000||Donald's accident: Donald spray paints the words "Starring Donald Duck" over the official logo, but is then arrested for vandalism.|
- This is the first series where Tress MacNeille voices Daisy beginning with the short "Daisy's Road Trip".
- The only known US video releases so far of this show include a Pluto Gets the Paper segment in the 1999 One Hundred and One Dalmatians and The Rescuers VHS tapes and ten Donald Duck segments in the Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Four DVD.
- The animation for the series was outsourced to Toon City, Inc.
- In Finland, the show's title was changed to Akun Tehdas, which translates to "Donald's Factory", due to Donald being more popular in Finland. Perhaps as a result of this, his spotlight-stealing gags in the intro were cut in this version.