Disney has announced a new series of 19 cartoon shorts featuring our titular hero touring the world and getting into adventures and misadventures. The first of the series, Croissant de Triomphe, is already available to watch online at the Disney Channel website. In it, Mickey must race through modern Paris on an anthropomorphic scooter so he can deliver a basket of croissants to Minnie’s cafe. The other 18 are scheduled to be released on the Disney Channel starting June 28. Over the course of the series, Mickey will visit Santa Monica, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Venice, and the Alps. Once the shorts have been released on television, they will be available to watch on Disney.com and the Disney mobile app.
The animation is 2D, with gag-filled slapstick that hearkens back to the early days of animated shorts. Emmy Award-winning director Paul Rudish (The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory) is the producer/director, and the shorts are geared toward children but contain Easter Eggs for older Disney fans, too. If Rudish’s work on Croissant de Triomphe is any indication, the series will remind everyone why we started loving the mouse in the first place while at the same time introducing him to a whole new audience.
Croissant de Triomphe uses stylized characters and objects that feel familiar. The anthropomorphized scooter is adorable, sure to be a hit with many. The story is simple and it moves quickly, with quick sight gags and throwaways that will keep young eyes attentive. A couple jokes are sprinkled in for the older audience (it was great to see Cinderella [see photo above] and even greater to see what happens about two seconds after the above picture!), and overall it looks like a win for Disney fans.
There’s also a small online game based on the short. Called Delivery Dash,” the game is a simple side-scroller that involves getting Mickey through a series of stages, collecting croissants along the way to give to Minnie. Controls are simple – you can jump, move up and down, and speed up – and each stage is easy enough that anyone should be able to clear it with no more than a couple of practices.
Interestingly, Croissant de Triomphe is recorded completely in French, which makes sense being as they’re in Paris. Pictograms are used in speech bubbles to help convey meaning to us that took Spanish in high school instead, but even that isn’t really necessary given the simplicity of the subject. Hopefully the other videos will follow suit.
Information on two other shorts has also been released.
Mickey longs to visit Minnie atop her mountaintop chalet but quickly realizes that the threat of avalanche has made the trek up the mountain more challenging than usual.
Mickey and Donald try to buy lunch from a beachside snack shack but are unceremoniously turned down because of the classic “No shirt, no shoes, no service” admonition (of course, Mickey doesn’t wear a shirt and Donald doesn’t wear shoes!).
I guess we’ll have to wait until the end of June to know what the others are about. I’m interested in seeing what he gets up to in China.