Have a lot of fondness for 'House of Mouse'. Love Disney and the concept was such an interesting and for Disney shows at the time a unique one. There are times where it could have done more with the concept, with showing more of some of the guests and not focusing all the featured cartoons on Mickey and the gang. It is however so much fun and how it makes an effort to retain the spirit of the classic old cartoons is to be lauded.
"Gone Goofy" is not one of my favourite 'House of Mouse' episodes. It's certainly not one of my least favourites either, in a show where there is a lot to like about all of the episodes even when some are better than others. It is very good and entertaining even if it didn't blow me away. Really like that it and the rest of the show tries to and succeeds in making the personalities of Mickey and the rest of the gang true to those of their "golden age" ones when they first came out (1930s-1950s), especially Donald. Except that Mickey is far more interesting in personality in 'House of Mouse', feels like a lead character, is used well and isn't over-shadowed by the rest of the characters. Minnie is also more resourceful.
Also successful in maintaining the spirit of the "golden age" cartoons is the featured cartoons themselves. Other episodes may do this better and the "Extreme Sports" cartoon here 'Shark Feeding' is not one of the best of that series. The spirit of the classic "How to" series is there, as are Goofy's hilariously endearing ineptitude, clever gags and the narration, but the subject for the series is a slightly odd and not very fitting one.
Faring much better are 'Donald's Goofy World', which fits the episode's theme and story the best and does a great job with Goofy and Donald's trademark personalities and how they contrast, and especially 'Pit Crew', a very funny and clever cartoon that shows perfectly why Mickey, Goofy and Donald work so well together in classic Disney fashion and why Pete is such a great foil.
It is interesting always in 'House of Mouse' to see how it utilises various Disney characters from previous films and cartoons. Felt very nostalgic watching them and they are used well, although other episodes fare stronger in this department and have more memorable character moments. This is all about really the story and the gang interaction, both great and the subject is a relatable and relevant issue today too. Some will dismiss Donald as a jerk here, admittedly what he tries to do is mean but this is one of quite a number of episodes where he does something misguided, realises that he's wrong and learns from it, like those episodes too it is actually not hard to see what leads him to do it in the first place.
While not surprising in outcome, the story is lively and engaging, kept afloat by the character interaction, characters and the atmosphere. The writing is clever and very funny, even with the deliberately corny moment and pun which made me grin rather than groan (here the whole overdrawn part applies particularly).
Furthermore, the animation is very colourful, smooth in movement and with some meticulous detail. The cheap recycling footage for the audience reactions at the end of the featured cartoons does jar and annoy though. The music is suitably groovy and cleverly used, while the theme song is one of the catchiest of any Disney show in the past twenty years. The arrangement of the theme song of the classic Donald Duck cartoons of the 40s and 50s was both entertaining and touching.
Voice acting is very good as always.
Overall, well done and enjoyable. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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