Sunday, October 15, 2006

Clock Cleaners - October 15, 1937

On this day in 1937, the Mickey Mouse cartoon Clock Cleaners was released to theaters across the U.S.A. It is one of the many ‘trio” shorts featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, that were popular during the late 1930s.

The film places the three protagonists high above the city skyline as they wash and clean both the interior and exterior of an elaborate and precariously high clock tower. It opens with an amazing scene of Mickey riding the clock’s second hand around its face, as a means of cleaning its huge numbers. It then follows each character’s individual adventures: Mickey attempting to evict a stubborn stork; Donald fighting with a sassy mainspring; and Goofy inadvertently being “gonged” by the tower’s mechanical bell-ringers. It climaxes with an intricately choreographed ballet of aerial acrobatics and pratfalls, as Mickey tries to prevent a dumbstruck Goofy from falling to his doom.

Wonderful details abound:The carefully crafted clock face . . .

The mechanical bell-ringers that take the forms of Father Time and Miss Liberty . . .

The clock’s intricate gear system that is mechanically accurate and constantly in motion . . .

And the little angels that circle Goofy’s head after he is brained by Miss Liberty.

Clock Cleaners
is available on the Walt Disney Treasures Mickey Mouse in Living Color Volume One.