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.
"Dining 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.
Goofy always works well when placed in a human and relatable situation. That is the case with "Dining Goofy". One can see the gang's/club's frustration at the mistakes and clumsiness but it is hard not to endear to Goofy or even harder to hate him for any trouble, especially when it's good intentions and not malice.
Also successful in maintaining the spirit of the "golden age" cartoons is the featured cartoons themselves. Get a good deal of enjoyment out of the "House of Genius" cartoons, which are as creative and eccentric and Ludwig Von Drake himself, 'Remote Controlled Laser Lawnmower' is not an exception, one of those inventions one wishes they had.
'Computer.don' is very nicely done and amusing, with the situation well suited to Donald's personality and temperament, with a couple of marks off for Daisy being a shallow annoyance. Best of all is 'Answering Service', a very funny and clever cartoon that shows perfectly why Mickey, Goofy and Donald work so well together in classic Disney fashion, even though very slight there is enough variation to stop it from being repetitive.
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, mostly the before and after of Goofy being replaced and the consequences of Goofy's trying to help. Especially with Donald and Hook and relaying a misheard remark of Minnie's with dire consequences. This is all about really the story and the gang interaction, both great and the subject is a relatable and relevant issue today too.
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.
Voice acting is very good as always, particularly from Bill Farmer.
Overall, well done and enjoyable. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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