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.
"Goofy's Menu Magic" 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 works well when placed in a situation that is human and relatable, like here. Sure the clumsiness and ineptitude at certain tasks has gotten repetitive and we got the gist quite early on, but he also has good intentions, is a good trier and it is hard not to empathise.
'Sandwich Makers' is the best and funniest of the three cartoons, and have always loved the interaction between Mickey, Donald and Goofy. It is great enough when they're starring on their own without the other two, it's even more fun when they're together. 'Mickey Tries to Cook' isn't as funny, though still amusing, and Mickey shows an uncharacteristic jealousy trait that endears one to him somewhat less when misunderstanding the situation, but it does make one want to cook and Jose is a dashingly suave presence.
While cute, the "Pluto Gets the Paper" cartoon 'Bubblegum' didn't add much and could easily have been cut.
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. Love the Fairy Godmother role and everything with the food makes one's mouth water and get cooking. Keep forgetting how much all the different advertisements at the end of every episode, promoting new products inspired by a certain Disney character, this one is no exception. The climax with the soup is great fun.
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, Bill Farmer particularly.
Overall, well done and enjoyable. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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