"Runaway Brain" was released 20 years ago today. This short subject was released in conjunction with the film, "A Kid in King Arthur's Court", and was Mickey's first theatrical release since "Mickey's Prince and the Pauper".
The short stars Mickey & Minnie Mouse. The premise revolves around Mickey forgetting his and Minnie's anniversary and while trying to overcompensate, he inadvertently promises a Hawaiian vacation. To earn the money needed, he answers a want ad that leads him to volunteer to act as a test subject, switching brains with a giant monster, played by Pegleg Pete.
Animation history enthusiasts will enjoy jokes that will go over others' heads, including the name of the mad scientist, Dr. Frankenollie. The name is a play on the names of two of Disney's greatest animators and of the Nine Old Men fame, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. The doctor was voiced by Kelsey Grammer to perfection.
Directed by Chris Bailey, "Runaway Brain" was almost entirely animated in Disney's then new Animation studio in Paris, France. The animation is as inventive and creative as the storyline, and the humor will keep the adults as entertained as the children.
Mickey Mouse's supervising animator is one of my contemporary animators heroes, Andreas Deja. Andreas, in my opinion, is the best animator to bring life to Mickey since Fred Moore. Mr. Deja is being honored later this month, at the D23 Expo, as a Disney Legend for all of his beautiful work as a supervising animator. Watch for blog posts honoring him in the near future.
You can find "Runaway Brain" in the Walt Disney Treasures Collection DVD, "Mickey Mouse: in living color, vol.II
(Animation drawings courtesy of Andreas Deja)