“The Mad Doctor” (1933)

This rather… bizarre Mickey Mouse cartoon (as of the time of writing this, it’s the only one in the public domain) has a surprising amount of really dark imagery (which might explain why Disney may not be so inclined to talk about it these days). But “dark”, doesn’t mean “bad,” and this cartoon is pretty good. There’s even one instance of Mickey Mouse walking in a tight hallway, and the background moves with every step he takes, something that must’ve been extremely difficult to accomplish at the time. The background designs of the castle, the character design of the titular doctor, and the music and sound effects, do an excellent job of creating a truly dreadful atmosphere. The short’s ending is the biggest drawback, as the main narrative doesn’t really resolve, it just kind of stops. But regardless, this short is great, and a cartoon that you could easily add to your yearly Halloween playlist.

Rating: 4/5

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