When Walt Disney first put pen to pad and drew his most famous cartoon character in 1928, some of the most popular theater attractions were Westerns. Bandits and shootouts and tales involving rural villages without laws were all the rage.
So for Mickey Mouse’s birthday last week, it was only appropriate to send him back to the Wild West.
That’s just one of the many throwback touches in “¡Feliz Cumpleaños!,” the latest in a new series of Disney animated shorts appropriately called Disney Shorts.
The series has hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube, a testament to Mickey’s staying power. (Think about it: How many 87-year-olds have YouTube subscribers?)
Anyone who’s seen the series is familiar with its vintage aesthetic. You can almost picture Walt Disney himself drawing these stills. The Mickey that spends his birthday dueling with rogue piñatas in Mexico bears a stronger resemblance to the Mickey of “Steamboat Willie,” which debuted Nov. 18, 1928, than the one you saw on your last trip to Walt Disney World.