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Old 12-08-2012, 05:13 AM
Jragon Jragon is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Miskatonic University
Posts: 10,278
Is the Mickey short Runaway Brain unusually scary?

I won't link the short on Youtube unless the mods give me a go-ahead, since the Youtube channel that hosts it isn't an official Disney channel. You can find it with little trouble though if you haven't seen it. The short seems fairly standard to me: Mickey forgets his anniversary with Minnie, ends up bluffing and ends up needing $999.99 to take her to Hawaii, job turns out to be a trap and gets his brain swapped with a giant monster, action scenes ensue and we end on a funny note.

Apparently this is one of those cartoons that Disney has tried to sweep under the rug, only having been released on Laserdisc in Japan and a single compilation DVD. But... I really, seriously fail to see anything wrong with it. Some people (on the internet at least, nobody I know personally) seem to talk about how dark and scary it is.

I really don't see it. Like, at all. It reminds me of a very standard cartoon short, it certainly wouldn't be out of place today, and as somebody who was 5-6 when it came out, I don't think it was exactly dark compared to the cartoons of the mid '90s either. I mean, I will freely admit that I was a complete pansy as a kid, and couldn't handle anything the least bit scary. I'm pretty honest when I think something would have scared or unsettled kid-me, and I seriously don't see anything. It really reminds me of a better animated, more engaging Hair Raising Hare -- which I found more boring than scary as a kid*. Hell, it doesn't even seem like it would have been an out of place short in the series House of Mouse which aired 4-5 years later.

Maybe somebody can point out what I'm missing. Maybe Disney just went temporarily insane. I know they've tried to sanitize Mickey before, but I don't think I've ever seen them go that far. But really, does anybody see anything wrong with the short that I'm missing? Truth be told, it was kind of awesome and mostly just made me want to go watch more Mickey shorts.

* Sorry, Loony Tunes fans. I liked Loony Tunes in general, but Hair Raising Hare was never exactly a favorite.
Old 12-08-2012, 07:25 AM
Speak to me Maddie! Speak to me Maddie! is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 819
I'm not sure that they tried to distance themselves from it. I think it was just slightly too scary to be a regular short on the Disney Channel. Other than that it has been released on DVD and is very easy to get a hold of, unlike real Disney embarrassments like Song of the South.

I think the short just became obscure because it never made into the public eye. It was released as an extra short to be shown on theaters before Disney releases in the fall of 1995, but greedy theater owners had just the started cutting included shorts to add more commercials and trailers, so almost no one ever saw the thing. It wasn't on Disney Channel, couldn't be seen in theaters, and like most Disney shorts it would have to wait to be included on the video market until the next compilation set was produced.

Last edited by Speak to me Maddie!; 12-08-2012 at 07:26 AM.
Old 12-10-2012, 10:50 AM
BigT BigT is online now
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 33,428
I'm pretty sure I remember a scarier, older short where Mickey was having a nightmare, and there was a mad scientist who was transplanting heads on Pluto and wanted to do Mickey, too. It's really hard to describe what was scary about it, but it was definitely trying to be scary. It wasn't just the creepiness of a lot of old animation.
Old 12-10-2012, 10:54 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,903
This is the one that Poundstone described as dark, scary, twisted etc. and I think that's where the... rumor? understanding? meme? started. The consensus seems to be that someone, somewhere misundstood it.

Now, the WB short where Bugs waves his dong at the camera... that's another story. (One Wikipedia refused to let me add to the entry; here's to you, ya f*ckin 'star editors'!)


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