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.
"King Larry Swings In" is good fun, like all 'House of Mouse' episodes. It is also though one of my least favourite episodes of the show, nothing is done terribly as such but there are assets done quite a bit better in other episodes before and since. It's all solid, just that it feels something is missing. 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.
Larry himself is lively enough and suitably pesty, if slightly feeling like a King Louie clone than his "twin" brother. Not enough here distinguishing the two from each other. Jim Cummings is exuberant voicing him too, though his voice work is somewhat too similar to his voice work as Louie in 'Talespin', making it again not so successful in setting the two characters apart.
Of the three featured cartoons, the very cute 'Mickey and the Seal' from the classic Disney era is the best of the three. It is very easy to watch, a good situation for Pluto and Mickey to be placed into, the production values are high and the adorable seal steals the cartoon. Was not as sold on the two Goofy cartoons. They are entertaining sure, 'How to Be a Gentleman' emulates the spirit of the old "How To" Goofy cartoons very adeptly, with Goofy's ineptitude at certain things, the fun situations and the entertaining and educational narration (beautifully voiced by Corey Burton), though there are better and funnier in the show.
'Paracycling', from the "Extreme Sports" cartoons (basically the "How to" cartoons except oriented around sports) doesn't have the most interesting of subjects, not much new is done with it and it all feels too typical, once you've seen a couple of "Extreme Sports" cartoons you've seen them all.
Generally there are more memorable little character moments with the various Disney characters and what there are, while lots of fun, are not particularly standouts. One of "King Larry Swings In's" highlights is Mickey and Larry's playful take on the iconic song from 'The Jungle Book' "I Wanna Be Like You".
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.
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.
In summation, good fun though not a favourite. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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