For the history of Mickey Mouse, check out the post here.
|Various characters flocking to the House of Mouse.|
Disney’s House of Mouse was the new and improved version of Mickey Mouse Works. Developed by Roberts Gannaway and Tony Craig, the series was comprised of a collection of shorts like the previous show, however this time they were unified by being exhibited in a club, The House of Mouse, run by Mickey Mouse (Wayne Allwine). The House of Mouse was a trendy club frequented by characters from throughout the entire Disney library of film, shorts and comic characters (excluding live-action and CGI properties, although references and brief cameos were worked in for those).
|The staff takes a rare break: Mickey, Clarabelle, Donald, Daisy, Horace, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto.|
Working with Mickey in the club was Minnie (Russi Taylor) as the club’s show planner and bookkeeper; Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo) as the deputy manager in charge of overall customer service; Daisy Duck (Tress MacNeille) as the reservation clerk; Goofy (Bill Farmer) as the head waiter; Pluto (Farmer) as Mickey and Minnie’s personal assistant, as well as the club’s mascot; Horace Horsecollar (Farmer) as the technical engineer; Clarabelle Cow (April Winchell) as the gossip monger who shared everyone’s secrets; Max Goof (Jason Marsden, reprising his role from the Goofy films) as the parking valet; Huey, Dewey and Louie (all Anselmo) as the house band usually employing different styles under different parody names (The Quackstreet Boys, Quackwork, Kid Duck, The Splashing Pumpkins); Gus Goose (Frank Welker) as the head chef who tended to indulge in as much as he made; Magic Mirror (Tony Jay) as the club’s on-site consultant who provided information and advice; and Mike (Rod Roddy), a talking microphone who served as the club’s announcer. Rounding out the staff were Penguin waiters (from Mary Poppins) and Magic Brooms (from Fantasia) as the custodial crew.
|The crew confronts Pete and his latest scheme to shut them down.|
Part of the entertainment at the club was the showcasing of the shorts. Employed were all but two of the shorts from Mouse Works, including a couple that never aired there, several classic shorts from the 40s and 50s (either in full or edited down for time), and a few all-new shorts created for the show. Framing their presentation were the adventures of Mickey and his friends as they ran into difficulties during the operation of the club, especially when those difficulties were caused by the club’s landlord, Pete (Jim Cummings), in an attempt to put it out of business. A running gag was that the Alley Cats from The Aristocats were always scheduled to be musical guests, but their act always ended up cancelled. Another running gag was the sponsorship of a particular episode by a fake Disney-related sponsor, such as “Long-term storage facilities for the House of Mouse have been provided by: Cave of Wonders”. Notably, the show was the final appearance of Pepper Ann and her mother (Winchell) from Pepper Ann, who had a cameo in the first episode. They were the only Walt Disney Television Animation characters to be featured.
|Mickey introduces the next cartoon to the audience.|
Disney’s House of Mouse debuted on ABC on January 13, 2001, the year of Walt Disney’s 100th birthday. It aired as part of the final season of Disney’s One Saturday Morning programming block before being dropped after the first two seasons aired. For its third season, it was moved to Toon Disney where it was shown sporadically, beginning with a nine-hour marathon. The series’ theme, “Rockin’ at the House of Mouse”, was composed and performed by Brian Setzer, with Stephen James Taylor providing the rest of the show’s music. The show was written by Gannaway, Kevin Campbell, Thomas Hart, Elizabeth Stonecipher, Henry Gilroy, Tracy Berna, Jess Winfield, Neil Alsip, Phil Walsh, Kevin Hopps, Jymn Magon, Rick Calabash, Mike Fontanelli, Bill Kopp, John Ludin, Jim Peterson, Steve Roberts, Randy Rogel, Cameron Selwood, Jan Strnad, Brian Swenlin and Gregg Taylor. It was animated by Toon City Animation, Inc. and rendered in a widescreen format (except for the classic shorts, which were shown in their original aspect ratios).
|The villains take over.|
House of Mouse aired in reruns on Disney Channel until 2006, and stayed on Toon Disney until it became Disney XD in 2009, marking the last time it was seen in United States broadcasts. During the show’s run, it was nominated for two Annie Awards, winning one, a Daytime Emmy Award that it won, and a Motion Picture Sound Editors award. Two direct-to-video movies were released spinning out of the show: Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, and Mickey’s House of Villains. The first dealt with the gang trying to keep the Christmas spirit alive while being stuck in the club, while the second had Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) leading a group of villains to take over the club for themselves. As with the show, both aired a combination of classic and more-recent shorts tying into the themes. Magical Christmas utilized scenes from House of Mouse episodes that had not yet aired, and parts of Villains were later reused for “House Ghosts”.
|Mickey catches Pete in a Kanga disguise.|
Only the first episode of the series was released in its entirely as a bonus feature of Magical Christmas. Several of the shorts exclusive to House of Mouse and others from Mouse Works were made available in Europe on the DVD Mickey’s Laugh Factory in 2005. Another collection of 10 Donald Duck-based shorts from both shows were included as bonus features on The Chronological Donald, Volume 4 in 2008.