Or at least, they might if I wasn’t me. Because I can always find the words.
I didn’t have high expectations of this one, because – well, it’s Mickey Mouse. Come on! But for a Musketeer movie, even one aimed at children, there was so little actual Musketeerness in it that I did rather feel like I was wasting my time.
It didn’t help that thanks to a dodgy library DVD copy, I missed the first two minutes of the movie which explains the connection between the real Three Musketeers and the actual protagonists of the movie (assuming that the flat dog versions of the characters who rescue our orphan heroes in the comic book style opening sequence are Athos, Porthos and Aramis – Wikipedia says so, but there’s no narrative evidence of this). This is a bit like watching Life of Brian without that scene at the beginning that points out he is definitely not Jesus.
It also meant that we spent a lot of the movie trying to figure out which of the original Musketeers mapped onto Mickey, Donald or Goofy, when in fact we’re not supposed to think that at all. (Though I maintain that Pluto is D’Artagnan, while Raeli argued on the grounds that Daisy Duck is obviously meant to be Constance, so surely Donald is D’Artagnan, and I’m pretty sure the Mickey-Minnie romance means he is Aramis and oh my head HURTS)
The story is as follows: Mickey, Donald and Goofy are three orphans living “in the gutter” on the streets of Paris. They are randomly attacked by “bad guys” (the Beagle Boys), and rescued by three heroic Musketeers, one of whom gives little Mickey his hat. Our three grow up longing to be real Musketeers, but can never catch a break. Instead, they work in the laundry, washing hundreds of Musketeer tabards.
The Musketeer tabards are my favourite thing about this movie. That, and the occasional beautifully rendered piece of Paris geography. And almost nothing else.
Princess Minnie Mouse (who rules France but is not allowed to be a queen, because reasons?) refuses to marry until she finds her true love, claiming she will just know who he is when she sees him. Her pleasingly sarcastic lady-in-waiting Daisy Duck points out that this fella had better be royal when he turns up finally, because ACTUAL REASONS.
Daisy Duck is the best character in this movie, and damn well knows it.
Captain Pete, boss of the Musketeers, is the villain, with plans to kill Minnie and take France for himself. Considering that their current ruler is ignoring her duty to produce an heir, I don’t entirely blame him. But that makes him an unholy concoction of the Cardinal and Treville, then? After his first assassination attempt (a falling safe) goes awry, Princess Minnie demands bodyguards. Which is the job of the Musketeers.
Not wanting any of his Musketeers and their actual competence to get in the way of future assassination attempts, Pete pulls Mickey, Donald and Goofy out of the laundry room and pretends hefinally believes they are worthy of the uniform.
Cue Mickey and Minnie’s eyes meeting across a throne room, little hearts springing into the air, and my eyes glazing over. It’s a good thing that in the Magic Kingdom, you can spot your soulmate based on them being the only creature who looks just like you, isn’t it?
Though as Daisy notes in a wry aside, eyeing Donald, not such great news for her.
Seriously, get Daisy Duck her own movie, stat.
The plot is chaotic, and the songs are awful. All of the songs. Except the ones not written for this movie – the actual score is fine, and the use of the Pirates of Penzance as the ‘opera’ in which the final act takes place is pretty amusing. But the original songs are dire. Someone should turn ‘Troubadour’ the turtle into soup.
I am blocking out everything involving Clarabelle the Cow who I think is supposed to be a version of Milady (OW MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT GO AWAY) because honestly, it is one of the most awful things Disney have ever done to me. Ever. EVERRRRRR.
A few of the fencing sequences are slightly cute, harking back to Errol Flynn in Robin Hood and the like, and I laughed out loud with genuine appreciation at the moment when the entire guard of the Musketeers forms into the shape of a fleur-de-lis but honestly, once Daisy Duck succumbs to the dubious charms of Donald, I’m out of here.
Redeeming factor: afterwards, my nearly-5 year old Jemima took up a surprisingly excellent fencing stance and started practicing lunges and footwork. “When I am a big girl I will learn to fence like my sister!” Why is it that my darling girls find their inspiration in the least awesome Musketeer movies?
Bring back the airships, all is forgiven.
This Musketeer Media Monday post is brought to you by the paid sponsors of Musketeer Space, all 50+ of them. You guys rule! Previous posts in this series include:
Musketeers in an Exciting Adventure With Airships (2011)
Musketeers Are All For Love (1993)
Looks Good in Leather: BBC Musketeer Edition Part I (2014)
You Can Leave Your Hat On: BBC Musketeer Edition Part II (2014)
It’s Raining Musketeers: BBC Musketeer Edition Part III (2014)