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December 24

December 24, 1937 – The Mickey Mouse Short Lonesome Ghosts is Released to Theaters

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“Notice! We exterminate all kinds of ghosts! Day and night service.”

On December 24, 1937, the Mickey Mouse short film Lonesome Ghosts was released to theaters. The short made great use of a new invention of the animation department: transparent paint, which helped give the ghosts a more realistic ghastly appearance. The film was directed by Burt Gillett, and stars Walt Disney as Mickey Mouse, Pinto Colvig as Goofy, and Clarence Nash as Donald Duck.

A group of four ghosts in a haunted mansion one winter’s night are bored, until one spots an ad in the paper for a ghost extermination service. Hoping to have new people to scare, they decide to call the service. Meanwhile, at Ajax Ghost Exterminators Headquarters, Mickey, Goofy, and Donald are sitting around the table sleeping when the phone rings. They wake up and scramble to answer it, and readily take the job the ghosts “scare up” for them. The ghosts wait anxiously, and watch with delight as the trio arrives. Mickey and the gang enter the house with trepidation, and hear the ghosts making noises inside.

The trio agrees to split up, hoping that they can divide and conquer the ghosts

The trio agrees to split up, hoping that they can divide and conquer the ghosts

Mickey suggests that the three separate and surround the ghosts, and the three go their separate ways. As Mickey goes one way, he meets a ghost that he tries to shoot it with his shotgun, but the ghost sticks his fingers in the barrel, causing the gun to implode. Mickey then chases the ghost around the house, only to be surprised by all four of the ghost residents. The ghosts had meanwhile taken great delight in scaring Donald with loud noises, although he punches one in the kisser.

Goofy is also startled by the ghosts and their noises, and although he tries to convince himself that he is not scared, he runs and hides when he spots them. He spies a ghost in the mirror who imitates every move Goofy makes. Goofy knows something is wrong with his reflection, but he can’t quite put his finger on it. He finally figures it out, but is unable to fight the ghost. While stuck fighting himself in a dresser, the ghosts push him down the stairs, where he crashes into Mickey and Donald, sending them flying into the pantry. The trio and the dresser fly into barrels of molasses and bags of flour, covering the three entirely. As the ghosts come to admire their handiwork, they mistake the flour-covered three as ghosts and flee the mansion in a panic.

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