Television: Sleeping Minnie

Sleeping Minnie“Sleeping Minnie” is an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in which Minnie picks a sleeping rose and falls asleep. She will sleep for one hundred years if Mickey doesn’t retrieve a magical golden harp that can wake her up. As Mickey quests to find the harp and bring it back to the clubhouse garden, where Minnie is asleep, he is constantly reminded of the importance of his quest by a little song sung by Clarabelle. The cow, who is sort of the cause of the whole mess in the first place, stayed behind. Mickey is never long without companions, though, and meets Donald and Goofy along the way who gladly join his quest and the three of them overcome all obstacles together.

The episode started with Clarabelle coming into the clubhouse and telling Mickey that she had been planting “sleeping roses” in the garden when Minnie picked one. “Sleeping roses”, she explains, will put whomever picks them to sleep for one hundred years. My reaction to this was to wonder what kind of moron plants “sleeping roses” in their garden, especially without neon signs warning passersby not to pick them! But Clarabelle’s idiocy in this matter aside, I quickly started to wonder why she couldn’t go after the harp herself. Why did the boys have to do it? It’s not like there was anything particularly perilous or anything about the quest that she might be wanting to pawn off on them out of fear. It really seemed like it was just a matter of the expectation being that boys go on quests when these things happen and girls wait at home for it to be all better (assuming they aren’t the one under the spell in the first place, but I would have been extremely surprised to have seen Mickey put in such nebulous danger). This didn’t make me especially happy, as you may imagine. The way the writers reworked the fairy tale was innovative and interesting – no villain, no romance, just a spell and a quest – but it felt very unfair. The girls definitely got the short end of this stick.

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