Mickey the Great was a fast-buck 1938 concoction designed to capitalize on the popularity of Mickey Rooney. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the pre-teen Rooney had starred in a series of cheap short subjects based on Fontaine Fox's comic strip tough kid Mickey "Himself" McGuire. In true Our Gang fashion, Mickey was given a youthful entourage, including a black cohort named Hambone. Also appearing in the Mickey McGuire shorts was midget Billy Barty, impersonating an infant. While the silent McGuire shorts belied their cheapness with some good visual gags, the talkie shorts were appalling beyond belief. The handful of two-reelers compiled in the hour-long Mickey the Great were thankfully pared down to only their highlights (such as they were) and pepped up with a musical background score.
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