Mikey Mouse Club #28 – Who’s Missing?

With Lorcana’s upcoming Shimmering Skies set to include lots of Wreck-It-Ralph characters and locations (including all the Sugar Rush racers, for god’s sake), I’m continually delighted by how the game satisfies my desire for the game to be an encyclopedic compilation of Disneyana both familiar and more obscure. There have been some deep cuts, and I think the game has likely done a lot to increase players’ ability to differentiate Gus from Jaq, Mother Gothel from Madam Mim, and Tailspin characters from DuckTales characters.

But five sets in, there are still some questions to be asked about some notably excluded films and shows from those represented in the game. Here’s my big list of things I’m hoping we see brought into the game sooner rather than later- because eventually, players are going to be like “look, we’ve had enough Moana and why do we have four King Tritons and not one Powerline?”

It’s important to note that as of right now, the brief is that Lorcana is only Disney Animation. So no Pixar, although Toy Story would be my #1 choice here. That also takes out The Nightmare Before Christmas and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. And for God’s sake let’s keep Kingdom Hearts, Marvel, and Star Wars out of this game!

I mean come on, this is a slam dunk. Legendary and Enchanted Powerline, “I2I” and “Stand Out” for songs. Roxanne, Principal Mazur, Lake Destiny, Big Foot, Pete and his son, Hi Dad Soup…I mean the cards just write themselves. With 90s nostalgia now at its 30 year cycling point, it’s the right time and having seen multiple bespoke Powerline mats at Lorcana events it would be a sure fire hit with the crowd. Really, they could do even more with The Goof Troop in the mix. I’m not sure why this isn’t happening today.

Admittedly, this one is a little fraught because it falls into that treacherous zone where cultural insensitivity and dated perspectives are unfortunately in the mix. Especially since Pocahontas is a terrible “white savior” kind of narrative and is based on historical events and figures rather than fantasy. The depiction of Native Americans is mostly respectful and well-intentioned, but ultimately the stench of genocidal colonialism lingers. With that said, Disney pretty regularly includes Pocahontas in its Princess merchandise as well as Meeko and Flit so they could at least show up while leaving John Smith back on the boat. Pocahontas is my daughter’s favorite Princess, and she’s always pretty pissed when new card reveals come out and she’s not there.

This one is a little touchy as well because it’s a darker, somewhat more adult story that was also not exactly super popular back when it came out. I loved it, but it remains a B- or even C- tier Disney film for most folks. There’s some iffy representation of Romany people and Esmeralda isn’t exactly a princess. And then Judge Frollo is actually a really awful, evil man that doesn’t even make the usual Disney Villains lineup because he’s that bad. But it’s a beautiful film and should be in the game, perhaps at least Quasimodo and the Gargoyles.

Kind of a two-fer with this one, and probably one of the least likely properties to show up in Lorcana. And I hate that, because a Headless Horseman Enchanted would be so, so great. Brom Bones and Gaston could team up for a macho jackasses deck. Sleepy Hollow location. Hell, that’s just the Legend of Sleepy Hollow side. Over on the Wind in the Willows side there’s a whole host of other card possibilities- and I have to say that if there were ever a Mr. Toad’s  Wild Ride card, I’d auto include it in any deck. But this is one where rights issues might be in the way, and they could very well be unavailable.

Dumbo is kind of in a weird spot- it’s one of the classic Disney films, everyone recognizes it, everybody knows it’s sad as a MF, and that it has- again- some dated and undesirable cultural insensitivity in that unfortunately can not be erased (although it should be). Yet it has faded into the background behind Disney’s more pronounced triumphs even more than Pinocchio has (and at least he has some Lorcana cards) despite a terrible Tim Burton live action movie. But once again I’d appreciate at least a nod to Dumbo- bring in the feather, Timothy the mouse, maybe even a Legendary Dumbo option. Something to at least acknowledge it was, at least at one time, one of Disney’s most popular animated films.

There’s always some kind of Marie merch out there from this 1970 Disney entry but the rest of the movie…practically doesn’t exist for many folks. And Marie is kind of just “that white Disney cat.” Definitely not one of Disney’s best films as it feels somewhat redundant and not as assured as, say, 101 Dalmatians. But there is ample Lorcana material here. “Ev’rybody Wants to Be A Cat” is a shoe-in for a song. Duchess and her kittens- Marie, Berlioz, and Toulouse- are crying out to be Amber cards, let alone the cast of other animals. Perhaps Sedative Laced Cream could be an item? Not really sure how “Scat Cat” would go over with today’s audiences, but I’d love to see him show up in the game.

My son just had that rite of passage moment where he learned that Bambi is a boy so this one is fresh in my mind. I mean, seriously, where are Bambi, Thumper, and Flower cards? Twitterpated? A Dreamborn Bambi, Great Prince of the Forest? I’ll take it. Interestingly, when Bambi released in 1942 it was widely criticized for not being fantasy enough- it wasn’t a fairy tale. Although it had talking animals, it was an attempt to make a more natural, dramatic story. And maybe that’s what this film has in common with some of the previous films on the list- it doesn’t maintain a comfortable distance from real-world themes and problems. And that could be why this beautifully drawn film isn’t as favored today as it once was.

And that may also be why the characters from this 1981 tear-jerker haven’t gotten their Lorcana call-up yet. You’d think that Tod and Copper at least would make the cut, possibly with Support for each other, let alone the other animals such Chief the dog and Vixey the fox. But like a lot of late 70s/early 80s Disney films, it just never really quite matriculated into widespread public appreciation so the Lorcana developers might not have it high on their list. With that said, if we have Treasure Planet and Atlantis cards, we should have The Fox and the Hound cards.

I absolutely love The Black Cauldron although Disney’s depiction of Taran, Fflewdur Fflam, Princess Eilonwy, and Gurgi are virtually nothing like what I imagined reading Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain novels. I think this film deserves a film Lorcana treatment with the Horned King, Cauldron-Born, Dallben, Henwen, Eilonwy’s bauble, Morva, King Eidilleg, the whole thing. I’d like to see at least as many cards from this film as The Sword and the Stone got, and I can see a whole lot of Amethyst coming out of it. There may be rights issues involved, but Ravensburger has used The Black Cauldron characters in its Villainous board game so there is a precedent. Last year I even saw some licensed Black Cauldron Halloween decorations so I think they can- and most likely will- do all of this sometime soon. Imagine a Horned King Illumineer’s Quest!

With Tarzan however, I think the rights issue is a thing. Disney does virtually nothing with Tarzan, although it was fairly popular on release in 1998 what with all those terrible Phil Collins songs and all. It’s definitely among my favorite Disney films, but there’s plenty of Lorcana material here if the rights were to shift in such a way allowing the IP’s use. But I think the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate likely has this on lock, meaning I doubt we’ll see anything come from this film any time soon to Lorcana.

Let’s face it, Wish sucks. I’m sure eventually it will come to Lorcana, but I found it a little weird that the big Disney 100thanniversary release wasn’t promoted in the game back when the film came out in December. It’s almost awkwardly mediocre, but I could see Princess Asha coming on board and definitely King Magnifico- almost a great Disney villain trapped in a subpar film but not quite. Perhaps the developers didn’t really have time and space to work Wish material into the card selection, or perhaps they realized that it’s no good.

As for Bolt, Meet the Robinsons, Home on the Range, Dinosaur, Brother Bear, and Chicken Little- I´m not sure anyone has watched any of those in at least a decade.

Next time: Shimmering Skies!

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