|First appearance||The Plow Boy (1929)|
|Created by||Ub Iwerks|
|Voiced by||Walt Disney (1930)|
Billy Bletcher (1933)
Bill Farmer (1990–present)
|Significant other(s)||Clarabelle Cow|
|Relatives||Pa Paardepoot (father)|
Horace Horsecollar is a cartoon character created in 1929 by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney. Horace is a tall anthropomorphic black horse and is one of Mickey Mouse's best friends. Characterized as a cheerful know-it-all, Horace helped Mickey on his sleuthing expeditions in the comics before Goofy assumed that role. Horace most commonly appears as a funny animal, although a common gag in his early appearances was his ability to change at will from being a normal horse to a more human-like character.
Horace first appeared as Mickey's plow horse in the 1929 cartoon The Plow Boy. Later that same year, he appeared in The Jazz Fool and afterwards became a regular member of the Disney supporting cast along with Clarabelle Cow, Clara Cluck and other minor characters. In recent years, Horace has appeared in Mickey Mouse Works, Disney's House of Mouse, the new Mickey Mouse shorts and Mickey and the Roadster Racers.
Horace's biggest role was in Camping Out in 1934, where he was the star of the cartoon.
In his earliest incarnation, Horace was presented as Mickey Mouse's four-legged plow horse. He could walk upright on his hind legs, at which time his forelegs became gloved hands; at other times, he got back down on all fours and reverted to form. Horace mostly played bit-parts in the 30+ films in which he appeared. Like Goofy in his early Dippy Dawg appearances, Horace's body seemed to be formed of rubber tubing. He and Clarabelle Cow had an uncanny ability to change from somewhat normal farmyard animals into anthropomorphized beings as necessary.
After departing the Disney studio in 1930, Ub Iwerks created a Horace-like character, the mule Orace, for his own studio; the name simply dropped the 'H' from Horace.
As with many other Disney characters, he was later given small cameos in Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). He had a bigger role as the Prince's (Mickey's royal double) stone-faced tutor in The Prince and the Pauper (1990).
In the television series Disney's House of Mouse, Horace has a recurring role as the club's technician, playing cartoons for the audiences and generally running the machinery.
Since 1990, Horace has been voiced by Bill Farmer (who also voices Goofy and Pluto). Farmer established the character's voice on the spot during recording for The Prince and the Pauper, when the director surprised him with the request. Asked for something "aristocratic and snobbish", he says he mixed Ben Stein and Jim Backus.
In the 1990s, Horace was intended to star in a new TV series to be created for The Disney Afternoon, titled Maximum Horsepower, intended to explain his disappearance from cartoons after the 1930s ended. The concept would be that, in 1939, Horace had gotten tired of playing bit parts and, after learning that Mickey was going to star in a segment of Fantasia, was going to demand Walt to give him a starring role in that movie as well. On his way to Walt's office, though, he gets abducted by aliens who bring him halfway across the galaxy because they are in desperate need of the hero that they believe Horace is, despite his dreams of returning to Earth and resuming his acting career. Maximum Horsepower, however, never came to be.
Theatrical cartoon appearances
With Clarabelle Cow
- The Plow Boy (1929)
- The Barnyard Concert (1930)
- The Shindig (1930)
- Pioneer Days (1930)
- The Birthday Party (1931)
- Blue Rhythm (1931)
- The Barnyard Broadcast (1931)
- The Beach Party (1931)
- Barnyard Olympics (1932)
- Mickey's Revue (1932)
- The Whoopee Party (1932)
- Touchdown Mickey (1932)
- Mickey's Mellerdrammer (1933)
- Mickey's Gala Premiere (1933)
- Camping Out (1934)
- Orphan's Benefit (1934)
- The Band Concert (1935)
- On Ice (1935)
- Mickey's Grand Opera (1936)
- Orphan's Benefit (remake, 1941)
- Mickey's Birthday Party (1942)
- Symphony Hour (1942)
- All Together (1942)
- Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
- The Prince and the Pauper (1990)
- Get a Horse! (2013)
Without Clarabelle Cow
- The Jazz Fool (1929)
- The Cactus Kid (1930)
- The Fire Fighters (1930)
- The Fox Hunt (1938)
Horace has seldom been more than a supporting character, though he has starred in numerous European comic book stories of his own. In these, he plays a much bigger role than elsewhere, accompanying Mickey on his adventures or acting as Clarabelle Cow's paramour and fiance. Clarabelle and Horace were engaged in the comics according to some 1931 and 1932 continuities, but neither ever followed through.
Some modern European-made stories with Horace as a star character were published in the United States by Gemstone from 2003–2008, including
- "King of the Bungaloos" (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories 635, 2003)
- "World's Greatest Horace" (WDC&S 641, 2004)
- "Horace's Secret Helper" (Mickey Mouse 266, 2004)
- "Horace's Travails" (MM 268, 2004)
- "Driving Clarabelle Buggy" (WDC&S 651, 2004)
- "All Aboard the Blunder Bus" (WDC&S 652, 2005)
- "Blockheads" (WDC&S 656, 2005)
- "High Horace" (WDC&S 692, 2008)
- "'Tis Better to Give Than to Deceive" (Christmas Parade 5, 2008)
Though produced in Denmark, these Horace stories were written by Americans: Stefan Petrucha, Sarah Kinney, and Don Markstein. Horace is also a very common co-star in modern Mickey comics by these writers.
In video games
Horace made a cameo appearance in the Timeless River world of Kingdom Hearts II with many other classic Disney characters like Clarabelle Cow and Clara Cluck as one of the world's citizens and also makes an appearance as a resident of Disney Town in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. He also appeared in Mickey's Ultimate Challenge and Land of Illusion.
Horace is also a playable character in Disney TH!NK Fast.
Horace Horsecollar is a major character in Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, having become a Private Investigator in Wasteland after having arrived down there. He gives Mickey a number of quests in each game, some of which involve advancing his relationship with Clarabelle.
In 2016, Horace made an appearance along with Clarabelle Cow in Disney Crossy Road as an unlockable playable character under the Mickey and Friends theme.
Horace in the Disney Theme Parks
From September 2006 to September 2008, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow appeared together for meet-and-greets in Town Square at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Also, they were in the Main Street Family Fun Day Parade. Since Family Fun Day's ending, the two haven't been easy to see outside "Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade", "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade", and the occasional special event.
Horace and Clarabelle come out for meet-and-greets and appear in parades and shows on a regular basis at Tokyo Disneyland as well.
- Patrick A. Malone: The Plow Boy Archived 2007-09-10 at the Wayback Machine.. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on September 2, 2007.
- Horace Horsecollar at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved on September 2, 2007. Archived from the original on February 5, 2016.
- "In the Hot Seat - Bill Farmer - Voice of Goofy", Communicore Weekly podcast, starting at 15:00.
- Jim Hill's Blog: The Disney Afternoon Shows You Didn't Get to See. Retrieved on January 11, 2009.