Matthew's Horse Mania is a 2018 American 3D animated slapstick comedy short film, produced by Shires Animation Studios Combining black-and-white hand-drawn animation and color CGI animation, the short features the characters of the late 1920s Matthew Mouse cartoons, and features archival recordings of Michael Shires in his posthumous role as Matthew Mouse.
- Michael Shires/Eric Bauza as Matthew Mouse (archive recorded)
- Edward Brophy/David Arthur as Black Peter (archive recorded)
- Bill Fagerbakke as Michelle Mouse
- Lucas Cruikshank as Car Horn
- Dane Boedigheimer as Charlie Horse
- Brian Froud (uncredited) as Lotty Raccoon
- Derek Stephen Prince (uncredited) as Maurice Pig
The film begins in 2.35:1 and color when the Shires Animation Studios logo is shown, and then switches to a smaller 1.33:1 aspect ratio for the black-and-white sequence. Matthew Mouse walks from his house and spots Charlie Horse pulling a hay wagon with all his friends playing music. He hops on the wagon and helps up Michelle Mouse and Charlotte Cow (who jumped on his leg) onto the wagon. Just then, Black Peter shows up in his jalopy, his horn bellows in a high pitched voice "Make way for the future again!". Black Peter spots Michelle and gives her a flirty gaze, so Matthew puts Charlotte in the gaze in Michelle's place much to Black Peter's disgust and horror. Angry at being pranked, Black Peter kidnaps Michelle and rams his car into the wagon, sending Matthew and Charlie flying towards the screen. Seeing Matthew and Charlie bounce off the fabric, Black Peter hurls them even harder into the screen until they burst into the modern movie theater as the film switches back to 2.35:1 and color. As Black Peter taunts Matthew from inside the screen and closes the hole in the screen, Matthew tries to get back into his world, pulling back the curtains to reveal a wider screen. Charlie then walks onto the stage wearing a Atomic Roger T-shirt, glasses and carrying iphone, Hershey's Milk Duds and popcorn. Matthew decides to use Charlie as a mock biplane to fly around the theater and fire at Black Peter with Hershey's Milk Duds. When they crash land onto the stage, Matthew finds the iphone Charlie brought (and apparently stole) onto the stage, so he calls Black Peter on his candlestick phone and Charlie sprays foam from a fire extinguisher into the iphone and out from Black Peter's phone.
Black Peter's car then lands in a frozen lake and the screen fills with water, giving Matthew the idea to poke a hole in the screen with his tail and let the water leak out, causing Black Peter, Michelle and the other cartoon animals to flood out onto the stage. Michelle is unsure about the new area, asking Matthew if they've landed in Poughkeepsie. Matthew and Michelle's reunion is short-lived, however, as Black Peter gives chase to the characters in and out of the screen until he kidnaps Michelle again, punches Matthew onto a support beam and nails the screen shut. Charlie and the others decide to swing from the beam and try to break through the screen like a wrecking ball, but the plan only manages to flip the screen upside-down, causing Black Peter to fall from the ground.
Matthew and the others flip it again and Black Peter lands on the ground, his car crashing down on him. Getting an idea, Michelle encourages Matthew to flip the screen again, this time having Black Peter land on a cactus, which sets off a chain of events. First, Black Peter gets an electrical shock on some telephone cables, then he has his face get hit by all the steps on a ladder, lands face first in the mud, and gets his rear end poked on a pitchfork, and falls onto a seesaw, where he gets hit on the head by numerous tools. Then one of the tools, a sledgehammer, rams the pitchfork deeper into his rear end. Finally, the sledgehammer falls on the opposite side of the seesaw, where Black Peter is launched, also making the pitchfork fly off of his butt, and lands face first in his jalopy.
Charlie, Matthew, and Michelle begin to laugh hysterically at Black Peter's pain. Suddenly, Charlie's hand gets stuck behind the screen due to him pounding the screen. Matthew tries to pull him out, but only succeeds by spinning the screen horizontally like a flip-book. To Matthew's realization, it rewound the scene. Seeing this as an opportunity, Matthew and Charlie begin spinning the screen around like a flip-book until Black Peter is completely knocked out.
Michelle then drives Black Peter's car with Black Peter in tow and completely tears the screen down, revealing the black-and-white world in color for the first time. Matthew and his friends enter their world again and dance for a moment while Oscar briefly peeks out from the side of the screen. The horn that was on Black Peter's car tells an unconscious Black Peter, "Well, get a horse mania!", before Matthew and his friends bring down a new screen, then Matthew waves goodnight to Black Peter and the audience, and he and Michelle give Charlie a kiss on the cheeks as Charlie blushes. As the iris closes, Black Peter, who has woken up by now, tries to get back in through the screen, but gets his head (and half his body) stuck. Seconds later, the flap on Black Peter's pants open up to reveal the words "MATTHEW'S HORSE MANIA" and Black Peter bellows "Hey!!", as the screen cuts to the credits. After the credits, the Shires Animation Studios logo is shown, and Michael Shires Pictures logo is in color, and Charlotte jumps over the castle, making the arch with her milk.