Regarded as one of the formative masterpieces of modern literature, Cervantes Don Quixote is the story of the adventures of a chivalrous knight and his devoted squire desperately attempting to come to terms with, and find their place in, a rapidly changing world. Its central themes and ideas resonate as strongly today as they did when it was first published more than four centuries ago. In Vitaliano and Sciarrone’s adaptation, a pair of hapless comic book shop owners, Mickey Mouse and Goofy who, after the latter falls prey to a series of accidental blows to the head, assume the personas of Cervantes’ famous duo and set out on a series of quests to right the wrongs plaguing their town and its surroundings.
Mickey and Goofy in their new guise tackle cattle rustlers, battle iron giants while tilting at windmills, rally against corruption and when truth becomes far stranger than fiction, they’re forced to become the Earth’s last line of defence. Effortlessly blending the events that lie at the heart of Cervantes story with his own interpretation of the tale, Vitaliano’s narrative is bright, breezy and fun and hurtles along faster than his heroes chosen method of transport. Incorporating a number of familiar, and welcome, minor characters from the Disney, and Mickey and Goofy’s, canon Don Quixote is a laugh out loud, humour laden and involving story that thanks to the sumptuous and engaging art of Sciarrone that perfectly captures the essence and personalities of the characters and looks every bit as good as it reads. Questioning the preconception that dreams have little validity in a society preoccupied with wealth, Vitaliano’s story celebrates imagination, rejects the notion that reality is more powerful than fantasy and extols the influence that dreamers, visionaries and story tellers have on the world. And you’ll never see the beautifully set up swerve that twists the plot through one hundred and eighty degrees as it rushes toward its finale coming. I didn’t, and it was hugely welcome and unexpected surprise that left me grinning from ear to ear. Don Goofete, I salute you… Tim Cundle