This segment is an adaptation of the fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk by Benjamin Tabart, with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy as peasants who discovered temperamental Willie the Giant's castle in the sky through the use of some magic beans.
Mickey and the Beanstalk was narrated by Edgar Bergen in live-action sequences, who, with the help of his ventriloquist's dummies Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, told the tale to child actress Luana Patten at her birthday party.
Mickey, Donald, and Goofy live in a place called "Happy Valley," which was plagued by a severe drought after a Golden Harp who sang to make people happy was stolen from a nearby castle in Happy Valley. The residents had nothing to eat except one loaf of bread; in a memorable scene, the bread is cut into paper-thin slices. Donald, who is driven to insanity by starvation, then breaks the fourth wall by complaining to the narrator that he can't stand it. He makes a sandwich out of plates and silverware, but Mickey and Goofy stop him. He then sees an axe and attempts to kill their cow for beef with the axe, but they stop him again and Mickey decides to trade the cow for money to buy food. Goofy and Donald are excited that they'll be able to eat until Mickey comes back and reveals he traded in their beloved bovine for magic beans. Thinking that Mickey got tricked, Donald furiously throws the beans and they fall through a hole in the floor.
However, it turns out the beans were magic, as later that night a beanstalk sprouted, and it carried their house upward as it grew. Climbing the gigantic beanstalk they enter a magical kingdom of equal scope, and entering the castle, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy help themselves to a sumptuous feast. This rouses the ire of Willie the Giant, who is able to transform himself into anything. When they are spotted by Willie, Mickey spots a fly swatter and asks Willie to demonstrate his powers by turning into a fly. Willie initially suggests turning into a pink bunny, but when he agrees to their request, he turns into a pink bunny anyway, and spots Mickey, Donald, and Goofy with the fly swatter. Disappointed, Willie captures Mickey, Donald, and Goofy and locks them in a box. Mickey, however, escapes. It was up to Mickey to find the key and rescue them, with the help of the singing Golden Harp. Once freed, the hapless heroes kill the giant by chopping down the beanstalk and return the Golden Harp to her rightful place and Happy Valley to its former glory.
There have been several alternate versions of Mickey and the Beanstalk, each with a different narrator.
The first alternate narration was that of Sterling Holloway, which originally aired on a 1955 episode of Walt Disney's anthology TV series. (The particular episode later re-aired as part of the "Disney's Wonderful World" season during 1979-1981, which can currently be viewed at the Paley Center for Media). During the 1980s, this version was often accompanied with (and preceded) Dumbo on TV airings of said movie. It also aired as episode #76 of the TV show, Good Morning, Mickey!.
The second and most common alternate version aired on a 1963 episode hosted by Ludwig von Drake and his companion Herman the Bootle Beetle. The segments and narration in this version follow more closely to the 1947 film version (albeit with Ludwig Von Drake replacing the sassy comments of Charlie McCarthy). Like Fun and Fancy Free, the cartoon ends with the narrator (be it Ludwig Von Drake or Edgar Bergen) finishing his story and cheering up his companion (be it Herman or Mortimer Snerd), who was crying for the assumed death of Willie. Just as the narrator says that Willie is a fictional character and not real, Willie himself appears, alive and well, tearing the roof off the narrator's house. Willie inquires about Mickey's whereabouts, but the narrator faints in shock, while the companion bids Willie goodnight. Both versions also close with Willie stomping through Hollywood looking for Mickey.
Additionally, the Ludwig Von Drake version has been used for all home video releases of the standalone cartoon (with an 8-second opening title and ending credits added).
A third version of Mickey and the Beanstalk was hosted and narrated by Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop in a 1973 episode of The Mouse Factory. A portion of Beanstalk was also narrated by Lynsey McLeod as Belle in the episode "Problem Solving: Ingenuity" from Sing Me a Story with Belle.
- In the Sterling Holloway version, the entire story begins and ends from inside of a book and there are no narration sequences. (Therefore, the extra ending scene with Willie searching for Mickey is cut.) Also, the opening scene where "Happy Valley" is shown being developed as a vision is absent, so the narrator begins the story by mentioning only the valley, the castle and the Golden Harp.
- Additionally, when the giant falls to the ground at the end, his landing causes the entire book to suddenly close.
- In the Ludwig von Drake version, the scream of the harp is edited out when the giant first kidnaps her.
- In the 1980s TV edit of the Sterling Holloway version, the scene with Mickey, Donald and Goofy walking through the giant's footsteps is cut.
- In the Ludwig von Drake version, the dragonfly scene was shortened to the part where the fish eats it. The reason is unknown, but probably due to references to World War II.
- In the Ludwig von Drake version, the clip of Goofy diving into the gelatin, trying to retrieve his hat, was shortened to him diving into the walnut bowl.
- The Sterling Holloway version had some additional music added to some parts.
- In the theatrical version, when Willie wakes up from his sleep to chase after Mickey and the others, Luana is heard saying, "Oh!". This was edited out of the Sterling Holloway version, but the Ludwig von Drake version accidentally leaves it in.
There was also another edited version of the short dubbed into German in 1966. This particular edit is based off of the Ludwig Von Drake narration and uses the same edits of said version, except without any narration sequences (similar to the Sterling Holloway narration). Likewise, these additional changes occur:
- Unlike the Sterling Holloway version, the short begins with Happy Valley being developed as a vision. However, the brief bit where the red barn appears is cut.
- The second half of "My, What a Happy Day" (with the cows and crows singing) is cut, ending after the Harp's verse.
- The scene with Happy Valley falling into despair is edited, cutting out both the fields of golden corn and the laughing brook crumbling to dust.
- The cartoon ends with a "The End" title card.
- In the particular dub itself, there is no narration heard while Mickey, Donald, and Goofy travel through the giant kingdom (save for one sentence when they reach the castle). Plus, all of Donald's dialogue is left in English, which was common in Germany until the 1980s.
This original German dub was released on home video during the 1980s, but ceased to exist when a re-dub was made to the entire Ludwig Von Drake version in 1993.
A similar edit of the 1966 German cut was used for international TV airings (or at least, the Czech Republic and Germany) and accompanied after The Prince and the Pauper. The Ludwig Von Drake version was used, although his narration is re-dubbed by Corey Burton, replacing Paul Frees. Like the 1966 German edit, there are no narration sequences, although this time, "My, What a Happy Day" is entirely cut, so the cartoon begins with the Harp getting stolen, after a brief introduction of Happy Valley.
- Walt Disney's Fables: Volume 6
- Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films, Vol. 1: Mickey and the Beanstalk
- Walt Disney's Fables: Volume 6
- A level based on Mickey and the Beanstalk appears in the video game Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse.
- The first transitional level in Epic Mickey is themed to Mickey and the Beanstalk.
- The scene where Donald tries to chop up their cow with an axe has been cited as one of many scary Disney moments.
- Most home video releases of the Ludwig Von Drake version use the same home video print from the 1987 Mini Classics release, but the Netflix edition has it remastered (with redone ending credits).