The Promised Spouses is a comic story written by Guido Martina and illustrated using recycled, preexisting art by Enrico Pinochi, Floyd Gottfredson and Manuel Gonzales. It features Goofy, Clarabelle Cow, Mickey Mouse and Peg-Leg Pete, also mentioning Alexander Manzoni and what may be Horace Horsecollar.
- The opening panel, while giving the title of the story, states that this is “a special arrangement for the movies of the novelette by Alexander Manzoni”. It adds “With Mickey Mouse; Starring Clarabelle Cow, Pete Leg, Goofy”. It is unclear if this is only a metafictional framing device, or if the story posits that none of its events are actually happening to the characters, but rather are being enacted by them in an in-universe movie.
- Goofy lives “near the branch of Como Lake”, and Resegon Mount can be seen in the distance.
- Assuming the events are taken as genuine, The Promised Spouse’s mention of Clarabelle being married ties in with two stories in which Horace Horsecollar proposes to Clarabelle, Clarabelle's Boarding House (1931-1932) and Clarabelle in the Clutch of the Black Devil (1939). It also ties in with Donald Duck, Fortune Teller, in which she and Horace are married and living together. As it would be unlikely that Goofy and Mickey wouldn't know of Clarabelle and Horace's marriage years later, The Promised Spouses may thus take place in 1939, a short time after Horace and Clarabelle's marriage. Since Spouses sees Clarabelle wanting to romance Goofy and regretting that she is married, it also paves the way for an imminent divorce which would explain why, in more recent media, Horace and Clarabelle are no longer shown as a married couple.
Behind the scenesEdit
This comic was released in the Italian Albi d'Oro #48131 and reprinted in Gli Anni d'Oro di Topolino #19. As such, it has never been published in an English-speaking country; however, as an unexplained gimmick, all dialogue in the story was written in (a rather shaky approximation of) English, with Italian "subtitles" added in.
The story was based on the 1827 novel I promessi sposi by Alessandro Manzoni. Predating Mickey's Inferno slightly (having been printed alongside a teaser for Inferno), this may, by some standards, make it the first-ever Great Parody. Nor was it the only Great Parody of The Promised Spouses, as Donald and Mickey also got their shot at starring in a variation of Manzoni's plot in 1976's I Promessi Paperi and 1989's I Promessi Topi respectively.