Florida Man Asserts He Owns Mickey

Sorry Ken, I’m calling bullshit on this one. Anyone who spends three seconds comparing this guy’s sketch to the very earliest cartoons of Mickey Mouse knows what this guy has is a fake. It might be an authentic Disney Studios product, but it’s not an early sketch of the mouse. See this still from ‘Plane Crazy’ the first Mickey Mouse film that went into production.

Planecrazy_1

I’m wondering if reporters ever fact check anymore? First Mickey didn’t have the famous ‘pie-eyes’ until the early 1930s. I think he gained his white gloves before that, but he didn’t have them early on. That’s for sure. Disney should quietly let this guy know he has no leg to stand on and if he persists counter-sue him for defamation.

-John, Editor

Hey, that’s what I love about blogs.  Bull like this can be exposed very easily.  I wasn’t backing his claim, I was just reporting what he was claiming and that it has been in the news.

-Ken

Fox 13 TV in Tampa Bay brings us this interesting story of a man who found a great deal on vintage Mickey Mouse art who is now trying to get millions of dollars from The Walt Disney Company.

Clearwater resident Steven Stein thinks he has Disney’s original drawing of the famous character.

"Nobody else would have done anything this big of this character in the 1920’s except Walt Disney," Stein claimed.

Stein says he paid a New York City thrift store $3 for the drawing in 1984, and he says he’s spent many years and many dollars authenticating the artwork.

"I’ve had the ink test-dated. I’ve had the paper test-dated. The ink tests to the mid 1920’s," he said.

He got it for peanuts, considering.  But there’s more.

Now Stein is taking Disney to court.

"I’m suing them for $50-million, the copyright on Mickey Mouse, and the right to tell the Walt Disney story," said Stein.

Stein believes somebody must have a copy of an old newsreel showing his drawing over the shoulder of a very young Walt Disney.

Perhaps his lawsuit will flush that film out, and prove he possesses one very valuable mouse.

Somehow I doubt that merely owning this drawing, even if it was the first depiction of Mickey Mouse ever, would mean owning the copyright.  There are many, many ways a corporate lawyer can argue against this.

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About Whit

Whit Honea is the author of The Parents' Phrase Book. He lives in the L.A. area with his wife and two boys. You can find his writings and other works all over the Internets. Now available on Twitter.
This entry was posted in Art, Corporate, Disneyana, History, Mickey Mouse, Uncle Walt and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Florida Man Asserts He Owns Mickey

  1. Ed South says:

    This guy in Tampa is an idiot! First of all, just because you own an old picture of something doesn’t give you the copywrite on it. Second, that doesn’t look anything like a 1920’s Mickey Mouse, it has several more modern looking qualities (like the phone, maybe!?)
    But most interestingly, the film “Ub Iwerks: The Hand Behind the Mouse” put to rest the mythical story that Walt created or even ever drew Mickey. It was Ub who was held up at the studio all weekend (while Walt was in New York) trying to come up with the new character.
    There is no “first drawing” of Mickey, and there really isn’t footage of Walt ever drawing Mickey. He didn’t really claim to draw him.
    Sounds like another shmuck trying to milk a few bucks off of Mickey’s teet!

  2. CoffeeJedi says:

    In the immortal words of Futurama’s newsmonster Morbo:
    “LAWSUITS DO NOT WORK LIKE THAT!”
    paraphrased

  3. chuck baker says:

    One only has to google “steamboat willie” and look at the picture with black little eyes and hands .. case closed!

  4. Vivian Orr says:

    I’m not sure if you can help me but I can’t find a page to ask a question, so thought you might be able to give me a link. Hope so, but anyway, I am looking for some information on Jay Gould. I have a picture of Mickey he drew on a large linen napkin for a raffle at my high school reunion in 1987. I would like to know more about him but can’t seem to find any type of bio. Can you help? Thank you for your time. Vivian Orr, Yorba Linda, CA

    • Steve Burke says:

      I had a chance to meet Jay Gould, in 1986 or 1987. He was the man who designed most of the lettering for Disney; the Disneyland logo, the Mickey Mouse club logo. He also did the lettering for the credits in some/all of the early films where that was all hand-done. He also did a number of oil paintings that were used in a number of films. I don’t think he was ever an animator for Disney but I think he did quite a lot of art that appeared in their shows and probably the theme parks as well.

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Vivian

      My name is Nicole, Jay Gould was a family member of mine who has passed i’d say several plus years after your linen drawing was created.Born in England coming to the US i believe in the late 20’s/early 30’s. He began with merry melody and looney tunes in thein the 40’s He he was known for his many betty boop illustrations as well as early disney proto types and cells in the mid 50’s. he worked on fantasia, chitty chitty bang bang and i think mary poppins {??} His oil landscape/enviromental artistry and pen /ink drawings put his gallery work in the eyes of many collectors such as barbara streisand. i have many treasured pieces and fond memories of his gentle being from from my childhood.

  5. Pingback: World’s Laziest Reporting Strikes Fox News - It’s NOT an original Mickey Mouse | The Disney Blog

  6. Mikado says:

    Mickey Mouse only had those qualities in 1930 (pie eyes, gloves buttons drawn a wide distance from each other)so, it certainly isnt the first Mickey…as to who drew it, Disney tended to draw muchg more “scetchy” than that, looks like a possible Earl Duvall (Who did the art on the first MM sundy comic strip) who tended to draw Mickey with a slightly oval head and longer snout….the year 1930 would make sense as Duvall left Disney not long afterwards.

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