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Mickey Mouse as Corporate Shill


Anyone who is upset at the artistic license taken in representing Mickey Mouse in the new animated shorts should take a gander at this 1955 version of the classic character as envisioned by legendary Disney animator Tom Oreb.

Mickey was given this modern update for a Nash car commercial.

According to Cartoon Brew, Walt Disney stormed into the animation office after getting a letter from a kid about how awful it was to use Mickey Mouse in a commercial.

Walt went crazy. He stormed down there and outlawed us against using any of the Disney characters in the commercials. I remember at the time everybody was incensed that we couldn’t use them, and it basically spelled the end of the unit. [Companies] were coming for the celebrity; to be able to use Disney characters in their commercials.

I wonder if that same unit was responsible for this comic strip featuring Mickey Mouse on drugs for a company called ‘Peppo’ selling amphetamine (aka speed). With Mickey popping up on food packaging, like Craisins, do you think Disney is doing a good enough job protecting his image today?

3 thoughts on “Mickey Mouse as Corporate Shill”

  1. I don’t have a problem, in theory, with MM being a corporate shill. C’mon, the whole Disney Parks is one big marketing machine. And I’m good with that.

    But the new cartoons just aren’t very good. It’s not even artistic license, they’re just bad.

  2. John, Great story about a little known group at the studio. I too, have found the “New” Mickey cartoons “out of character.” I don’t like the “Ren and Stimpy’ feel they now have.

  3. On the contrary, I find the new Mickey Shorts to be quite hilarious. I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed out loud at a Mickey cartoon.

    And while they may not match the “current” character of the Fab Five, especially Mickey, they do have more in common with the character of the originals. Mickey used to be mischievous and get into a little trouble. Now he’s squeaky clean. I like that these new shorts echo the old Black and White attitude.

    I do agree that they have a “Ren and Stimpy” flavor though, in fact that was the first thing I said about them lol.

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