Mickey Mouse as Corporate Shill

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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?