Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Mouse Vs Mouse - The Mickey (Micky) Fight Is On

I've never been a particular lover of Disney. They seem to warp good old family values into a sanitised, politically correct, brave new world-esque pseudo reality.

The breaking point for this feeling came when I was watching 'The Little Mermaid' way back when. I've always loved Hans Christian Anderson and the thought of seeing one of his most popular stories on screen was exciting (ok, I was way too old for Disney by this point but - who cares).

I was greeted on watching, not with the visual and stimulating extavaganza I was expecting but with a dribbling, twisted, drawing that took every single piece of archetypal wisdom and moral and ethical value and lesson and smashed it like a chimney sweep!

So this little article on boing boing today really made my day.

Remember that Simpsons episode where the real Itchy and Scratchy artist sues the cartoon company......

......well read on

"This eBay auction for a rare 1920s "Micky" Mouse toy from the Performo-Toy Company includes an article that looks into the possibility that Disney cheated the Performo-Toy Company out of the character. "

"The events that follow are largely circumstantial, but Middletown historians believe it is likely that Walt Disney borrowed his most creative idea from the Performo-Toy Company. It is known that a mouse toy with the name Micky was being sold in toy stores all over New York City while Disney was visiting. Disney historians say the idea for Mickey Mouse was conceived by Disney while on the train to California, following the stressful New York business trip. The story goes that Disney suggested Mortimer for the name of his mouse character, but his wife Lillian felt Mickey was a more appropriate name. Regardless of how Disney reports the origin of Mickey Mouse, Middletown historians are certain that Micky Mouse originated in Middletown more than a year before he appeared in Hollywood. Was Disney's idea for Mickey Mouse derived from the popular Micky Mouse toy? Before you decide, consider the possibility that Micky Mouse toys were so popular they may have been sold on the train Disney was riding on his way from New York City to Los Angeles.
Micky Mouse, the toy, and Mickey Mouse, the cartoon movie star, coexisted from 1928 to 1931. By 1931, Disney's new animation and sound techniques had launched the cartoon Mickey to superstar status. Walt's brother Roy was put in charge of marketing Mickey Mouse merchandise. One of the items he sold was a toy replica of the cartoon. Mickey and Micky were now competing in the same market. Ironically, they used the Borgfeldt Company, the same distributor Performo-Toy Company had been using for years. The Disney Corporation sued the Performo-Toy Company claiming they took Micky from Disney. The small toy company was no match for the large production company and the courts ordered the Performo-Toy Company to stop all production of the Micky toys and destroy any existing stock. Even catalogs containing Micky had to be destroyed. This tragedy, along with the Great Depression, was enough to put the Performo-Toy Company out of business."

Disneys Mickey Mouse

Performos Micky Mouse

....for those who don't know The Little Mermaid dies in the end! That comes after the wicked witch gives her legs on the provision that every step she takes on land will be like walking on broken glass. And even AFTER she dies (cos she don't get the prince) she is given a child to look after (gaurdian angel type thing) and she will saty a hundred years in limbo for every tear that child cries.

Now THAT'S a fuckin' fairy tale!!!!!

Despite all of that though the Disney Little Mermaid film still has one of my fave songs (see youtube vid below) and one of my favourite 'homage' videos (click this link to view)

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