Monday, November 26, 2018

Mickey Turns 90

Dear readers, I'm sorry for the lack of a post last week.  It was a very busy week, I was facing down three deadlines - so I was a bad boy.  I'll try to do better in the future.  In any case, I wanted to talk about Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday, a very big deal.

Before Mickey Mouse, there were only two big animation highlights - the work of Winsor McCay (who to me is a personal God) and Felix the cat cartoons.  Both were major landmarks in the animation field, but they never adapted to sound, like Mickey did, and so unfortunately they were mostly forgotten.

The great advantage Mickey Mouse had was the music and dialogue in his cartoons.  I always felt that intertitles, subtitles or "cartoon balloons" really ruined the flow of a story.  Especially in animation, which is so visual, and the rending of the dialogue totally breaks the magical spell for me.
Of course, Disney is famous for his wonderful storytelling skills.

In the early years, Mickey was an international icon, he was a superstar.  But to me, he was a little too goody-goody.  My preference was for Goofy, all the "How to..." films with him were the funniest and most influential.  If you watch a lot of my earlier films you can see the influence of Goofy in "How to Kiss" and the whole "Guard Dog" series.

But as they say, Mickey started it all.  Thanks, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.

I'm now in the middle of watching all the Oscar-eligible animated features of 2017 - I'll give you a report later.  Meanwhile, here's today's drawing:

--Bill P.

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