Disney has unveiled the newly-designed Mickey Mouse in celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary, but fans are furious over the new look.
This year, Disney is celebrating its first one hundred years–“100 Years of Wonder,” as the company’s Super Bowl LVII refers to it. Disney’s first park, Disneyland Resort in California, is decorated to celebrate the occasion, new Disney100 ears, as well as other merchandise, have been released, and the celebration is being felt all over the Disneyverse.
Now Disney has unveiled a new look for Mickey Mouse to complement the celebration. But fans of the mouse are livid at the new look and at Disney’s audacity in changing his look.
Mickey Mouse has been Disney’s mascot, if you will, since he was first created by Walt Disney in 1928. Because of the creativity and animating talents of Walt and his loyal animator and friend Ub Iwerks, Mickey’s likeness became synonymous with the Disney name.
But apparently, his look was growing mundane–or perhaps it was just time for an upgrade; after all, he is 95 years old. But whatever the reason for the change, Mickey’s new look was originally created by Disney animator Ward Kimball, who worked at Walt Disney Studios from 1934 to 1972. He was best known for the creation and animation of characters like Jiminy Cricket, Lucifer the Cat from Disney’s Cinderella, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Alice in Wonderland.
But as we looked deeper into the story of Kimball’s Mickey Mouse, we discovered the singular Mickey was part of a bigger group–a group of 13 Mickeys (and one Donald Duck) that was created by Kimball in 1991. The Mickeys range from a super furry version of the Disney mouse that Kimball labeled, “too realistic,” to a Mickey with one leg, three ears, three eyes, three buttons, and five fingers, which he labeled, “too implausible.”
The “Model Sheet” created by Kimball was also shared on Twitter by user @thatdaffyduck.
Joke redesigns for Mickey Mouse, by Ward Kimball. pic.twitter.com/93EQqlmglq
— Miguel (@thatdaffyduck) February 12, 2023
So the takeaway here–thankfully–is that Disney is not making major changes to the mouse who started it all by the man who started it all, even for a celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary.