Mickey Mouse -- what a cruel creepy character he was back in '28! - Forum.
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WaverBoy  
#1 Posted : Monday, July 9, 2018 2:07:23 PM(UTC)
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While waiting for my Thunderbean orders to arrive, I dug out Mickey Mouse in B&W and watched Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie for the first time in many years, which reminded me that Mickey's a slapstick wannabe date-raper in the former and a musically sadistic animal abuser in the latter. Wow. Classic, entertaining, and disturbing. I wish these would all get remastered in HD for Blu-ray.
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WaltWiz1901 on 7/10/2018(UTC)
WaltWiz1901  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, July 10, 2018 5:51:36 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: WaverBoy Go to Quoted Post
While waiting for my Thunderbean orders to arrive, I dug out Mickey Mouse in B&W and watched Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie for the first time in many years, which reminded me that Mickey's a slapstick wannabe date-raper in the former and a musically sadistic animal abuser in the latter. Wow. Classic, entertaining, and disturbing. I wish these would all get remastered in HD for Blu-ray.

Okay, so calling him either a date-raper or an animal abuser would be stretching it (this was before the Hays Code cracked down on cartoons, after all), but quite frankly, this is (in my opinion) why Mickey is one of my favorite characters - instead of playing second fiddle to a mute dog tangling with another animal, he actually used to have an edge. The Cartoon Review Website's analysis of Mickey's nasty behavior in Plane Crazy describes this version of him best:
The Cartoon Review Website wrote:
While [it] certainly isn't the shining moment of this short, it's not entirely surprising to anyone who's aware of what it meant in 1928 to be an everyman (which is what Mickey is famous for being) knows that his ruthless behavior here is well within that classic definition, which is based directly on Charlie Chaplin's famed character, The Little Tramp.

And while The Little Tramp was a hero (especially to the working class), he had an attitude that belied his rough-hewn roots. So when Mickey acts crassly around Minnie, it's a reflection of that character, and Mickey's status as Chaplin's equal.
...
I think [this] is proof that Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks didn't particularly condone Mickey's behavior; they simply thought that it would be funny (which it is, but it's not within Mickey's character, even at this early point in the series). Mickey treating his love interest poorly is really not that offensive when one considers the consequences of such treatment. Not only is he ditched by a justifiably offended Minnie, but Mickey's plane crashes.
...
The truly surprising result of Mickey's ungentlemanly behavior is his ultimate loss in this short, something that would actually recur frequently in the first two years of the series. While the great cartoons of the Golden Age were not adverse to having established stars end up on the losing side of a short (and even hinged on it in certain circumstances), it's not within Mickey's character to lose in this manner, as the character directly responsible for his own loss. But with Mickey, there was no template - the characters preceding him (even successful ones like Felix and Koko) never achieved the level of depth Mickey reached from the get-go. Part of this is, naturally, because of the synchronized soundtracks. But another part of this is because Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks put all their [effort?] creating Mickey Mouse - a character created out of desperation, and animated in secret as the staff that Charles Mintz had stolen away from Walt (along with the entire Oswald series) finished the final shorts that Disney had been contracted to produce. So refining Mickey was a rougher process than any cartoon character before or since - and Plane Crazy is a stark reminder of this.
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VoiceTalentBrendan on 7/10/2018(UTC)
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