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Mickey: The Story of a Mouse

MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL 2022 REVIEW! I’ve been a fan of Disney for so long as I can keep in mind. The primary film I noticed was Mary Poppins. I’ve been to Disneyland method too many instances. Jeff Malmberg’s tribute, Mickey: The Story of a Mouse, reminds us that it began with a Mouse, and by “it,” I imply every little thing.

Malmberg’s documentary is the story and historical past of Mickey Mouse since his inception in 1928 earlier than he turned a company icon. Walt Disney created him when Common stole his prior creation, Oswald the Fortunate Rabbit. With Mickey firmly in his pocket, Disney constructed a complete animation studio round Mickey Mouse and revolutionized movie, beginning with the primary sound-synched movie Steamboat Willy.

Should you’re planning on doing a time period paper or report on probably the most well-known rodent on the planet, Mickey: The Story of a Mouse is about as complete a story as you may get. As Mickey developed, he turned too good and virtuous within the eyes of the general public. A lot in order that Goofy and Donald Duck have been created to drag off mischievous stunts to assist inform a extra compelling Mickey Mouse story.

This historical past lesson runs parallel with veteran Disney animator Eric Goldberg pulling out the previous pencil to create a brand-new Mickey Mouse cartoon. Dozens of animators would feverishly pull collectively a Mickey Mouse quick or function within the previous days. These days, it’s a small crew reviving the medium of hand-drawn animation, which is unfortunately on life-support.

“…the story and historical past of Mickey Mouse since his inception in 1928 and earlier than he turned a company icon.”

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse then explores the worldwide impression of Mickey Mouse. He’s beloved in all places and by everybody, even by Hitler and Mussolini… earlier than Mickey’s look supporting the warfare effort throughout WWII by means of a set of U.S. Battle Propaganda shorts. Sure, they have been warfare propaganda. Mickey even served as a picture of hope in the course of the Holocaust.

As you’d think about, Malmberg highlights the corporatization of Mickey Mouse as an icon in merchandising, artwork, and shilling for the mega-corporation, The Walt Disney Firm. Whereas basking in a heavy haze of nostalgia, I couldn’t assist however surprise what the Walt Disney Firm did to Walt, the person. Did they put him again underneath ice? Some may query the present path of the Walt Disney Firm and its just lately acquired mental property.

Essentially the most typically requested query at Movie Risk appears to be, “Is it woke?” There’s undoubtedly a component of such right here, however it’s dealt with higher than most different Disney tasks. For instance, early within the pre-Snow White days, Mickey Mouse engaged in questionable conduct towards Minnie. Some, let’s assume, #MeToo moments. I imagine you’ll be able to see a few of this conduct on the Primary Avenue Theater at Disneyland. Nonetheless, it’s dealt with in a method that doesn’t cover or justify his actions as a product of its time. On the identical time, the movie and filmmaker refuse to cancel Mickey for his youthful indiscretions outright.

Walt’s DNA is indelibly ingrained in optimistic Mickey Mouse, and also you see it in that small group of animators attempting to carry Walt’s reminiscence and legacy tightly by means of their quick movie. If you’re a fan of Mickey Mouse at any stage, you’ll fall in love with him once more in Mickey: The Story of a Mouse. It’s a becoming tribute to Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse and makes you lengthy for a time when storytelling was somebody simply telling a narrative.

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse screened on the 2022 SXSW Movie Pageant and the 2022 Mendocino Movie Pageant.


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