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HISTORY

The dark side of Mickey Mouse that will change how you see Disney's characters

As much as this little mouse has tried to look kid-friendly and totally innocent, there's evidence to the contrary.

For decades, kids have grown loving Disney's characters, especially Walt´s best friend, Mickey Mouse. We have associated this cute cartoon with only positive adjectives like friendly, funny, caring, etc; because of that, we do not pay close attention to those aspects of it´s story that doesn´t necessarily align with the image that we´ve been sold. 

These are some dark aspects of Mickey Mouse that Disney chooses not to address.  

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Mickey was not LGBTQ+ friendly

Bear in mind that this little mouse has been around the public eye since 1928, a time period when diversity and acceptance weren't that prominent for that time´s society. Because of this and starting from the fact that most of his plots are meant to reflect people's lifestyles, comics could easily portray indirect jokes about the LGBT+ community without any severe consequences and unfortunately, Mickey wasn't the exception. 

In 1931, a comic strip was released where it shows how, at first, Mickey goes to visit his neighbor “Kat Nipp“ thinking he is a tough character but when this last one comes out of his cave dressed and acting like a stereotypical “gay“ man, Mickey then kicks him from his back and begins to shout exaltedly at him. 

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Even though Kat Nipp is identified like the antagonist of some of these stories and probably was planning something mischievous; the fact that the creators used this type of representation to somehow punish the bad guys is what calls the attention of nowadays audiences. 

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Mickey and race

As we have seen, Disney and especially Mickey´s content in its very beginning, is full of stereotypes that if we carefully analyze them today, may result as insulting for some groups of people. 

In this case, comics like Mickey Mouse and the Boy Thursday, Trader Mickey, Mickey Mouse in Arabia, etc, work as a good example where stereotypical characters in a well-designed innocent point of view are dominant. 

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It even has been accused of black facing and reinforcing racial stereotypes that do not fit in today's society. 

Subliminal messages

It appears that cartoonists either are so innocent and do not notice certain shapes or they consider us naïve. One of the most famous images of subliminal messages is an illustration in which Minnie is hugging Mickey, however, there's a certain man shape that only those who pay close attention will notice. 

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Mickey and propaganda

It may not be hard to believe that Walt Disney borrowed his lovely characters to look for support during WW2. Especially, the famous mouse was used to recruit young men to join the army, and Donald was used to antagonize germans. 

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