28 Comments

  1. Disney was founded in 1923. They formed their merchandising subsidiary in 1929. Assume the kid is 19, for math’s sake, and that means that the father is was 19 in 1929, at the youngest, therefore born in 1910. So he’s eleventy-one now. Also, he had a kid at 92 years old.

  2. I’m in my 60s, and I associated Disney with their TV show first, and the movies second.

  3. That’s the grandfather, making the 1920’s time-frame more feasible. In panel 1, grandfather talks to grandchild. In panel 2, dad is escorting grandfather to the the Disney home, while the grandchild (still with phone) is visible in the backseat of the car in the lower left-hand corner.

  4. While it’s an exaggeration, the prevalence of branded goods is way higher now than when I was a kid, and I’m under 50. When my eldest child moved to a “big kid” bed, I wanted to buy some sheets that were aimed at children, but not branded. Not possible. All the kids’ sheets were from things like the Cars movie, Spiderman, SpongeBob, ToyStory, Cinderella… To get one that just had trucks or dinosaurs or ladybugs or something was unheard of. Also, though I grew up with the Wonderful World of Disney, I never had Disney-branded clothes, bedding, etc.. I don’t think we even got any on the one occasion my family went to Disneyland! And I had never heard of a Disney store until I was an adult.

  5. The mother of Hubby’s daughter took her to DisneyWorld, years ago . . . driving. You know what she (the daughter, about 7 or 8 yo) remembered? The carousel at a McDonald’s on the way down. That’s all she could talk about; we heard nothing about DW itself. So, when we spent a month in FL a year or so later, we never went to DW . . . there’s so much more to do in FL . . . swim with manatees and dolphins, see alligators and lovely gardens, jump in ocean waves. And no scary giant mice walking around, either.

  6. I heartily recommend a movie from 2017 called “The Florida Project” set on the outskirts of Disney World. Starring a couple excellent child actors, Willem Dafoe, and a few more adult actors, all very good but not big names. It’s sort of social-criticism satire, then morphs into personal-relations drama, and resists resolving the story with an artificial happy ending.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5649144/reference

    (Actually the ending, which was a controversial point with critics and viewers, reminds me somewhat abstractly of the great Fellini film “Nights of Cabiria” in that the feeling tone of the ending rises from the depths to become mysteriously joyful and transcendent — though the objective circumstances of the characters remain disastrous. So it’s not exactly a deus ex machina happy ending, but something akin to it.)

  7. I think it’s not that the father is correct. He just thinks he is correct. To his perspective he believes in his time Disneys focus was on movies and whatever minor merchandise they had was minor and to promote movies. Not like today where Disney merchandise is everywhere and has nothing to do with movies.

    He’s utterly wrong, of course, and his criticism doesn’t hold up with even the slightest analysis and objectivity. But when did that ever stop anyone from complaining?

  8. I’m in my mid-seventies, and as best I can remember as a kid I associated Disney with comic books first and movies a fairly distant second.

  9. I would recommend Carl Hiaasen’s ‘Team Rodent’ [essays] and his fiction book somewhat related to DW, ‘Native Tongue’.

  10. When he was your age, Disney only made movies, and you had to walk uphill both ways to the movie theater.

    At least the movies only cost a nickel. He must feel sorry for kids today who have to pay an exorbitant five dollars just to watch a movie in a movie theater.

  11. A Disney nursing home would be probably be very nice and well run and very very expensive.

  12. You people are lucky to not be aware of all the non-movie stuff Disney does. Resorts not related to theme parks. Cruise lines. ABC. Tour companies. I can easily see a Disney retirement home.
    I go to a conference located in a Disney hotel and we get bombarded with ads for all this stuff.

  13. I was reminded of a short film by Mike Jittlov, the guy behind the creative indie film “Wizard of Speed And Time”. This short features a large collection of vintage Disney-themed items, and was created to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 50th anniversary. Disney mania does go back a long way. 🙂

    (skip to the 1:55 mark)

    It seems to me that Disney would have a retirement community at EPCOT or elsewhere on their property in Orlando, but I can’t find anything specific.

  14. “You people are lucky to not be aware of all the non-movie stuff Disney does. ”

    My original take is that fartsy is pointing in his day the merchandise was all aimed at supporting the movies and they were clearly Disney movies (and not ABC, Marvel Universe, the Muppets, Star Wars, etc.)

    But then I saw that all the merchandise he was complaining about where mouse ears and very brand on target. And good lord, micky mouse plastered on everything has always existed as I can tell. (I was always fond or the San Francisco Academy of Science Time exhibit which had a glass wall of pocket watches including an early Micky Mouse watch).

    So…. he’s just fartsy being fartsy.

  15. Disney’s California theme park Disneyland started up in the 1950’s. But even before then, I think people were wearing Mickey Mouse wristwatches. (Except for Mickey Mouse himself. Mickey Mouse wore a Spiro Agnew wristwatch, according to 1970’s graffiti.) And listening to records on their Mickey Mouse phonographs, with Mickey’s arm as the tone arm. Mickey played the record with his finger.

    I forget what Disney’s TV show was originally called, but when color TV came out in the late 1950’s it was rebranded as “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.” We took his word for it because we had a black-and-white TV. As often as not, the TV show was just a one-hour commercial for Disneyland, Disney’s latest movie, or some such thing.

    But even before then, there was a weekly radio show that devoted an episode to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1939. And of course there were comic books and newspaper comic strips.

  16. And following the theme of Mickey plastered on everything, the top floor of the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim has theme suites, which I got to go to parties in. One was Mickey Mouse themed, with an amazing display of Mickey Mouse memorabilia. Another was a Pirates suite. The doorbell played the Pirates of the Caribbean theme.

  17. I was wondering how dictionaries would handle the slang sense of “Mickey Mouse”. It’s in there. I think my own associations are more toward “officious, involving petty rules” than to their “inferior standard or quality” but their examples go with their definition.

    from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/mickey_mouse

    PROPER NOUN
    A Walt Disney cartoon character, who first appeared as Mortimer Mouse in 1927, becoming Mickey in 1928. During the 1930s he became established as the central Disney character.

    ADJECTIVE
    informal
    Of inferior standard or quality.

    Synonyms
    inferior, second-rate, third-rate, gimcrack

    More example sentences
    ‘people think you’re a Mickey Mouse outfit if you work from home’
    ‘None of these polls is a Mickey Mouse poll – all are done by reputable polling companies and all with decent samples – Nielsen has 1400 people, Morgan 1300 and Newspoll 1700.’
    ‘They will think that a Mickey Mouse court fouled up, and if they’d been in a US court they’d have seen justice done.’
    ‘I got into a lot of trouble a few years ago for calling the health board a Mickey Mouse organisation.’
    ‘This is not some Mickey Mouse project, it is a legitimate company with people working on it full time.’
    ‘They are treating Leeds as if it is some Mickey Mouse branch line to a couple of locals sitting on a milk churn.’
    ‘When Hendrick was appointed to coach Ireland’s cricket team in 1996, many wondered why a former England internationalist wanted to be involved with such a Mickey Mouse team.’
    ‘He refused, and under pressure announced a Mickey Mouse substitute which gives NT police the discretion whether or not to charge a minor for a first offence.’
    ‘Forget the marathon when a legal case of Bleak House longevity breaks out over who came third in the underwater shot put of some Mickey Mouse event the rest of us couldn’t work up a sweat about.’
    ‘I think why waste a trip to go over there and treat it like a Mickey Mouse game.’
    ‘I was studying for a Mickey Mouse degree: Theatre and Music.’
    ‘If we finished at the bottom of the medals table we’d be seen as a Mickey Mouse nation.’
    ‘It seems fair to say that Leeds-Bradford remains a Mickey Mouse airport compared to the newer Liverpool Airport.’
    ‘The Commissioner must understand that this is serious business and not any Mickey Mouse story.’
    ‘They saw nothing of Scottish football, so they thought I had disappeared to a Mickey Mouse league.’
    ‘And the birth of a tournament many male scribes described as a Mickey Mouse event.’
    ‘We do not want to make this funeral a Mickey Mouse affair so we felt the extra days will give us enough time to make proper arrangements.’
    ‘You’re the most local, the clients live in West Kirby, and it’s only a Mickey Mouse job so shouldn’t tie you up for too long.’
    ‘That is because community work under this Government is being run on a Mickey Mouse basis, where there is no accountability or responsibility whatsoever.’
    ‘‘Let’s not do it in a Mickey Mouse fashion which has been so much a part of fishery policies in this country in the past,’ he said.’
    ‘And when you’re working for a Mickey Mouse organization, it’s a small budget, too.’

  18. Ha, they have both second-rate and third-rate in the synonyms list!

    Mitch, I think I understand your separate sense of “bureaucratic” as distinct from just “inferior”.

  19. Yeah, in something like “They have all these mickeymouse requirements” I hear a sense of meaningless paperwork.

  20. To a film composer, “Mickey Mousing” is making the music excessively reflect the action on screen. Character runs up the stairs: xylophone plays an ascending scale. Cat walks on tiptoes: pizzicato strings, one plunk per step. This was hardly limited to Mickey Mouse cartoons.
    The odd thing about “Mickey Mouse” meaning inferior is that we considered the Disney full-length features to be the highest quality animation. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Bambi, and even Fantasia.

    But on the other hand, if you look at the short cartoons, Warner Brothers were by far the funniest and best to watch, and MGM had the highest quality visual art. The Disney Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons never seemed to be anything special.

  21. Yes, Disney was a big cultural and commercial presence in my early 60s childhood. But after nearly being carved up for scrap by corporate raiders in the dog days after Walt’s death, the company re-emerged as a powerhouse and then as a conglomerate.

    Mickey and company are now comparatively small potatoes in the total portfolio (Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Muppets, Miramax …), but even at that they’s been monetized beyond anything Walt and Roy ever dreamed of. I remember that Disney seemed to be everywhere (except on TV, where it was strictly limited to an hour on Sunday night). Yet I’m still awed by the sheer volume of media and merchandising that prevails today.

    Richard Schickel’s 1968 book “The Disney Version” expressed his terror at how Disney then permeated popular culture. The level of commercialism that offended him now looks downright quaint.

    And while there’s not a Disney retirement home, there’s a Disney-built planned community called “Celebration” near WDW. It’s not Disney themed, and I think the company unloaded its financial interest, but it is a magnet for older folks who can afford it,

  22. I once read that, pre-pandemic, there were people in this community who had lifetime DW passes and would got there every day.

    I suppose it’s no different than the ‘Margaritaville’-themed communities Jimmy Buffett has built throughout Florida. Without the theme park, per se.

  23. I had a Disney’s Cinderella watch that I received from my maternal uncle sometime before I can remember so before 1958 at the latest.

    When I was a child I WANTED to go to Disneyland. I remember entering contests to do so. Robert had gone with his parents and sister when he was in high school – after hearing from him about all the things I thought were there or what things were (from a Little Golden Book) were not, combined with the fact we don’t go on rides which go up in the air (me) or round and round (he gets motion sickness) and we don’t shop for fun – I lost all interest in going to either park.

    Robert claims I am the New York Jew who has never been to Florida.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.