Skip to comments.Back in the day, Mickey Mouse attempted suicide and fought opium smugglers
Posted on 07/02/2012 2:01:02 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Back in the day, Mickey Mouse attempted suicide and fought opium smugglers
Intrepid readers will remember that one time Mickey Mouse and Goofy espoused the salubrious effects of amphetamine-laced soft drinks.
The truth is, that helium-voiced cartoon rodent weathered many a dubiously family-friendly moment during his early years. Let's look at those occasions Mickey tried to kill himself and extolled the virtues of gigolos.
Perhaps the most bizarrely bleak Mickey adventure was the story arc that ran from October 8 to October 20, 1930. According to cartoonist Floyd Gottfredson, Walt Disney was inspired by the 1920 Harold Lloyd comedy Haunted Spooks, wherein the main character tries suicide and fails in a slapstick manner. In 1975, Gottfredson recalled the meeting where Disney pitched Mickey's grief-struck demise:
One that I'll never forget, and which I still don't understand was when he said, "Why don't you do a continuity of Mickey trying to commit suicide?"
So I said, "Walt! You're kidding!" He replied, "No, I'm not kidding. I think you could get a lot of funny stuff out of that." I said, "Gee whiz, Walt. I don't know. What do you think the Syndicate will think of it? What do you think the editors will think? And the readers?" He said, "I think it will be funny. Go ahead and do it." So I did, oh, maybe ten days of Mickey trying to commit suicide-jumping off bridges, trying to hang himself [...]
But strangely enough, the Syndicate didn't object. We didn't hear anything from the editors, and Walt said, "See? It was funny. I told you it would be."
Mickey eventually decides to live after some adorable woodland fauna convinces him not to hang himself. ("When I look into your smiling faces, I feel ashamed! It isn't such a bad old world after all! It took a squirrel to prove what a nut I was!") And lest we forget, Daisy Duck would take equally dire measures approximately 13 years later. This wasn't the only occasion Mickey bucked the hyper-sanitized image of modern Disney. A 1934 storyline saw his nemesis Pete moving opium ...
...whereas this strip had Mickey talking like David Lee Roth. (To be fair, the term had a much more genteel definition decades ago.)
Finally, there was this incident, where Mickey assaults a transvestite and barks an epithet that's euphemistic as all get out. Indeed, this all makes that Mickey Mouse gas mask from World War II the paragon of normalcy in comparison.
Gee. I thought "Peanuts" was depressing ...
When Mickey woke up in the bathtub of the Shanghai brothel, he discovered to his horror that it wasn't only his kidney that had been removed ...
Hence his unbearably high voice in the later cartoons ...
Wow. And all this time I thought Mickey left Minnie because she was...
Well lets just say it had something to do with Goofy.
“This is definitely Old Skool MM ... it is unfathomable to think of this billion dollar corporate mouse doing anything even resembling suicide by shotgun, getting Shanghaied by opium smugglers, promoting gigolos or kickiing the a$$ of a local transvestite.”
Walt Disney was a tough guy, a good businesman, very smart, a perfectionist, a tireless worker, and a proud American.
About as far from the Disney of today as possible.
Remember how Brutus was always sexually harassing Olive Oyl? “How’s about a little kiss, Olive” as he would man-handle her!
Smile. You beat me to the joke with the same punch line in my mind.
That was ‘Bluto’ ... Sheesh and what not ...
Oh yeah, it was Bluto! LOL! Where did I get Brutus?
Sometimes the character was called Brutus and sometimes Bluto.
Thanks for clearing that up, it actually was one of those things that was bugging me. Anyway, Popeye was such a great cartoon, clearly delineating the good buy from the bad guy and the good buy won every time!