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“The Fight of the Century” is already taken, so let’s call this “The Battle of the Bows.”
In one corner, 87-year-old Minnie “Yoo-Hoo” Mouse; in the other, 41-year-old Kitty “Hello Kitty” White. In a fight decades in the making, the two merchandising icons finally faced off last week in — where else? — Times Square, with child psychologists emerging the real winners.
No matter how hectic or crappy your day is, the two minutes or so you spend watching this video will make it infinitely better.
As part of its “Show Your Disney Side” promotional campaign, Walt Disney World Resort surprised shoppers at a Long Island, New York, mall with a hidden-camera prank. As the unsuspecting visitors pass by the covered glass of the “Umbra Penumbra Magic Shop,” they’re surprised to see they cast some awfully familiar shadows — Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Anna and Cinderella, among them (umbra and penumbra are two parts of a shadow).
Eighty-six years ago today, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse made their official debut in “Steamboat Willie,” the 1928 animated short that helped to launch an entertainment empire (their actual first appearance was in a May 1928 test screening of “Plane Crazy”).
To celebrate the occasion, Biography has released a history of Mickey Mouse (sorry, Minnie), highlighting the iconic character’s origins, his 1935 makeover, and his promotional role during World War II.
Disney, meanwhile, sent a rickshaw-driving Mickey on a trip across India for his birthday in a new animated short called “Mickey Mumbai Madness,” which debuted today on Disney Channel India (you can watch it below, along with “Steamboat Willie”).
“They say that every character is somebody’s favorite, but I really can’t believe that that’s true about Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. Oh, I’m sure that lots of people collect their merchandise but it’s hard to imagine anyone does it because they’re such funny, fleshed out characters. Let’s face it, for the last seventy or so odd years they’ve been fairly toxic female stereotypes of Olive Oyl proportions: bow wearing, squeaky voiced, clingy, emotionally demanding killjoys who seem to have been exclusively engineered to let boys know from an early age that girls are weird and no fun. And to see them being turned into actual characters that girls might actually like, well, I never thought I’d live to see that day.”
— retailer Steve Bennett, on his discovery of the new Minnie and Daisy BFF Magazine, which reinvents the two ladies of Disney as middle-school friends. Like all the Disney magazines, it has a mix of content that includes comics, and Bennett points out that this is the first comic since BOOM! Studios’ last issue of Darkwing Duck to show classic Disney characters.
It looks like this is a special issue of Disney Fairies Magazine, and hopefully it will lead to more. It’s nice to see Disney reinventing its characters like that.
Angoulême is synonymous with comics, so it’s probably to be expected that when marriage-equality supporters marched in the French city last weekend they enlisted some familiar faces for the cause.
On her blog, local artist Algesiras posts a handful of photos of banners depicting several famous comic characters sharing a same-sex kiss. There’s Tintin and Captain Haddock, Catwoman and Poison Ivy, Asterix and Obelisk, Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, Blake and Mortimer, and Spirou and Fantasio, among others.
“Notice the rings on the hands of the characters,” Algesiras writes. “I think the best one is the one with the Smurfette, because it mocks the fact that the Smurfette is the only female in the Smurfs world. She’s not alone anymore.”
The 40th annual Angoulême International Comics Festival kicks off Jan. 31.