There has, for some time now, been a new series of short Mickey Mouse cartoons airing on Disney Plus. But artist Mindy Wheeler discovered that one of the latest episodes gives signs of a very ugly lurch to a form of slapstick that’s not doing favors for Uncle Walt’s famous rodents a century after they debuted:
2. all over the place, beating each other up because being chained together is a burden. Then they are reminded how much they love each other & work together to get free. This is the sequence of events. 1st he tries yanking the chain which hurts her arms and she screams in pain. pic.twitter.com/I8oqoENYlb
— Mindy Wheeler (@MindyWheelerArt) January 27, 2021
As seen in these screencaps, Minnie Mouse was on the receiving end of nasty physical violence that’s not funny at all, resulting in a black eye. It certainly does end up looking like a variation on spousal abuse, and what makes it particularly hypocritical is that this is a company that’s been restricting children’s access to some of their classic cartoons on the same channel because of racial stereotypes employed in the visuals. But sexist violence against women, ironically, is allowed. It proves beyond a doubt that, only four years after scandals like Harvey Weinstein’s made headlines, disrespect for women, selectively or otherwise, still prevails chillingly. There are ways to put women in slapstick adventures without looking revolting, but whoever put these new ones together failed horribly.
This wouldn’t be acceptable in anime from Japan either.
The stills provided by Ms. Wheeler in this and follow-up posts look like awfully archaic animation design to boot, suggesting that, in an age where Japanimation by contrast is a lot better in design and budget, Disney must be relying on shoestring funding to bankroll these new Mickey Mouse cartoons, which do a terrible disservice to Walt Disney’s memory. As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s a rumor now that the company plans to throw its own founder under the bus, all for the sake of making it easier to enter the Chinese market. If there’s any meat to the rumors, you can only wonder how long it’ll be before legends like Stan Lee are vilified next (remember, Marvel’s now Disney property), based on any anti-communist material they produced.
Tragically, the chances are always very probable it could happen.
Originally published here.