Two off-brand Mickey Mouse characters on the street in Paris in the 1930's

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Où est Donald?

In all fairness the official costumed characters from that time period were pretty terrifying as well. Here’s a photo from a 1939 Disney company event:

And they only looked a little better for the opening of Disneyland in 1955:


Even worse when associated with some Luftwaffe pilots in WWII. Flying ace Adolf Galland, for example, had a sort of tweaked Mickey on his fighter a/c.


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Talk about cultural appropriation…

There’s an interesting book about the popularity of Disney in Nazi Germany which I’ve read a couple of years ago. Probably not available in English.

The Film Museum Potsdam had an exhibition about it which I haven’t seen and only read about. I should get a copy of the catalogue, they still pop up used every now and then.

Disney cartoons were regular fare in cinemas up until 1941.

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Why does everything from the 30’s look terrifying? Google 1930’s clowns or Halloween…horrific!

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from MICKEY MASKS The Mel Birnkrant Collection

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