The scene is in silhouette—a wise choice that made the rendering both simpler and more dramatic.
I also liked the scene because it made clear how big Mickey was in relation to a human.
I was intrigued by the intersection between the cartoon world and our own. In his cartoon world, Mickey was a stand-in for a human, living in a house and doing all the things that humans do.
But he's also a mouse, and we know how big mice are. This relationship of sizes seems to compromise between the two frames of reference.
Walt was shown in various marketing images holding or shaking Mickey's hand, and they kept to the same scale relationship. There's even a bronze statue of the two together that keeps Mickey a little less than half a human's height. The old animators, such as Ward Kimball, referred to him as the "three foot mouse."
But Mickey hasn't always been two-and-a-half feet tall.
|Costumed Mickey in Disneyland parking lot, 1961, courtesy Yesterland|
I would also be troubled by a Mickey coming into our world who was only a foot tall, or six inches tall, or three inches tall. He'd end up in a mousetrap or a cat's jaws.
One real-world Mickey that the Disney organization would probably rather forget, appeared in Laurel and Hardy's film "March of the Wooden Soldiers." The idea was to make all the charming childhood characters appear in a live action movie. There's a scene where a person in a cat costume sits next to Mickey, who is really a monkey in a full-body costume.
Watch the clip (Skip ahead to 25:45) (link to YouTube)
In the clip, the monkey seems to have trouble seeing. Maybe they drugged him a bit to get him to be willing to wear the mask. He claps weakly, then keels over like a drunken sailor. Finally he hurls a brick that hits the cat on the head, and runs off, with the cat in hot pursuit.
A bit creepy — once seen, never unseen.
Mickey is a trademark of the Walt Disney Company.
Thanks, Mel and Christopher!
Previously: Hustled by Mickey