Mickey Mouse milk ad is a relic of olde worlde naiveté (or it's just rude)

This undated old Grad Rapids Milk ad features a bit of dialogue from Minnie and Mickey Mouse that either contains a rude double-entendre or is a relic of an era of unbelievable naiveté. Either way: snigger snigger snigger.

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)


  1. Its just rude.

    I don’t know how to tell you this but a LOT of cartoons were rude, sly, subversive and, when you got to all the “Mexican” cartoons about Minnie&Mickey, Blondie&Dagwood, Betty Boop and a whole lot of other ones, they were downright pornographic.

    Our forebears were a bunch of randy fuckers and, because of the lip service paid to the Upper Crust, hypocrites.

  2. I know this is not Disney studios work, but the history of the animators studios in that time is rife with the stories of artists drawing rude and suggestive and even sometimes downright pornographic material involving the Disney characters.  I say this was intentional double-entendre.

  3. i’m sure you could pretty accurately date the ad by the style of the micky & minnie characters, and by the fact that there’s a minnie at all. but i’m not the one to ask about that. as for the milk… O_O our grandparents were both rude AND naive!

  4. I think this is a perfect example of how ‘dirty’ the minds of this culture have become. I don’t think it is “relic of an era of unbelievable naiveté” rather people today can only think of something being “in” a woman to be only one thing. It is sad when a blog as respected as this reverts to adolescent tittering.

    1. Adolescent tittering is as old as literature itself. As is commonly noted, Shakespeare’s works are FULL of it, even if it isn’t immediately obvious on the first reading because of the older terminology. Finding old or interesting cases of adolescent tittering is a legitimately interesting search through an often neglected part of our cultural heritage.

      Also, quit being such a prude. ;)

  5. It’s got to be intentionally rude. Why else would he say “inside of you, Minnie, my milk is the best thing in the world?”

    It’s not his milk. Minnie said “that milk.” Clearly, Micky’s milk has to be different than “that” milk.

    And, nipples or no nipples, male mice produce only one kind of milk.

    1. Sounds like the joke attributed to Groucho Marx: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

      Only to be comparable to this, it would have to be, Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s moist and warm.

  6. Unless Mickey owns the Grand Rapids Creamery Co. (in which case it would also be Minnie’s milk), I don’t know how he can refer to it as “my milk”. He must be referring to something else. Hmmmmm.

    I don’t think they were naive in the past.

  7. I miss naiveté. And yes, I’m aware of the irony of being on the internet  and saying that. I’m tired of the things I enjoyed as a kid being turned into a crude joke, like Bert and Ernie being depicted as Homosexuals. What, straight men can’t be roomies? It seems a lot of people feel the need to show how “sophisticated” they are by creating lascivious connections which simply don’t need to be there. I love me a dirty joke, as long as its clever, but some of this crap is just crap. Were previous generations pure as the driven snow? No. If they were, then we wouldn’t have the seven words you can’t say on tv/radio. So it’s not like smut is a new concept. Hell, we have a pretty old word to describe such things – Smut! Did the artist intend to make a jizz joke? maybe. But this ad is for kids, it’s intended to be innocent. At this rate, I’m surprised Cory didn’t mention that Minnie is topless. Hello, animal nudity! Or does it not count *because* she’s an animal? Also, why am I thinking this type of humor brings us a little bit closer to the world of “Idiocracy”?
    /end rant

    1. Have you ever been to Disneyland at Anaheim in California? Stand to the right of the statue of Disney, and look at it. Mickey’s nose looks like a phallus arising from Disney’s crotch, the effect is even more striking at night.

  8. No, viggy and Pete Allen have it right. This is more a modern twist on the phrase than naiveté. It’s up to each individual whether it’s funny or not, but I don’t understand why it’s “unbelievable” that a regional dairy in the early ’30s would avoid an advertising phrase that probably didn’t pick up a sexual connotation until decades later. Was it naive for the lyricist in 1960 to say the Flintstones were having a “gay old time?”

    As far as the use of the characters goes, Roy and Walt were licensing Mickey and Minnie from the get-go and before 1935 they were on EVERYTHING, from ads to toys to school supplies to housewares. This is without doubt legit.

    1. No, but inevitably, in the Bert and Ernie joke and its kind, that’s what they’re portrayed as. That’s why it’s supposedly ‘funny’. Although I can’t vouch for what Pete Allen meant in his post.

  9. You people remind me of my teenagers!! “inside of you” meant after you DRINK THE MILK! Only perverted old farts and teenagers would think otherwise.

    1. There’s the “after you drink the milk” interpretation and I think there might also might have been a shift between then and now in the use of the words “inside” and “outside” to indicate “besides” or “less than”.  We’d say something like “He’s the most dishonest guy this side of Congress” or “most dishonest, outside of Congress, guy” I’ve seen sentence construction from that era of the type “Inside of Congress, he’s the most dishonest guy”.

  10. I’m a bit surprised at everyone who is shocked that BB would sink to such a depth that we would giggle a bit at an ad that may or may not have been intentionally naughty in the past.

    Did you all just show up here? Did you not know what kind of people we are?

  11. We may never know, and there are good arguments both ways.

    My own instinct tells me that the double entendre was unintended, not because that age was more innocent, but just because words shift over time.

    This is like seeing an ad from the 70’s for a facial at a salon. Not an innocent time, but not a double entendre.

    1. hmmm. . . you are absolutely right, as i’m old enough to have had a facial at a salon in the seventies, and i have NO idea of how this is now a double entendre.  I can guess, but haven’t a clue if i’m right.

      1. You might want to spend some time at Urban Dictionary before you accidentally tell your friends that you’re going out to get a creampie.

    1. kpelt is right, it’s been ‘shopped.  I can tell from the pixels. Someone’s had one over on the Boing Boing!  gufaw!

  12. I would substitute the phrase “relic of olde world naivete'” with “a fading memory from culture that aspired to innocence and dignity.”  I’m sure there was a double-entendre for some (creators and viewers) and I’m sure that, even if it was comprehended, it wasn’t important. I’m sure the response of most was “Whatever” because it was more important, culturally, to hold to a dignified standard.

    To call attention to the ad is great for opening up a discussion about the state of our cynic-soaked culture. To call attention to it because it’s a “pee pee” joke is profoundly unimportant.

  13. It isn’t naivety, it’s that different words and innuendo didn’t mean the same thing back then. Just like if the ad were to say, “Drink this milk, Donald, it will make you gay!”

  14. A Photoshopped, juvenile desecration of what WAS a simple, charming ad. If you can’t tell the difference between old-school double-entendre ads and modern, blatant perversion, you’ve got some more studying to do.

    1. Sheesh, now this ad has been “desecrated!” Would that the creators of this ad had lived to see the day that their work was being regarded as holy writ!

      And calling such a double-entendre a “modern, blatant perversion” simply shows a lack of knowledge of history, where such crude double-entendres were common, even in famous literature.

      The title of Shakespeare’s play “Much Ado About Nothing” is itself nothing more than a crude triple-entendre: the title we understand, “much ado about ‘noting'” meaning reading/spying, and “much ado about nothing” where “nothing” is slang meaning vaginas. (link)

      If Shakespeare can write a play with a double-entendre title meaning “much ado about vaginas,” the only problem with this is that it’s not crude enough.

  15. This is indeed Photoshopped, so probably not an intentionally naughty ad. But I’m amused by the number of people lamenting how dirty-minded our culture has become. Did nobody listen to the “Hot Nuts” song posted a few days ago? Our great-grandparents and their friends had dirty, dirty minds, and loved naughty double entendres. There’s no end to the “adolescent tittering” in tunes from the first half of last century, like Bull Moose Jackson’s “Big Ten-Inch…Record” (later covered by Aerosmith). Here’s a John Ryan ditty from 1939:

    My grandpa had a big one – whoo, wow, was that a beaut
    I give you my word of honor, it hung halfway down his suit!
    It makes no difference what’s the size or even if it’s colored
    Long or short, fat or thin, as long as the thing is solid.

    It’s about mustaches (you dirty-minded people, you!) and ends with “Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub…my, how interesting! Move over, boys!”

    [Edit: You can download John Ryan’s “Mustache Song” and other tunes for free here: http://www.archive.org/details/JohnRyan ]

    1. “But I’m amused by the number of people lamenting how dirty-minded our culture has become. ”

      This thought process is very common.  “The 1950s were so much nicer!  It was a much more innocent time!  No one had sex out of wedlock!  Everyone was so much more respectful!”  Etc. etc.

      People somehow think our past was “innocent” or more “pure”, though if they’d pay attention to the history books, they’d realize it wasn’t any more innocent than our present.  Just different.

    2. Our current culture has attached more importance to (celebrating) scatological and overtly sexual jokes. Past culture was not naive, it was very conscious about striking a balance between the “low” and the “high” because the more you celebrate “low” the less you celebrate “high”. It’s really a matter of what you dream for the culture. The dream may not be perfectly represented, but it was clearly defined and not opposed to discussion and change (albeit they were sometimes stubborn and slow about it and needed the occasional call to higher consciousness). The point is, unless we, or a vocal minority, draw lines of distinction, you loose distinction and a respect for differences. 

      1. “Past culture was not naive, it was very conscious about striking a balance between the “low” and the “high” because the more you celebrate “low” the less you celebrate “high”.”

        Isn’t the idea of what is “high” or “low” very subjective, and dependent on culture, time, place, circumstances, etc?  What we might think of as “high” humor now may very well have been “low” humor in the past; and vice-versa.  Also, do you have any … actual supporting evidence to support your hypothesis, or is just a general feeling you’re going off of?  See my, People seem to perceive the past as being more “innocent” or somehow “better” than the present, comment above.

        1. I’m not claiming that it was innocent or better.  I’m claiming that we are no more enlightened now than in the past. I catch a whiff of conceit from several on this post who believe we’re now better off, when it’s really only a trade-off at best.

          I base my statement on a belief that, while culture shifts (differing expressions), the elements of humanity are constant. If we’ve evolved, we haven’t evolved very far. This is based on my study of non-violent resistance (distinguishing commonalities from differences). I have many liberal friends and a few ultra-conservative friends and I watch the discussions with great interest and curiosity. I’ve witnessed both sides betraying their own interests with brutal words and behaviors.

          I agree that perceptions of “high” and “low” shift. Against that relative, non-commital ebb and flow I hold that “low” means being the animals that we are (with no apology or desire to diminish that) and “high” means that we have the full choice to add to and refine that nature with a myriad of disciplines and expressions. Standing around exclaiming “I see your pee pee!” does little to uplift a culture. It may be funny once or twice, but you have to draw the line, say it’s not very important, and get onto other things.

          1. “Standing around exclaiming “I see your pee pee!” does little to uplift a culture. ”

            While I ultimately agree with most of your comment, I feel like you’re claiming that our current culture in this time and place values the “low” humor more, but I’m not so sure that’s the case.  I mean, look at the Three Stooges!  That kind of comedy has always been insanely popular.  I’d say, even, that we tend to value more subtle humor now — just look at how popular Colbert is!  And I’d aslo argue that we have more of a variety of humor and comedy available.  It might be that you just happen to witness more “low brow” humor than I do.

            That said, it’s still all very subjective and dependent on many factors, including personal tastes.

          2. I’m needing to get on with my day, so I’ll just say this; I saw “Shrek”  several years ago and thought it was abhorrent and tasteless on a few different levels. I just saw “Bridesmaids” and was in awe of how expressive it was. The former did not meet my standards, the latter did.

      2. Are you kidding me? You REALLY need to do a little more homework about the  popular culture of the past. Our current culture enjoying scatalogical and sexual jokes are by no means a new phenomenon. Hell, that sort of thing in the English language goes back at least as far as Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales.

        1. Sheryl, thank for the response. I’m not sure how I conveyed the sentiment that “Low” humor was a new thing.  I did say “Our current culture has attached more importance to (celebrating) scatological and overtly sexual jokes. ” What I’m saying is that it is now more overt, visible and reaching a wider “audience”, especially in pop-culture like films and on TV. I thought that I had acknowledged that “low” humor and expression has always been around, but maybe I didn’t make that clear enough. Sorry.

  16. I think it’s hilarious and all you people going on about “adolescent tittering” are a bunch of humorless prudes.

    Anyway, I think it’s entirely possible that the artist(s) were having one over on the marketing execs.  Hard to know.

    More likely, the phrase has merely had it’s entendre doubled over time.

    Like the wonderful book, Scouts in Bondage.  Be sure to click Search Inside This Book for several other hilarious old book covers that today mean something … just a little more humorous.

  17. Photoshopped, but that doesn’t means there isn’t a treasure trove of explicit material done by the elders, just Google “Tijuana bibles” (and I can’t believe I’m the first one to mention it in this thread), or “Eveready Harton”.

  18. “an era of unbelievable naiveté”  … yep, not unlike our own era when people who should know better about what can be done with Photoshop will still believe that the “Homescholers for Perry”  sign making the rounds on Facebook,etc.   is real, not a hoax (originally posted on Fark.com) .    They believe it is real because their bias predisposes them to believe it  (just like some other people’s bias predisposes them to believe that Obama’s birth certificate was faked in Adobe Illustrator)  ,  but it is their unbelievable naiveté  that keeps them from questioning what they are seeing  by applying a little critical thinking:   “Gee , maybe someone Photoshopped that “Homescholers for Perry” sign , since it’s just a little too perfect ?”

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