Two things that would thaw Walt Disney with the heat of his own rage

What you are about to see is a bunch of stultifyingly counterfeit Disney characters performing at a concert where Dear Leader, Jr. of North Korea, Kim Jung Un, was in attendance. I'm wondering if he was, perhaps, slightly underwhelmed.

Bonus: right smack in the center of an "Oh SNAP" bullseye. The following is an image of several "rejected" designs for Mickey Mouse, a most beloved creation of Walt Disney because he'd always considered the happy little rodent a reflection of himself. Warning: one of these Mickeys has a penis.

So, why are these so bad? Because they were drawn in 1985, 20 years after Walt Disney's death, by Ward Kimball, one of the most prolific animators at Walt Disney Productions from 1934 to 1972. One of Disney's "Nine Old Men," who he'd once called a "genius," and upon whom he relied to create or redesign tons of classic Disney characters including Mickey. At the same time, it is no secret that a lot of Disney's closest cohorts didn't always agree with him and didn't always have nice things to say about him. (Because Walt Disney was more than a little bit of a nutter and not "World's Best Boss.") In fact, Kimball was partly responsible for starting the whole "Disney cryogenically froze himself after he died" rumor, so, yeah -- a sweetheart.

At the same time, there is no way to not laugh at any of this.

Video Link (via Gawker, io9)


  1. This could be the plot of a Team America: World Police sequel. The team goes in to North Korea to enforce copyright by force.

  2. So the guy who helped create Mickey Mouse drew, a generation later,  a Mickey Mouse joke sketch?
    And that is “so bad” because? 

    1. I think he means it’s bad in the sense that ‘it would thaw Walt Disney with the heat of his own rage.’

        1. Possibly, but Walt probably didn’t know about it. He wasn’t exactly open to parodies of his work. Thus the “heat of his own rage” comment. It’s not about what you think is so bad about it but what Walt would have thought. 

    2.  Yeah, what the hell is wrong with this, other than mocking the notion of Disney or Mickey? And what is wrong with an employee starting a rumor about his boss, regardless of whether people were dumb enough to buy into it? Am I bad because I’ve had sh*tty bosses I’ve said crap about?

      Methinks you folks at BB take all this Disney stuff WAY too seriously.

      1. I interpreted the “so bad” part to be a dig at the way that Disney tend to be incredibly controlling about unauthorised use of their character designs, particularly when it’s not very flattering — to the point where they’re a significant force behind ever-extending copyright terms,  demand volunteer-painted murals at nurseries painted over, etc etc.

        In that context, an ex high-ranking Disney illustrator spoofing their designs is pretty… well, I guess “naughty” would be a suitable synonym of “bad”.

  3. Is NK signatory to any international copyright or trademark agreements?  If they aren’t, then they didn’t violate any copyrights or trademarks.

    Even if they are, Disney can get in line behind the IAEA.

    1.  Even if they are, since Disney publicly claims they didn’t authorize the use of their characters then it’s clearly a parody and thus fair use.

    2. The DPRK is a signatory of the Berne Convention(and there was that wacky incident not so long ago when WIPO was shipping them computers in violation of an embargo to Preserve Intellectual Property!, very embarassing…); but I don’t think that it’s exactly a hotbed of MPAA litigation efforts…

  4. I don’t see any Koreans.  Am I overinterpreting a subtle metaphor, or is there a video that didn’t get linked or…  what?

    EDIT: Oops, found link.

    EDEDIT: Dang them Koreans know how to party! I’m gonna move there!

  5. Is this just here because the other day someone said that if it was a Disney post they knew it was from Cory, so you had to come up with something Disney related to post about?

  6. I have to admit to being a little confused as to the tone in this piece.

    So, why are these so bad?

    They’re not.

    Because they were drawn in 1985

    Yeah. I think the ET pastiche gave that away.

    People still revere Walt Disney? Who knew?

  7.   The video reminds me of the old stories during the Cold War about people who were sent to the gulag because they stopped clapping before an important member of the party did.  Seems as though you had to stop clapping ‘just right’ and everyone doesn’t want to be caught, so you run into rounds of applause lasting thirty minutes because noone want to stop and look like an ‘unenthusiastic’ party member. 
      Those poor bastards.

  8. Kimball didn’t start that “frozen” rumor, the tabloids did – he just liked spreading it around.  This is because Kimball was an antiauthoritarian nutball. For which we will forever love him. I see that we as a society are in dire need of consciousness-raising regarding Ward…good thing Amid Amidi wrote a book about him! (Coming November 21.)

    Here’s Ward’s 1970 TV special “Dad, Can I Borrow The Car?”, and if you don’t laugh at this you are just a damp sock on a flat rock:

  9. Mechanical applause for a leader no one really selected, but who they believe represents some kind of greater purpose. Disappointing music performances. Insincere speeches. The unnerving feeling that all of the infrastructure behind it dates back to the 70s.

    Why do I feel like this is just a preview of the Republican National Convention? 

  10. Now he’s crossed the line!  Starving your citizens, threatening you neighbors and stockpiling nuclear weapons are nothing compared with this outrage!

    Just wait ’til he feels the full righteous wrath of the Disney Copyright and Trademark Enforcement Division.

  11. If you’ve ever worked in a cartoon studio, you’d know that model sheets and drawings such as these (and much, much worse) are regularly produced by the artists for their, and their colleagues’, amusement. The barely-concealed bile being spilled over the model sheet is really juvenile. Mickey wasn’t something sacred to the Disney artists.

  12. isn’t anyone gonna comment on how hilarious the announcer’s lilting voice is?! i was in a trance at the end, waiting for all sentences to end on a warble

    1.  Hell he probably cuts it himself because a barber could have an ‘accident’.

      Is it paranoia when it could well be true?

    2. Why do batshit crazy dictators so often dress like colorblind hedgehogs?  I think it is because no one is willing to say no to them.  They take no advice from anyone, and their decisions are unquestionable.  This theory also explains Donald Trump’s hair.

  13. They’re playing a Tom and Jerry cartoon on the screen behind Mickey conducting. All cartoon characters must be the same to them.

  14. i thought maybe this involved someone giving Ub Iwerks credit. Now THAT would send ol’ Walt rocketing from his grave with flaming rage.


  15. Well, copyright enforcement caused our government to bravely venture to New Zealand and capture Kim Dotcom, maybe the same team will bravely venture to NK and capture this other Kim? 

    I know he is not nearly as bad, vicious, or harmful to human progress as the worse-than-Hitler Dotcom..but maybe they can be convinced anyway.

  16. At first the new Imperial leader looks a little happy, like a joking schoolboy. Then someone yells, get serious man, and he starts waving his arms around real serious like he’s telling everyone how the spaceship needs to be built. 

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