Why do cartoon characters wear white gloves?

The short answer is efficiency! But it was also an artistic choice that became a creative convention...

"We didn't want (Mickey Mouse) to have mouse hands, because he was supposed to be more human," Walt Disney wrote. "So we gave him gloves. Five fingers looked like too much on such a little figure, so we took one away. That was just one less finger to animate."

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  1. Also, it was a tradition with the blackface vaudeville performers, Like Al Jolson.
    Who came out with his sound movies about the same time the very dark skinned Micky came out with his sound movies.

  2. I think the gloves gave the animators a reason to make the hands rounded and pudgy so they stood out, if you see what I mean.

    Also a possibility.

  3. I am a cartoon character, and when I wear white gloves is to protect new henna designs on my hands.

    They don't need to be white, but cotton gloves typically are, and breathe nicely.

  4. I had heard a good explanation years ago that I found very convincing. In the old Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons as well as the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons, the characters did not have gloves, so their black hands were indistinguishable from their bodies. This made it harder to clearly depict belly laughs or any number of other moves when their hands passed in front of their own bodies or others. Take a look at some old shorts and you'll see what I mean.

    Ok, the video says the same thing. Next time I'll watch it first rather than just rely on the text description...

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