Mickey Mouse's dwindling brand

Great NYT feature on the dwindling importance of Mickey Mouse as a character, and the attempts of the Disney organization to reimagine Mickey as a relevant character today.

"I was around 6 when I first saw him," [Maurice Sendak] said. "It filled me with joy. I think it was those primary colors so vivid and pure, taken up with the most incredibly beautiful animation, reminding you of Fred Astaire. Oh! And his character was the kind I wished I'd had as a child: brave and sassy and nasty and crooked and thinking of ways to outdo people." The joy leached from Mr. Sendak's voice. "Not like the lifeless fat pig he is now."

Mr. Sendak is hardly alone in mourning the mouse's decline. "Boring," "embalmed," "neglected," "irrelevant," "deracinated" and, perhaps most damning, "over" are some of the adjectives that cropped up in recent interviews with people in the cartoon, movie and marketing businesses.


(Thanks, Warren!)