For nearly a century, Mickey Mouse has been entertaining audiences and acting as the dominant mascot for the Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse has undoubtedly come a long way from his inception and even though the character has experienced minor updates over the years, the vision of Mickey has largely remained the same. It’s incredibly powerful that Mickey has retained popularity over all of these years.
Disney has gained a wealth of new characters, but Mickey has never left the picture and he’s always been the ringleader of the gang. Audiences may feel like they intimately know Mickey, even though he’s a character that’s painted in some broader strokes. Mickey is great, but some things about him, his body, and his genetic makeup may come as a shock. Accordingly, Here Are 20 Weird Facts About Mickey Mouse’s Anatomy.
20 His Stature Terrified Romania
Mickey Mouse’s origins come out of America, so it’s always fascinating to see other areas of the world’s reception tothe mouse. Mickey is a universal figure, but during his start, that ingrained reputation wasn’t present. As silly as it sounds, watching a mouse in a movie theater was a lot for some to grasp. Accordingly, Mickey Mouse was banned from Romanian theaters in 1935 because the government feared a giant mouse on a big movie screen would terrify and confuse the children. In this case, it’s not so much Mickey’s body, but that the presentation of it is so tremendous.
19 People Have Tried To Eat Him
The sheer concept ofeating Mickey Mouse may seem sacrilegious and totally off limits, which is why it’s incredibly surprising to learn that Disney actually entertained the idea of what Mickey tastes like in one of its earlier cartoons. In Trader Mickey, a highlyquestionableDisney cartoon, Mickey and Pluto are capturedby African natives, who attempt to cook them for dinner. In spite of the problematic way in which they escape from their captors, apparently, they'd make a good meal.
18 His Height Is Inconsistent
Perspective and context are fascinating things. Mice are obviously smaller creatures, but if an animated film focuses only on mice, they’ll likely take up the bulk of the frame and not only take up a tiny fraction of space. The Walt Disney Company officially says that Mickey is two feet and three inches tall. That being said, apparently Donald Duck is three feet tall and he's been shown to be the same height as Mickey on occasions and in their first cartoon together, Orphan's Benefit, Mickey's even taller than him.
17 He Sometimes Has Eyebrows
Mickey Mouse’s design has remained largely consistent since his creation, but there have still been a few odd elements to the character that were in flux and there couldn’t be consensus on until fairly recently. For instance, Mickey has had eyebrows during a span of his existence. It’s prominent in the comic strips of the 1950s and they’d stick around during his theatrical run until the late 1980s, but still even occasionally appear in the ‘90s, too.
16 He Can Have Children
Mickey and the friends in his connected universe are certainly a wholesome bunch for the most part. There’s a childlike innocence that thrives through all of them, which causes many of them to be looked at as children and not adults, even though that’s not the case. So while it may seem like something such as reproduction is beyond Mickey’s limits, apparently it’s not. In “Mickey's Nightmare,” Mickey’s seen to have 21 kids with Minnie, plus, he's an uncle outside of this, which shows others of his kind can have kids.
15 He Has Superhuman Strength In Some Circumstances
The Epic Mickey video games were praised for their deep, mature storytelling that hearkens all the way back to the days of the origins of Disney and when Oswald the Rabbit was in favor over Mickey. The games are able to vilify Mickey in a fascinating way and the portrayal of the character is very refreshing. Part of this includes showing Mickey with a frightening level of superhuman strength. In the game, he breaks free of his metal barriers and it’s kind of shocking.
14 He Has Magic Abilities
Mickey Mouse is a character that has such a boisterous and infectious personality that he can often make people feel magical. In spite of his power of positivity, some depictions of the character also involve literal magic. It’s often been thought that Mickey is only privy to magical powers when he has Yen Sid's Sorcerer Hat, however he's also been able to pull off minimal magic without any aids, like in "Potatoland" and Magician Mickey.
13 His Body Is Extremely Versatile And Costume-Friendly
It seems like it’d be a nightmare to design a wardrobe for an anthropomorphized mouse that has some exaggerated features and others that aren’t. Mickey’s got a good attitude and he’s full of positivity, but he seems like he’d be a nightmare to shop for. However, against all odds this is a character who has worn over 300 outfits and made them all work, which can’t be done if you’re full of weird proportions.
12 His Body Changed With The Advent Of Color
Mickey’s undergone a few cosmetic changes over the years, but the most considerable ones were a result of animation moving into color and how that change would effect the character. Colorized cartoons led to Mickey’s round body becoming pear-shaped and his nose becoming smaller and closer to his body now, with the addition of more realistic and detailed eyes. Mickey also slowly shifted from a white complexion to a more Caucasian one.
11 A Monster Has Been In His Body
Mickey tends to have a good attitude for the most part, so it’s extremely disconcerting to think of some angry, evil entity taking up residence inside of his body. While the idea is largely played for laughs, that’s the premise in the 1995 theatrical short, Runaway Brain. The cartoon sees Mickey's brain and body get swapped with a monster who becomes enamored with Minnie. It’s a jarring experience, to say the least.
10 Mickey's Ears Always Face The Same Way
Something like this may go against basic common sense, but it can be powerful when you tap into an image that works. Brand recognition can be a whole lot more important than realism. Mickey’s round, exaggerated ears are an iconic part of the character and it was quickly decided that they would always look like that, regardless of which way the character is actually facing or what direction he turns.
9 His Iconic White Gloves Weren’t Always A Part Of His Body
Mickey Mouse has such a basic design and simplistic costume that’s it hard to remember that it wasn’t always the same. Mickey’s body is a strange solid black, but this is often reduced by his iconic white gloves. Well, Mickey used to just have a solid black hand design until 1929's The Opry House, where he first wears them, and it becomes iconic for Disney characters moving forward
8 He's Physically Fit Enough For War
In spite of it being a rare, controversial cartoon, 1929's The Barnyard Battle has Mickey and a bunch of other mice caught in a war against (possibly German) cats. In order for Mickey to be drafted, one would assume he'd have to pass the right physical tests. He was even involved with controversial ads for Pearl Harbor.
7 His Character Proportions And Design Have A Dark Origin
Mickey Mouse is allegedly based on a pet mouse that Walt Disney had, but when it comes to the character’s design, it’s quite a different story. Rather than draw inspiration from an actual mouse, Mickey’s look strangely draws from minstrel show traditions and creates a much broader caricature. The design slowly and progressively evolved, but those were the unfortunate origins of it.
6 His Body Is Hidden All Over Disneyland
One of the most enjoyable and fun things about Disney is how that there’s so much joy and love in their products that some of their passion is even hidden and can’t initially be seen. Disney hid many images of Mickey all over the Disneyland theme park as a fun scavenger hunt and part of the joy of the live experience of the park. Keep an eye open!
5 He's Prone To Disease
In a truly bizarre ad campaign in LOOK magazine in 1994, the gonorrhea-curing medicine, sulfa, was used in tandem with Mickey Mouse. It was meant to be a sly commentary on drug testing on mice and be cute at the same time, but it's a bizarre mash up of sensibilities that it's a surprise was allowed by Disney.
4 He's Either Cloned Or Can Come Back To Life
1935's 10 Little Mickey Kids is a strange adaptation of the “10 Little Indians” nursery rhyme. It's a dark one, so it's surprising to see many Mickeys get executed as the tale goes on, but I guess Disney thought this was helpful for kids. It manages to speak to the resilience of Mickey's body or his eternal nature.
3 His Theme Park Anatomy Has Strange Conditions
For many Disney fans, one of the ultimate pleasures would be to play Mickey Mouse at a Disney theme park and get to become the iconic character. It’s a nice idea, but there are actually surprisingly strict guidelines that are in place for anyone with aspirations to don the Mickey suit. All mascot candidates at Disneyland must be between 4'8" and 5'2", so sorry, tall people!
These are certainly some of the strangest facts about Mickey’s anatomy that we came across, but they’re not the only ones that are out there. Sound off over your favorites in the comments below!
2 He Cosmetically Stretches His Ears
Mickey Mouse’s ears have become arguably the most iconic body part of the character. Even just Mickey’s silhouette where his ears are prominent highlights just how central they are to the character’s basic design. These exaggerated ears look like any kind of concession that audiences allow with animated characters, but Mickey actually tries to explain this. In “Clarabelle's Big Secret" Mickey reveals that he regularly has his ears stretched to retain that round shape.
1 He Only Has Three Fingers And A Thumb
There was a weird time in animation where four-fingered characters seemed to be the norm and a firm line between what separates real people and cartoons. It’s a bizarre decision to make and Mickey Mouse is another character that subscribes to the three fingers and a thumb philosophy. Disney actually had their reasons for this decision. It was done for artistic and financial purposes, mainly that five fingers would be too many on Mickey and look weird. Plus, drawing one less finger on each hand all the time could save millions, even on an animated short.
Sources: WDWInfo.com, Disney.com, AOL.com