Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Who's More American -- Bugs or Mickey?

Trying to define a “real” American is a fool’s errand. America is too large and too diverse for there to be such a thing. That said, we do have a common culture and from that culture we can pull certain things that tell us how most Americans like to see themselves. That got me wondering if either Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse could be considered more quintessential American. The answer is probably neither as they both represent different aspects of being American. In the process of reaching that decision, however, I came upon a common thread to both which very much defines how America sees itself.

My initial thought that brought this on was that while both Bugs and Mickey are revered as icons in American culture, Bugs seems to fit us better. Specifically, he’s got a mischievous sense, which Mickey lacks, which seems to be a prime character trait of most Americans. So he’s more representative of the American mindset, right? Well, not so fast.

Bugs fits our mindset extremely well because he’s a mischievous libertarian. He wants to be left alone to his own pursuits. This is his primary goal, and he doesn’t respond well to people who come to hurt him or to help him against his will. All of that is very American. You see this time and again in our politics and our films -- the good guys just want to go about their lives, but they will fight back hard if you try to interfere in their lives.

But Bugs is more too. He’s curious and doesn’t mind butting into the business of others when they cross his path. And when he finds that they are bullies of one sort another, he happily takes them down a notch – he never picks on anyone weaker than himself. This is very American too. Americans by and large avoid fights, but they will always stand up to bullies and they will always fight for justice. Indeed, this is the basis of our view of ourselves as the underdog.

On the surface, Mickey is different. Mickey is more stable. He’s constantly working to make his life better. He is the quintessential small businessman. That means he represents a different part of the American psyche than Bugs. Whereas Bugs is mischievous, Mickey is responsible. Whereas Bugs is about leisure, Mickey is about work. Nevertheless, he too is a bully killer.

Indeed, when pressed, Mickey will respond with violence. Like Bugs, he never picks the fight and he never picks on anyone weaker than himself, but he will defend himself, his friends, and those being unjustly treated. Again, this fits perfectly with our culture. In fact, there isn’t a hero on film who doesn’t need to check these boxes before he’s allowed to throw a punch or send a bullet flying.

What this suggests is that whether you come from the responsible side of the American tracks or the mischievous side, underneath all Americans have the same views when it comes to when and whom to fight.

And if you look at our history books and our politics, you will see these two characters play out over and over again. We claim we never started a war without being provoked. We've always been the underdog. Our leaders have always been idealists who didn't want to enter politics, but got pulled in when needed, and they all come from humble beginnings or they built businesses. None of this is really true, but we believe it.

Interestingly, the European and Asians I’ve met don’t think like this. They aren’t scrappy fighters. They aren’t underdogs. They don’t want to beat bullies. To the contrary, they tend to see themselves as members of a group and they leave all the big decisions to the group leader, i.e. they are Smurfs. That’s probably why both Bugs and Mickey have continue to represent America wherever they’ve gone rather than being co-opted by the local cultures.

Ultimately, I don't think either represents America better than the other because they each represent different sides of our national personality.

63 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

hard for me to really put Bugs and Mickey in perspective, I say that because your characterization of Americans seems right, but I can't really remember enough of the two characters to agree or disagree with your assessment of their traits. They seem right though, and regardles, a n interesting analysis

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, You probably didn't grow up with these two thrown in your face all day long by television. LOL!

Glad you enjoyed the analysis. I think that is right about Americans.

Backthrow said...

I was always more partial to Bugs than Mickey (though I like the early Mickey, who would think nothing of using his fellow farm animals as musical instruments, plus his 'Sorcerer's Apprentice' section of Fantasia), but both are pretty American in temperament. Smurfs are just too egregiously Belgian.

Speaking of Disney cartoons, I saw this rather sad Yahoo piece the other day, in which both the writer, and the frequently-quoted pop culture expert/media professor Robert Thompson of Syracuse University, talk about Disney's upcoming, partial-CGI reboot of The Jungle Book, and how it should be used to "fix" the rrrrrrrrrrrrrrracism (and sexism!) rampant in the 1967 cartoon version.

These two sound like the fun-draining Orcs, er, disciples of Peggy Charren! It wouldn't surprise me if flowers regularly withered and died in their presence.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I like early Mickey better too. Of course, you rarely see him today except in advertising.

The racism in Jungle Book? Give me a break. These people need to realize they had their day, they lost, and the public doesn't care anymore about their garbage.

Dave Olson said...

You're spot on in your analysis of Bugs Bunny as a libertarian, and I think that tips the scales in his favor as to who is more "American". His best outings are indisputably from Chuck Jones, and he had a pretty simple formula: Bugs is either minding his own business down in his hole or he's burrowing along to a vacation destination, having always missed the left turn at Albuquerque. Then he is beset by an adversary. In the first case it's usually Elmer Fudd, but on two or three memorable occasions it was Wile E. Coyote. In the second case someone prevents him from getting his travel plans straightened out. It could be a bull, a genie, a Scotsman, or even the Abominable Snowman. (There are numerous other scenarios, including trips to Mars, but I'm just keeping it simple here.)

Anyway, Bugs' adversaries have a massively inflated opinion of themselves. And if there's anything Americans like to see, it's some undeservedly arrogant schmuck brought down to size, as hard and fast as possible. His feud with Giovanni Jones in "Long-Haired Hare" may be the most perfect example. You know the one, where the opera singer causes the Hollywood Bowl to come crashing down because he was holding that high note for so long.

Mickey is cheerful, friendly, helpful to strangers, and just doggone-it optimistic. These traits also run deep in the American character, but whereas Mickey is the way we like to see ourselves, Bugs is more of the way we really are.

Kit said...

Andrew,

I should note that while the post-war Mickey Mouse was the stable and middle-class person. Pre-war Mickey was a very different story. He was very mischievous, and sometimes smoked a cigar while lustfully leering at Minnie. In fact, he was largely based on Chaplin's character The Tramp and behaves a lot at times like a mischievous little kid who always got into trouble. If you want later example of this, look at his short in Fantasia.
This is why when he first appeared he was attacked for being an immoral influence on children. (Really)

From what I know, his Middle-class aspect did not really hit until the Post-War era.

Jason said...

I think most people feel like Mickey but want to be more like Bugs. When he gets into scrapes, Bugs has his wit, his speed, and the occasional disguise to help him out. Mickey always seems to have longer odds, probably because he was just an average Joe.

ScottDS said...

Trying to define a “real” American is a fool’s errand.

I know of a few politicians (and former politicians) to whom I should tweet this sentiment. :-)

I'm sure some folks in other countries see us all as Yosemite Sam! But having said that, and since I'm partial to WB over Disney, I'm inclined to say Bugs. But Jason makes a great point: we're all Mickey but we all wish we could be Bugs.

tryanmax said...

Bugs and Mickey weren't always the clear studio icons that they are today. I think much of the reason they both seem equally American stems from fact that they rose above the rest of their respective studios' characters.

Mickey was the first truly Disney character (Oswald the Rabbit was a joint creation owned by Universal) but at various times, other Disney characters eclipsed him in popularity. This was especially true during WWII, where Donald seemed to better express America's reluctant yet aggressive fighting spirit. In a way, Mickey receives his icon status almost as an inheritance, or rather a carefully orchestrated move on the part of his creator (which isn't to say Mickey didn't have to prove himself against toons from other studios).

By contrast, Bugs Bunny had to "prove" himself against his own studio compatriots. He was preceded by Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd. Early on, his character wasn't all that distinct from Daffy, though somehow the rabbit was more popular than the duck. Over time, his personality was tempered and his mischievousness honed while Daffy et al remained fairly unbalanced. It's again worth mentioning WWII because it also helped define Bugs' and Daffy's reluctant determination in a fight.

Interestingly, both characters' #2 is a duck. It seems Americans like ducks so long as they stay in their place. Clearly, America is duckist.

KRS said...

Great analysis, Andrew. Couldn't you have made it easier by comparing Bugs to Captain Planet?

I'm with Jason: we all want to be Bugs, but rarely get the chance. We're mostly living the Mickey life (if we're lucky) and our challenges take a long time to overcome.

I've had a few shots at being Bugs - I beat up the playground bully in 6th grade (right in front of the teachers - they just looked away) and afterwards his regular victims began hanging out with me for protection. There've been a few other instances where I've faced a bully or two and usually came out ahead. A few times I've lost. But life ain't a cartoon.

Since this is a discussion about comparing myth to reality, I suggest that the myths we embrace about our heritage, even when they don't jibe with reality, reflect our desire to always improve who we are. A myth isn't necessarily false even when it isn't precisely true. For example, there's a historical controversy over whether Davy Crockett went down fighting at the Alamo or was murdered after he surrendered. Perhaps it is more likely he was murdered, but the greater truth is that Americans go down "standing up." In this sense, the myth is true, the facts irrelevant.

Mickey's world is closer to our reality. Bugs' world is closer to our truth.

PikeBishop said...

Jason, and we secretly wish we could "cross dress".....................oops............TMI :-)

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with the statement "trying to define a real American is a fool's errand." I think that trying to define the only real Americans or trying to limit real Americanism to one group to the exclusion of all others is an accurate statement. To simply label people unAmerican for having different beliefs than you do is wrong. There are people out there however, who are unAmerican, who actively work against the best interests of the country and it's citizens.
It is not unAmerican to oppose a specific war, for instance. It is not unAmerican to participate in rallies against a war or do your part to put pressure on elected officials to try to get them to oppose the war as well. Opposition to the mainstream isn't unAmerican. Nihilism is unAmerican. It is unAmerican to strut around holding a sign saying "we support our troops when they kill their officers" for instance. It is unAmerican to spit on soldiers. It is unAmerican,say to be the president of the greatest country ever conceived and go on an apology tour bowing and scraping to foreign leaders and disavowing American exceptionalism.It is decidedly unAmerican to decide that you are the only person fit to decide what people can put on their plates.
To sum up, if you do not have the political beliefs of John Wayne or Charleton Heston or, dare I say it, Ronald Reagan it doesn't mean that you are not a "real American." However,if you have nothing at all good to say about the place and actively work against the interests of it's citizens, it can be safely believed that you are not a real American.
Whew! Got that out of my system.
GypsyTyger

ScottDS said...

In other news, admit it, you're at least grinning right now.

:-)

Anonymous said...

That being said, Mickey and the Disney gang always annoyed the piss out of me for some reason. I pull the lever for Bugs.Bugs just wanted to mind his business and be left alone. When he was pushed he was terrible.
Andrew, this was a great article. And KRS, yours was one of the best responses I've ever read.
If you've ever seen Second Hand Lions, there's a scene where Robert Duvall tells Haley Joel Osmont "Just because a thing isn't true is no reason not to believe it." Our national myth contributes to how we see ourselves. And the way we see ourselves collectively, our beliefs about ourselves, is what we lean on and use to get ourselves out of the dirt and back on our feet when,say, a pack of fanatics fly planes into our towers.Myth, as opposed to mere jingoism, is important.
The exact issue that KRS mentioned is dealt with in the 2004 version of the Alamo. Billy Bob Thornton portrayed Davy Crockett(he preferred David :) )
as a man who wanted to do the right thing but who was beset by doubts about himself and embarassed about the legend that had grown up around him,believing himself to be unworthy of it.But there at at the end,captured and down on his knees in the dirt,when he told Santa Anna "I''m a screamer" which was the first line in the play about him, the man became the myth. And so it is with us. The way we see ourselves becomes the way we try to act.
Bugs it is.
GypsyTyger

Anonymous said...

P.S.
I've been working a lot lately and haven't kept p on the site. A belated welcome back Andrew,I'm glad you're feeling better.
GypsyTyger

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry I'm late folks. It's been a busy morning.

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, Thanks! I'm glad I'm feeling better too. This stuff was a nightmare. Half the people I know ended up with bronchitis from it.

On your first comment, I absolutely agree that those people are not Americans. Their conduct is traitorous and they deserve to be treated accordingly. But excluding those sickening few (who really are at the fringes of society), America is just too diverse and too large to say what makes anyone a "real" American. We're all just too different in terms of political and religious beliefs, lifestyles, personalities, hobbies, likes and dislikes, and even cultures -- the culture in Texas is very different than in New York, but both are just as patriotic. If anything, what makes you an American is simply loving the country... something the people you mention do not do.

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, Thanks! I definitely see Bugs as a libertarian -- not in the modern sense of being an anarchist, but in the classic sense of wanting everyone to live their own lives so long as they don't harm anyone else. And I agree with your take about him taking down people with massively inflated egos. He never picks on anyone who doesn't deserve it. And what makes them deserve it is that they interfere with his life or they engage in conduct that makes them out to be bullies or busybodies.

And I totally agree about Mickey's amazing optimism! He totally represents American optimism which says that nothing is impossible.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, So you're saying the War changed Mickey? Shell shock? ;-P

Mickey was a bit of a stinker early on, but he was still always a positive character. And as you note, after WWII he fully embraced the intensely optimistic character that we have come to love today. In many ways, he represents the guys who came back from WWII and formed the new middle class and built America into the modern world class country it is today.

Kit said...

tyranmax,

Donald Duck's success I think was more due to him be a tragicomic figure rather than someone who reluctantly gets into fights. Instead, he is a flawed person who lets his temper get the better of him. Things usually get worse for him because he lets himself lose his temper instead of taking a deep breath and calming himself down.

Its a moral lesson: If you lose your temper things will get worse for you.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, I'm not sure I agree. I've met a lot of people who want to be Mickey rather than Bugs. And most of the business types I've met are Mickeys rather than Bugs. I think that these two really are the two dominant personality types in the country... except for the occasional Smurf.

In fact, this is one of those moments where I wish I could run tests. I'd love to see what percentage of Americans associates with each and then compare that to their career choices.

Kit said...

Andrew,

I don't know about Mickey but Bugs was supposedly "enlisted" into the Marine Corps.

I think Mickey's change had already begun before the war with him becoming slightly tamer (possibly in part due to the Hay's Code) but I've also noticed a lot of pre-war cartoons feature Mickey, Goofy, and Donald as working class whereas post-war you have them far more Middle Class. Which I think reflects more of a change in America between 1940 and 1948.

Jason said...

To ScottDS:

So Max von Sydow is going to be in the new Star Wars movie? HAIL MING!!

Kit said...

"And as you note, after WWII he fully embraced the intensely optimistic character that we have come to love today."

Pretty much.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Yeah, but they're a-holes and that kind of thinking has left them isolated on the fringe. It turns out that the other 98% of the country don't like being called unAmerican.

As for seeing us as Yosemite Sam, that's ignorant. People who think like that doesn't understand anything about this country. They're the other side of the "reel 'merikan" coin.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Duckist indeed! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, So you're saying Bugs won his popularity and Mickey was more created in a popular mold like a marketing tool?

tryanmax said...

Kit, all I know for certain is that Donald Duck's popularity eclipsed Mickey Mouse's during the war years. I can't help but think it was in part because Walt refused to "draft" Mickey into service. Although I think the number of Donald shorts were already outpacing Mickey shorts before the US entered the war.

But I think you're spot on about Donald's tragicomic existence. I particularly recall one wartime short where Pvt. Donald is peeling potatoes but wants to fly, so Sgt. Pete enlists him as a paratrooper. Of course, Donald is excited to fly, but not so eager to jump from a plane. In the end, both Donald and Pete are bandaged and peeling potatoes together.

One thing I find particularly interesting about the Donald/Pete wartime shorts is how the superior officer is clearly the antagonist. It seems surprisingly subversive in light of the typical interpretation of (and appalled reaction to) Disney's contributions to US wartime propaganda.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, yes.

AndrewPrice said...

KRS, Thanks.

I think you make a great point about myths. Too many people today are deconstructionists and they crave attacking myths and disproving them. Those people miss the point. Myths aren't things we think are real, they are things we tell ourselves about the way we want to be or don't want to be. They are essentially fairy tales that tell us about our ideals. Debunking those is as idiotic as trying to prove that Hansel and Gretel didn't actually find a witch.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, Well, yeah, right? LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, I agree. Our myths are statements about who we want to be. They are how we see ourselves, the things we value, and the goals we set. To debunk those as not real is pointless deconstructionism.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I agree with your take on Donald. Though, I think he was popular also because he got to walk around without wearing any pants. :D

Kit said...

Andrew,

Agree about the myths and the idiots who try to deconstruct them. Look at the self-made man. They claim "Well very few people actually go from dirt poor to filthy rich therefore the self-made man myth is just a myth and has little basis in reality. Therefore America is a lie set up by rich white people."

But they miss the point. The point is that if he can go from dirt poor to filthy rich than surely I can go from poor to Middle Class or at least not poor. I can look at all the problems and think "If he can make it there then surely I can reach my far more modest goals of owning my own home and making enough money to get my kid through college."

Kit said...

"I think he was popular also because he got to walk around without wearing any pants."

That is the American Dream.

tryanmax said...

At what point does deconstruction become simply destruction, I wonder?

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I have no doubt that they've evolved as America has evolved and that's part of what makes them so interesting is that you can watch American attitudes which through them over the years.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, That's awesome. Hail Ming indeed!

tryanmax said...

Kit, I would tweak your explanation about the self-made man a bit. The point of the myth is that there is nothing structurally preventing a dirt-poor man from become filthy rich, no aristocracy or caste system or such. In other mythologies, to make that transition, one must rub a magic lamp or marry a prince or something equally implausible. In America, one must merely be willing to put in the work. But the point still remains, the myth tells us something of our ideals. Foreign myths imply that the barriers to success are erected to keep out the ignoble and unworthy as determined by the nobles or gods or whoever. The American myth states that you prove your own worth.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It seems subversive, but it fits perfectly with the soldier mentality. Soldiers have always felt put upon by their superior officers. And grousing seems to be a safe outlet as far as the military is concerned... within reason.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, BTW, I think Donald's popularity also can be explain in part by his being funnier (Mickey is ultimately rather tame and stiff), and by his being seen more -- Mickey is kind of rare by comparison.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Going without pants is indeed the American dream. :D

KRS said...

Thanks for the kind words, guys.

Some years ago I met a former Nigerian who had become a naturalized citizen. I complimented him, because I thought it must have taken a lot of effort on his part. At some point I asked what he thought of Americans and he said, "You're very stupid people. You have no idea what the world is like. You have made a wonderful country. You're free to do what you want. Your women are safe. Your children will grow up. But you are always ready to piss it all away" Yes, he actually used that word.

Point is, he loved America and was proud to have become an American. He could not understand why so many Americans trash their own country and have no pride in it. He worked so hard to be an American and had only contempt for the native born who acted ignorant of their good fortune.

First generation American, but an old school patriot.

He made a big impression on me and I have often thought about him. I think the gravest threat we face is the battle of the myths. On the one hand there's the traditional myths of the David (!) Crockett stature that speak to our character and our future promise. On the other hand there is the modern deconstructionist hooey that we're a product of white racism, black labor and hatehatehate. In the first instance, our myths inspire love for country and countrymen. In the second, there is no inspiration at all. Who will put forward any effort to defend and improve that which they despise? Progressives tear down our old myths and leave us with nothing.

And politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum.

Rustbelt said...

Bugs Bunny a libertarian minding his own business? A cover, I say!

If memory serves me right, [takes a bite out of a culpepper], the earliest Bugs Bunny cartoons I've seen from the 30's show an odder-shaped Bugs that was a resounding bully. Bugs, as I recall, would search for people who needed to finish work, act in a certain way, or complete a checklist in order to gain some reward. This would often be followed by Bugs taking advantage of the poor soul (often an early, overweight version of Elmer Fudd), and making the guy's life misery by being an unwelcome houseguest who trashed the place, was as irritating as possible, and often threatened some action that would ruin the owner's plans.

Let's see... muscling in, taking over private property, and making threats that "things can get worse" if he doesn't get his way... methinks Bugs may have been involved in less-than-legitimate business at the time. In fact, a rumor I heard (or maybe just one I made up), says things may have gone like this...

After a successful career in Chicago in the 1920's, Bugs attends the 1929 Atlantic City Conference, convinced he needs to expand his rackets should Prohibition end. When it does, he uses his Chicago-to-Hollywood connections via Frank Nitti's takeover of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. For a time, Bugs plays himself, but soon remakes his image into a nice guy so people stop asking questions. He even dupes Daffy and Wile E. to play his fall guys, thereby enhancing his reputation, which survives to this day. (And you wonder why Daffy has such a temper regarding his place in cartoon history.)

Talk about a new meaning to, "what's up, doc?"

Rustbelt said...

Okay, now that I've got the insanity out of my system, I came across a quote a while ago that I believe was attributed to Chuck Jones. Since Dave and Jason mentioned that we want to be like Mickey, but are more like Bugs, well, Jones (apparently) had a different take on things.

The line went, "Daffy is who we are. Bugs is who we want to be."

Maybe Mr. Jones felt people are goal-driven, but stressed out. In other words, we want to have Bugs' calm and self-assurance, but often let our emotions get the best of us.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The deconstructionists have bothered me for a LONG time. Basically, they are getting famous by trying to destroy things other people like. That's a shitty thing to be.

AndrewPrice said...

KRS, I've known immigrants my whole life and they love this country way more than native will ever realize. America is their form of paradise and they have chosen it because they understand what America is in the world. It's just the locals who take it for granted. This is a wonderful country and we must do what we can to preserve it and constantly make it better.

Jason said...

Actually Rustbelt, I said most of us are like Mickey, but wish to be Bugs.

But yeah, some days I DO feel like Daffy.

Rustbelt said...

Jason, sorry about the misquote there.

To be honest- and my whole family will back me up on this- being Daffy pretty much sums up my life!

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, You may be on to something! LOL!

"Daffy is who we are, Bugs is who we want to be." You know, that's probably true. In fact, that's probably very true. How sad.

Kit said...

Also, they've begun in recent years to return him to his old mischievous self in Epic Mickey on the wii. If you want to see a more traditional take, look up the recent 2-minute shorts done for the Disney Channel produced by the creator of Powerpuff Girls. Here is one of my favorites, "Croissant de Triomphe" where Mickey must deliver some croissants to Minnie's café.
Length: 3min 50sec
LINK

Side-note: If you want to see a really funny Mickey short in recent years, watch Get a Horse, which was released in theaters w/ Frozen. It combined black-and-white 2D hand-drawn animation w/ color 3D CGI.
Length: 1min 11sec
Clip: LINK

Kit said...

In the former short he is a Middle Class-type fellow. In the latter he is much more like Bugs Bunny.

Trivia: In the latter cartoon, despite being made in 2013, all of Mickey's lines are made up from recordings of Walt Disney doing the voice in the late-20s and early-30s.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I don't think early Mickey suits him very much. It feels like another world and I'm not sure kids will embrace it. I could be wrong of course, but it strikes me as not something that will appeal to kids.

In terms of his personality. It wouldn't surprise me if they made him more of a jerk because that is the current up-trend in our culture. Our culture right now deeply disdains innocence.

Kit said...

The problem w/ Mickey is that he got so freakin' bland. The last I remember of him was Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse. I can see where writers felt they needed to give a bit of a new spin on it.

Though "Croissant de Triomphe" does contain some innocence to him. He has to deliver croissants to his girlfriend while much of Paris stands in his way. I'd give it a watch. Its fun. :-)

Here is the trailer for Epic Mickey. I'm not much of a Wii player, I never could get used to the controls. :-/
LINK

Rob S. Rice said...

I have to go with Bugs. Mickey was so unalterably NICE. Bugs... could be petty, vindictive, mean, spiteful, and above all else, VENGEFUL. Few lines promised a larger platter of steaming hot PAYBACK than 'Of course, you know... THIS means war!' Popeye had the same, 'That's all I can stands...' moment, but the horrific ingenuity Bugs could deploy...

Not sure he still qualifies, mind you, now days it's 'Of course, it's quite likely... THIS means... half-hearted sanctions, maybe...' The other thing, though, is that TACTICALLY... Bugs was a genius. 'Think fast, rabbit!' And he would! He would go on the offensive and STAY on the offensive, once it was on, and the villains never quite realized that he was three steps ahead of them.

One final note--Bugs also, like every hero since Gilgamesh--could get CLOBBERED when he got TOO cocky, even by Elmer Fudd. 'Is dere a doctor in da howse? Is dere?' Micky was always the innocent victim. America is MORE innocent than any nation of which I can think, but when we've been stupid, we've caught it.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, He is too bland for my tastes too. There's not much you can do with a character like that.

I never played the Wii. I have a PS2 and got used to that, but I haven't played it in several years.

AndrewPrice said...

Rob, He had to get clobbered if he got too cocky because the very nature of his character was to clobber those who were cocky or arrogant.

Kit said...

Andrew,

I think that is why they tried to take him back to his earlier days. He wasn't a jerk so much as mischievous. Think Chaplin's The Tramp. A bit of a kid.

Now with Epic Mickey and the Disney Channel shorts they are giving him some personality back. In fact, even the design in both is far closer to the late-1920s and 1930s Mickey Mouse of Ub Iwerks than the one we've seen since Fantasia.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It will be interesting to see how far they go with it. To me, he's more of a corporate symbol at this point than a functional cartoon character, but who knows.

Kit said...

"To me, he's more of a corporate symbol at this point than a functional cartoon character, but who knows."
I see your point. I'm hoping that Epic Mickey, Get a Horse!, and the Disney Channel shorts are a sign of things to come.

BTW, Daffy is more of a greedy jerk who gets himself into trouble due to his own ego and greed.

AndrewPrice said...

I've never really compared Daffy and Donald. Maybe that would be a good article for the future? We just need to find someone who isn't "duckist." LOL!

Outlaw13 said...

"Going without pants is indeed the American dream." But that is referred to as "Porky Pigging"

Daffy Duck under went a character change along the way as well. He went from Bats#!t insane to plotting jealous Daffy, or even later the straight man to Porky's buffoon.

I always preferred Bugs to Mickey, Warners over Disney any day.

Anthony said...

Kit,

Given that Epic Mickey 2 flopped so hard it killed the studio behind it, I don't think a revival is in the cards for Mickey.

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