Mouse Deux

While visiting Annette’s family in Christchurch last weekend, we spent some time with Annette’s young nieces. During this visit, we helped a couple of the girls colour in some pictures of Mickey Mouse. I helped Maisie colour her picture, while Annette helped Stella colour hers.

Here’s Annette’s mouse:

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Boring Mickey, originally uploaded by jsr.spathi.

Here’s mine:

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Hawesome Mickey, originally uploaded by jsr.spathi.

Clearly, Boring Mickey does not immediately grab the viewer, and repeated viewings and analysis do not reveal any kind of depth hidden beneath the initial textural homegeny. Stylistically and thematically, Boring Mickey is derivative .. almost tiresome.

Hawesome Mickey in the other hand, is immediately visually interesting, and close analysis shows layer upon layer of meaning for the serious student. The subversion of the corporate form in colour while maintaining the integrity of shape belies a sophisticated understanding of technique, while at the same time Mickeys presentation as the Harlequin is clearly a reference to the parallels that can be drawn between Mickeys playful role in in the Disney character troupe, and the Harlquins’ role in the commedia del’arte.

Any serious student will, when viewing Hawesome Mickey, find themselves nodding slowly and saying things like “Yes .. yes I see.” and “Very much truth. Very much beauty. I cannot find words. They should have sent a poet.” whereas viewers of Boring Mickey may find themselves at best sneering and rolling their eyes, and and worst throwing up a little into their own mouths before turning their eyes aside in pity.


  1. yes…yes, I see. The use of green in Hawesome Mickey is clearly a nod to his role as the cheeky trickster or leprechaun. And possibly even to the subjugation of the Irish in turn of the century America?

    • Very astute! Both the Harlequin and Mickey are “tricksters” in the Campbellian sense.

      • Maybe they are both avatars of the Loki figure in Norse mythology? The trickster will bring about the downfall of the Gods in the same way that Mickey could instigate the downfall of the Disney Empire through his machiavellian scheming? I see the two-toned nature of Mickey’s outfit as being related to his natural duality as both ruler and disrupter of the Disney Kingdom.

  2. Pssssh. One of our pairings is a lot closer to being employed at Disney, that’s all I’m saying!

    P.S. Maisie and Stella 😀

  3. Ferdinand, w2ho is the authority on such matters say he likes the top one best because “he coloured his own hands in blue” and also something about an umbrella.

  4. I detect one instance of going-over-the-line in the first Mickey, and fifty-three instances in the second. Your fauvist approach is… novel, but surely even the most avant-garde colour selection can at best compensate for only five or six line-crossings.