Mickey Mouse universe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Clara Cluck)
Jump to: navigation, search
Mickey Mouse's house at Mickey's Toontown, Disneyland in 2006.

The Mickey Mouse universe is a fictional universe in which the Disney cartoon character Mickey Mouse lives. The world is also a shared universe and has different versions with varying levels of continuity. This is because stories involving Mickey have been written by different people for different forms of media for many decades. The first version was seen in the Mickey Mouse short films, but its first consistent version was created by Floyd Gottfredson in the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip. Real-world versions also exist in Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, called Mickey's Toontown.

Since 1990, the actual city in which Mickey lives is typically called Mouseton, and is often depicted as the city next to Duckburg, the city in which Donald Duck lives. (See Duck universe) According to traditional continuity, both cities are located in the fictional U.S. state of Calisota – analogous to northern California.

The most consistent aspect of the Mickey Mouse universe is the characters. The most well-known include Mickey's girlfriend Minnie, pet dog Pluto, friends Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy, and nemesis Pete. Some Disney productions incorporate characters from Disney's animated feature films, such as Bath Day (1946; in which Figaro from Pinocchio appears as Minnie's cat), Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), and – most extensively – Disney's House of Mouse (2001-2003).

"Mickey Mouse universe" is not an official term used by the Walt Disney Company, but has been used by Disney comics author and animation historian David Gerstein.[1] TV Tropes uses the term Mickey Mouse Comic Universe,[2] as the Disney comics medium typically shows the most continuity.

Continuity development[edit]

The Mickey Mouse universe essentially originated with the debut of Mickey himself in 1928. Although Mickey's stories included the character Pete, who was created in 1925, the world in which Mickey lives holds a continuity largely independent from earlier films. An exception to this was the reintroduction of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 2010 with the release of Epic Mickey.

In 1930, Disney began a newspaper strip called Mickey Mouse which greatly expanded Mickey's world which was already well-known from the animated cartoons. The stories then became a work of collaborative fiction with different writers working in different mediums. This sometimes caused continuity discrepancies. For example, while Mickey and his friends largely live in the same contemporary setting, they sometimes appear in exotic settings including period pieces (Brave Little Tailor, The Nifty Nineties) and fantasy films (Fantasia, Fun and Fancy Free).

One way the comics writers explained this discrepancy was to present the characters as "real" cartoon characters who are employed by Disney as actors. This understanding of the characters leading separate lives was welcomed by Walt Disney who, when asked whether or not Mickey and Minnie were married, replied that the mice were indeed married in their "private li[ves]", but that they sometimes appear as boyfriend/girlfriend for "screen purposes."[3] Also, in the World War II propaganda film The New Spirit (1942), Donald Duck fills out his income tax and lists his occupation as "actor," and the film The Three Muskateers (2004) includes a DVD bonus feature of the characters reminiscing on their experience filming the movie.

Animation historian David Gerstein has noted that although the characters will appear in different settings and sometimes even change their names (Mickey's Christmas Carol), the characters are still themselves and behave in a way consistent with their natures.[4]

Places[edit]

Mickey's farm[edit]

In Plane Crazy (1928), the first produced Mickey Mouse story, Mickey is seen at a farm. In all of his early films Mickey is in a rural setting, but most commonly at a farm. This setting was succinctly presented in the first sentences of one of Mickey's first storybooks:

"This story is about Mickey Mouse who lives in a cozy nest under the floor of the old barn. And it is about his friend Minnie Mouse whose home is safely hidden, soft and warm, somewhere in the chicken house."

The Adventures of Mickey Mouse: Book I (1931)

In the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip, Mickey's farm was most likely located in the midwestern United States, as indicated by characters' comments to have arrived "out west" to Death Valley and to go "back east" to conduct business, etc. This rural setting reflected Walt Disney's own childhood in Missouri and like Disney, Mickey eventually moved to the city, although he never forgets his roots. Mickey sometimes makes references to his life "back on the farm."[5]

Mouseton[edit]

Mickey appeared in an urban setting as early as 1931 in the short film Traffic Troubles where he works as a taxi driver. Mickey's city was unnamed until 1932, when the comic story The Great Orphanage Robbery identified it as Silo Center.[6] Floyd Gottfredson simply called the city Hometown while other stories used the name Mouseville.[7] But the first consistent name for Mickey's city came in 1950s Italy, where it was called Topolinia (from Topolino or 'little mouse,' Mickey's Italian name).

In 1990, Disney Comics Inc. launched the new American comic Mickey Mouse Adventures and initially planned to use the name Mouseville there. But due to then-current Mighty Mouse cartoons' use of a city called Mouseville, the new name Mouseton was created for Mickey's town instead; both in Mickey Mouse Adventures and in Disney's contemporary reprints of vintage stories in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (1991–93).[8] Later publisher Gemstone and the present Boom Studios have continued the use of Mouseton from 2003 onward. Strangely, in-between licensee Gladstone (1993–99) usually left Mickey's city unnamed, or—very rarely—referenced it as Duckburg, better known as Donald Duck's hometown.[9]

Mouseton's location in Calisota and its positioning with regard to Duckburg (the cities being next to one another) were the subject of speculation early on, but have generally been treated consistently in American publications from 2003 onward.[10]

In Disney comics published by Egmont (Scandinavia) and Abril (Brazil), Mickey lives in Duckburg—even though Mickey and Donald only rarely team up in shared comics adventures. (Duckburg is Entenhausen in German) The Egmont tradition extends to the German Disney comics of Ehapa, although the German comics have mentioned possible equivalents of Mouseton as neighboring towns or villages: Mausdorf (German for "mouse village") and Mäuslingen (German equivalent to "Mouseville").

In Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil and Scandinavia, local tradition has it that Mickey's hometown is simply a different district of Duckburg. In Disney theme parks, the Roger Rabbit-inspired Toontown, a district in Los Angeles specifically for cartoon characters, is presented as Mickey's home.

Non-Mouseton continuity[edit]

In some 1920s and 1930s Disney press releases and magazines, Mickey was described as living in Hollywood—even though the rural setting of the actual cartoons and comics had little in common with the actual Hollywood.

In the film Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip (1940) Mickey and Pluto live in the real world city of Burbank, California, home of Walt Disney Studios.

In Kingdom Hearts and its sequel Kingdom Hearts II, both the Mouseton and Duckburg characters live in a realm called "Disney Castle."

The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts modeled Mickey's hometown and birthplace as Mickey's Toontown. Occasional modern animated projects reference Toontown as well.

Main characters[edit]

Mickey Mouse (family) is the main protagonist. Mickey is an anthropomorphic mouse most often dressed in gloves, red shorts and yellow shoes. While typically given a modest and pleasant personality, he is often an enthusiastic and determined character, seeking new adventures, excitement and mysteries. He often serves as the de facto leader of his friends.

Minnie Mouse is Mickey's female counterpart, usually portrayed as his girlfriend. Originally characterized as a flapper, Minnie has often played Mickey's damsel in distress.

Donald Duck is Mickey's best friend, though sometimes he serves as a playful antagonist. Donald is a short bipedal Duck, best characterized by his sailor's outfit, his often-unintelligible speech and his incredible temper. Donald's stories are often characterzed by his incredible bad luck, often brought about by his own actions. He dates Daisy Duck and is the Uncle and sometimes primary caretaker of the duck brothers Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Daisy Duck is Donald Duck's girlfriend. Compared to most Disney characters, Daisy's personality is heavily subject to interpretation of the era, though she is typically portrayed as a pro-active female. Typically understanding of Donald's irascible personality, she will never fail to stand up to him should he go too far. In most stories she appears as Minnie's best friend.

Goofy is Mickey and Donald's dim-witted but good-natured friend. Goofy is a tall bipedal and klutzy dog. In some stories he dates Clarabelle Cow while other times he is shown as a single parent. In the comic strip his original name was Dippy Dawg.

Pluto is Mickey Mouse's pet dog. Unlike Goofy, Pluto is portrayed as walking on four legs and almost never speaks.

Clarabelle Cow is a tall, bipedal cow who is Minnie Mouse's friend. She is prone to gossip and occasionally plays a well-meaning but ineffective parent figure to Donald Duck. She has been known to date both Horace Horsecollar and Goofy.

Horace Horsecollar is a tall, usually bipedal horse who is Mickey Mouse's friend. He is prone to bragging and practical joking. Before the appearance of Donald Duck and Goofy, Horace was Mickey Mouse's usual sidekick. He is often seen as the boyfriend of Clarabelle Cow.

Pete (also called Peg-Leg Pete and Black Pete) is an anthropomorphic cat and a common antagonist. His character ranges from a hardened criminal to an ethical menace. In the comics he at times plays one half of a villainous duo with Sylvester Shyster.

Phantom Blot is a mysterious enemy of Mickey Mouse. He wears a body-length black sheet. An altered, monstrous version of the character, known as the "Shadow Blot", serves as the antagonist of the first Epic Mickey game.

Max Goof is Goofy's teenage son, who has only made a few comics appearances. (Most have been related to the Goof Troop TV series in which he was first named.)

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is a black rabbit and Mickey Mouse's half-brother. He plays an opponent in the noncomics continuity of Epic Mickey

Scrooge McDuck is Donald's rich uncle. He is a friend of Mickey and is sometimes shown to be a good friend of Minnie's.

Supporting characters[edit]

Julius the Cat[edit]

Julius (the Cat) starred in the first animated series created by Walt Disney, the Alice Comedies, making him the predecessor of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse. The character appeared in 47 of the 51 Alice Comedies films. Julius is an anthropomorphic cat, appearing intentionally similar to Felix the Cat. The two "Julius Katz" stores on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure are named in his honor.

The character first appeared (without a name) in eight of the ten animated shorts created by Disney's first studio effort, Laugh-O-Gram Studio, including the final of these works, the pilot of the Alice comedies, Alice's Wonderland.[11]:14 He would be named Julius in the third film in the series, Alice's Spooky Adventure.[12] He is Walt Disney's first named animated character.[13]:302 The primary motivation for the creation of the character was that Charles Mintz wanted to have the greatest possible visual gags in the series.[11]:14 Since the young Alice, first played by Virginia Davis, then only seven years old, could not be relied on for the comic role, she needed a partner, and Julius the Cat filled that role.[11]:14

In one of his first appearances, Alice's Fishy Story, Julius' tail demonstrates its great versatility, a recurring characteristic in the series.[11]:15 In the short film Alice the Peacemaker, he is partnered with a mouse named Ike (a forerunner to Mickey Mouse). This cat/mouse pairing was one of many famous animated duos from Krazy Kat (and Ignatz) through Tom and Jerry and Itchy and Scratchy. He has occasionally appeared in Disney comics under the name "Mio Miao" in Italian and "Otto" in Swedish.[14]

Julius' similarity to Felix the Cat, who was created in 1919 by Otto Messmer for Pat Sullivan's studio, was not accidental, but due to Margaret Winkler urging the reluctant Disney to copy Felix. She had been the distributor for Felix the Cat, but was constantly fighting with Sullivan, eventually leading to a split, so she turned to Disney to fill the void.

John Grant considers Julius as historically significant, appearing in Walt Disney's Hollywood animation debut.[11]

Chief O'Hara[edit]

Chief Seamus O'Hara is the chief of police in the Mickey Mouse universe. He plays a supportive role in Mickey Mouse's comic-book mysteries, often relying on Mickey's help to catch characters such as Pete, Phantom Blot and the like. Known fellow officers include his friend, Detective Casey.

O'Hara also appeared on Mickey Mouse Works and Disney's House of Mouse.

The character was conceived by Floyd Gottfredson (and Merrill De Maris) for Disney as a stereotypical Irish cop. He first appeared in the newspaper strips in May 1939, in the serial "Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot". In the Brazilian version of the comics, he is known as "Coronel Cintra", in the Danish versions as "Politimester Striks", in the Finnish translation he is known as "Poliisimestari Sisu" (possibly named after the Finnish concept of sisu), in the French versions as "Commissaire Finot", in the German versions as "Kommissar Albert Hunter" (Kommissar means commissioner in German), in the Italian version as "Commissario Adamo Basettoni" and in the Swedish versions as "Kommissarie Karlsson".

In Italian stories O'Hara has a wife called Petulia.

Detective Casey[edit]

Detective Casey (sometimes Inspector Casey) is Chief O'Hara's head detective, first appearing in the Mickey Mouse daily comic in the 1938 sequence The Plumber's Helper. The story was plotted and penciled by Floyd Gottfredson and written by Merrill De Maris. Casey disappeared from American comics in the 1950s, but was used frequently in Europe, especially in Italy, afterwards; from 2003, he returned as a frequent player in the American comics once again.

Despite his occupation, Casey is an impatient man of only average intelligence. Thus, while sometimes a successful detective, he is prone to bungling cases as well. Therefore, Chief O'Hara often recruits Mickey Mouse to help solve some of Casey's cases, much to Casey's general irritation.

Eega Beeva[edit]

Eega Beeva, also known by his proper name Pittisborum Psercy Pystachi Pseter Psersimmon Plummer-Push, is a human from the future, sometimes also referred to as an alien and first appeared on September 26, 1947 in the Mickey Mouse comic strip storyline titled The Man of Tomorrow. Since then he and Mickey have been portrayed as good friends in subsequent stories. Eega Beeva wears short black trousers, which store a large number of useful items, often helping Mickey Mouse and Eega in difficult situations. Another trademark attribute of the character is his unique speech, adding a "p" at the beginning of every word that starts with a consonant. In European stories he has been shown to prefer sleeping on top of narrow poles, such as on top of Mickey Mouse's bed post. He eats mothballs for food and is severely allergic to cash; these have sometimes been used as a plot device.

Eega Beeva was created by Bill Walsh and Floyd Gottfredson. He was a recurring character in the American newspaper Disney comic strips for nearly three years until July 1950, but then Eega Beeva's notable presence abruptly ended for unknown reasons. The character was adopted to comics of Italian artists in the 1950s and has since then appeared in various European Disney comic book stories, especially in Italy. He is referred to as Eta Beta in Italian and Gamma in German.

In his debut story, Mickey Mouse and his friend Goofy seek shelter from a thunderstorm and get lost in a cave. There, Mickey suddenly encounters an unusual humanoid who only says "Eega" at first. When Mickey and Goofy find the exit of the cave, Mickey invites the being to stay at his house, to which he gives the name "Eega Beeva", while the character himself states that his name is "Pittisborum Psercy Pystachi Pseter Psersimmon Plummer-Push." At first, Goofy refuses to believe in the existence of Eega Beeva and ignores his presence. In a series of events, two scientists conclude that Eega Beeva is a human from 500 years in the future. At the end of the storyline, Eega saves Goofy from a skiing accident, causing them to become friends.[15][16]

In the next comic strip storyline starring Eega Beeva, Mickey Makes a Killing, his pet Pflip the Thnuckle Booh is introduced.[17] Eega continues being Mickey's sidekick in the American comic strips until July 1950.[18] In the comic strips featuring Eega Beeva, Goofy only makes very few appearances and Eega acts as Mickey's sidekick instead. In the first two strips of the storyline Mousepotamia in July 1950, it is explained that Eega is homesick. Therefore, he returns to the cave where Mickey found him. Afterwards, he did not appear again in the American newspaper comic strips for unknown reasons.[15]

When Eega Beeva was still featured in the American comic strips, he made his first appearance in an Italian Disney comic. It is titled L'inferno di Topolino (lit. "Mickey Mouse's inferno"). The character was newly discovered and defined by Italian comics artist and writer Romano Scarpa with the comic Topolino e la nave del microcosmo (lit. "Mickey Mouse and the ship of microcosm"), published in Topolino issue 167 in July 1957. Rather than his whimsical attributes, this story focuses on the futuristic and fantastic aspects of Eega Beeva and his environment, as do later stories.[15] Some of those stories star Eega Beega without Mickey.[19] More than half of all comics featuring the character were produced in Italy.[15]

Eega Beeva is depicted as a humanoid being with a wide head, mitten-like hands and a scrawny body. He wears short black trousers. His name is a pun on the idiom "eager beaver". In The Man of Tomorrow, the name is given to him by Mickey, since Eega Beeva originally only said "Eega."[16] In the original conception of the character, Eega Beeva's look was attributed to him being a highly evolved human from 500 years in the future, namely from the year 2447. All humans would have Eega-like proportions.[16] When the first American Eega comic strips appeared in Italy, however, translators unaccountably turned Eega into a man from 2000 rather than 2447. As this proved unconvincing for readers, Italian writers generally tried to explain away the unlikely "evolution" by recasting Eega as an alien from outer space.

In the most recent Italian stories (post-2000), Italian writers have generally reverted to Gottfredson's original conception of Eega as a future-man, though his precise year of origin is rarely mentioned. New Eega comics produced by Egmont, on the other hand, often refer to his hometown as being the Mouseton of 2447—just as in Gottfredson's original stories.

Mortimer Mouse[edit]

Two different characters in Mickey's world carry the name Mortimer Mouse. One is the uncle of Minnie Mouse; another is an unrelated mouse who was Mickey's rival for Minnie's affections. Mickey Mouse himself was originally going to be named Mortimer; however, Lillian Disney, Walt's wife, suggested the name Mickey instead.[20]

The first Mortimer was created by Walt Disney and Floyd Gottfredson for the comics. He was Minnie Mouse's ranch-owning cattleman uncle. He first appeared in the serial Mickey Mouse in Death Valley (1930). After that, he appeared or was referenced in many other Mickey Mouse comic strip adventures in the 1930s. He has occasionally appeared in more modern comics.

In the 1936 cartoon short Mickey's Rival, the second Mortimer was introduced as Mickey's competitor for Minnie's affections. In the comics, this Mortimer was briefly renamed Montmorency Rodent (pronounced "Ro-Dawn"), in an attempt to differentiate him from the pre-existing uncle, but the new name did not stick. Mickey's rival was once again called Mortimer in later comics — and in the animated series Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse, where he utilized the catchphrase, "Ha-cha-cha!"

In House of Mouse and Mickey Mouse Works, Mortimer as Mickey's rival is voiced by Maurice LaMarche, doing an exaggerated impersonation of Jon Lovitz. As Minnie's boss in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, he was voiced by Jeff Bennett. Mortimer Mouse also appeared in a non-speaking cameo in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode Minnie's Birthday, sitting beneath a tree, playing a guitar. He will later appear in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode "Super Adventure" as a villain where he intends to shrink the clubhouse.

Doctor Einmug[edit]

Doctor Einmug is a scientist who was created by Ted Osborne (plot) and Floyd Gottfredson (plot and art) in the story Island in the Sky, published in the Mickey Mouse daily strip from November 1936 to April 1937. He is a large man who wears a big white beard and laboratory coat.

Doctor Einmug specializes in atomic physics and speaks in a German-like accent which was probably a nod towards Albert Einstein. His introductory story, Island in the Sky, raises many issues about the benefits but also the dangers of atomic physics just a few years before the first atom bombs were developed.

After that, Einmug did not re-appear in American comics for almost 50 years, but he was used in Italian ones, starting some 12 years later in 1959 when he appeared in Romano Scarpa's Topolino e la dimensione Delta ("Mickey Mouse and the Delta Dimension"). In this story he had discovered the means to travel to what he called the Delta Dimension, which was effectively an infinite void of nothing, just space.

Setting his laboratory up in the Delta Dimension, Einmug pursued his work and discovered that atoms were in fact living beings. He thus increased the size of one of them to that of a small boy and named him Atomo Bleep-Bleep (Italian: Atomino Bip-Bip). Atomo was highly intelligent and had many supernatural abilities, including turning metal into chocolate[21] or estimating with absolute precision when an object was created.[22] Atomo would accompany Mickey on several adventures as a kind of alternative Eega Beeva.

Einmug himself has also appeared in numerous European Mickey Mouse comics. He is often shown as less secretive and paranoid than in his original appearance, though his discoveries are still coveted by the likes of Pete and the Phantom Blot.

Einmug reappeared in American comics in 1991 in the story A Snatch in Time! in which he had developed a time machine. It was written by Lamar Waldron and drawn by Rick Hoover and Gary Martin. More recently, Einmug has also appeared in American editions of "The Delta Dimension" and other European-made stories.

In American comics, Atomo Bleep-Bleep speaks with a German accent identical to Einmug's, insofar as Einmug was presented as Atomo's language teacher.

Ellsworth[edit]

Ellsworth started out as Goofy's pet mynah bird but in later stories he became an independent anthropomorphic animal. His full name being Ellsworth Bheezer (occasionally misspelled Bhezer—"beezer" is old English slang for a big nose or beak). He was created for the Mickey Mouse Sunday pages, but has been used in longer comics as well, especially the ones produced in Italy, France and Brazil.

Ellsworth usually wears a red-orange shirt and a green cap or beret. Reflecting a trait of mynah birds who can imitate human speech, he is extremely vain and self-centered, which was originally the spotlight and center of jokes in his stories. On the other hand, Ellsworth is also a bonafide genius with awesome tech and scientific knowledge—the "Y" on his shirt in earlier stories stands for "Yarvard" (a parody of Harvard), his alma mater.

Despite being more or less entirely humanized in more recent stories, Ellsworth retains his ability to fly, a unique trait among the central Disney funny animal cast.

In manner, Ellsworth is often sarcastic and condescending, typically addressing others with statements like "Let's not [do X], shall we?" He's also quick to call others by insulting nicknames. But when push comes to shove, he's genuinely fond of and defensive of his pals Goofy and Mickey.

Bruto (original Italian name; he has no English name) is Ellsworth's somewhat smaller adoptive son and Mickey Mouse's sidekick in numerous Italian stories. As of 2009, he has not appeared in American comic books.

Sylvester Shyster[edit]

Sylvester Shyster is a crooked lawyer and evil criminal mastermind who generally teams up with Peg-Leg Pete. The character has been described by some as a weasel or a rat (the latter being Gottfredson's own interpretation), but his ears suggest that he is rather an anthropomorphic canine.

He first appeared in the comic strip adventure "Mickey Mouse in Death Valley", the first real Mickey Mouse continuity, which was partially written by Walt Disney and drawn by Win Smith and other artists, before being taken over by Floyd Gottfredson (plot and art). In this story, Sylvester Shyster was a crooked lawyer who attempted, with the help of his henchman Pete, to deprive Minnie Mouse of her inheritance.

Shyster and Pete have been causing trouble for Mickey and his friends since then. Shyster is generally depicted as the duo's brain, with Pete acting as the brawn. He is probably the only person Pete will listen to without rebellion.

After Shyster's first appearance, Gottfredson made no further references to his profession as a lawyer, apart from his name. Later creators occasionally referenced Shyster's role as a lawyer, with one story ("Trial and Error," 2007) forcing Shyster to defend Mickey himself in an overseas courtroom.

Shyster disappeared for a time after 1934, but made comebacks in 1942, 1950 and again in various 1960s Italian-created stories. More recently, publisher Egmont Creative A/S (in Denmark) revived Shyster as a regular character, a capacity in which he continues today.

The Sleuth[edit]

The Sleuth is an anthropomorphic canine. He is an English private eye operating in 19th century London and employing Mickey Mouse as an assistant. The character was created by Carl Fallberg (plot) and Al Hubbard (art) for the Disney Studio Program and intended solely for foreign publication. The first story in the series is "Mickey and the Sleuth: The Case of the Wax Dummy". Unusually for material created for the program this story appeared domestically in the Procter & Gamble Disney Magazine giveaway and then was published by Gold Key in "Walt Disney Showcase" n°38 (1977). Given their historical setting, the "Mickey and the Sleuth" stories stand apart from other Mickey Mouse continuities. It is never explained if the "Mickey Mouse" working with the Sleuth is an ancestor of the present-day Mickey or if those stories are to be included in a totally different continuity. Apart from Mickey, no other prominent Disney characters are featured in the stories.

The Sleuth is a good-natured gentleman; wearing a deerstalker hat, smoking a pipe and using a magnifying glass, he is an obvious parody of Sherlock Holmes, Mickey basically playing the part of Dr. Watson. Like his literary counterpart, he also plays the violin (albeit horribly). Unlike Sherlock Holmes, however, he is totally hopeless as a detective, being sometimes unable to figure out crimes that happen right in front of his eyes. Nevertheless, he always manages to solve his cases — hence ensuring a reputation as a great detective — either by sheer luck, or thanks to his foes' own incompetence, or simply because Mickey Mouse does all the actual detective work for him.

The Sleuth's constant foes are Professor Nefarious (a parody of Professor Moriarty), a London-based "teacher of crime" and his three henchmen-pupils Fliplip, Sidney and Armadillo. Their hideout is a rundown townhouse with the words "University of Criminal Sciences" written on its front door. While Nefarious is reasonably smart (although his own megalomania sometimes hinders his plans), his three accomplices are thoroughly inept comical villains. Mickey and the Sleuth imprison the gang at the end of each story, although Nefarious himself generally manages to escape.

Apart from Mickey — and of course, the reader — no one seems to be aware of the Sleuth's utter incompetence. Nefarious considers the Sleuth — not Mickey — as his greatest enemy. Why Mickey would keep being the assistant of such an inept detective is never explained.

Mickey and the Sleuth stories were produced up until the late 1980s.

Eli Squinch[edit]

Eli Squinch is an evil miser who sometimes teams up with Black Pete in the Mickey Mouse comics. He first appeared in "Bobo the Elephant" (1934) as the abusive owner of an elephant which Mickey later forced Squinch to sell him. In his second appearance, "Race to Riches" (1935), he teams up with Black Pete for the first time against Mickey and Horace Horsecollar.

Squinch has gone on to appear in additional Disney stories up to the present day, though generally only one story every couple of years—while a recognized character, Squinch seems never to have been one of the most popular villains.

Squinch's most recent United States appearance was in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #689 (2008), published by Gemstone.

Doctor Vulter[edit]

Doctor Vulter is a villain featured in Mickey Mouse comics. He was created by Ted Osborne (plot) and Floyd Gottfredson (plot and art) in the story Mickey Mouse and the Pirate Submarine, published in the Mickey Mouse daily strip from September 1935 to January 1936.

Dr. Vulter is an anthropomorphic ape, resembling a gorilla. He is a megalomaniacal pirate captain and mad scientist, somewhat modeled after Jules Verne's Captain Nemo character. Using a futuristic submarine and a small army of henchmen, he plagues the seas by stealing various ships which he aims to use for his plans of world conquest. His principal weapon is a machine in the form of a large claw which gives off magnetic-like energy: by placing it against a ship's hull Vulter can turn the whole metal ship into one large magnet which sticks weapons to the wall, making them useless.

Vulter's Germanic-sounding name, his uniform and monocle, as well as his plans of world domination and militaristic gang, are obvious echoes of the Nazi menace of the time.

After being defeated by Mickey, Vulter never appeared again in American stories. He was, however, used by Italian authors, starting with the 1959 story Topolino e il ritorno dell'artiglio magnetico ("Mickey Mouse and the Return of the Magnetic Claw") by Guido Martina (plot) and Giulio Chierchini (art). The character was further elaborated in this story by the claim that he never drew plans of his inventions but kept it all in his mind; this proved a bit of a problem when he suffered from amnesia. He returned occasionally and is still used from time to time by European authors.

Gideon Goat[edit]

Gideon Goat or Giddy Goat is an anthropomorphic goat, a supporting character in the Mickey Mouse comic strips of the 1930s. Gideon first appeared in the 1930 Mickey Mouse Book #1.[23] He appeared in various American and European printed Disney comics until 1938. He was usually characterized as a farmer or the local sheriff. Gideon is married to a female anthropomorphic goat named Gertie (presumably Gertrude) who also appeared in many early Mickey Mouse comics, primarily as a background character.

Promotional materials for the 1935 animated short The Band Concert include Giddy Goat as one of the characters. In the released film, however, he was replaced by a dog trombonist character.[24]

Floyd Gottfredson made regular use of the character in his comic strips and later artists sometimes borrowed the character.

Arizona Goof[edit]

Arizona Goof (original Italian name: Indiana Pipps) is an archaeologist and a cousin of Goofy. Arizona has a rare habit of not using beds, doors, or stairs. Instead, he sleeps in a tent, enters and exits houses through windows and climbs floors by a rope. Arizona is fond of a specific brand of liquorice candy (the brand is called Negritas in original Italian language version, Tuju in the Finnish language translation), which he never travels without and is addicted to the taste of, but which everyone else finds horrible. Arizona's car is an old jeep which he has named affectionately as Gippippa (Jeep + Pippo, Goofy's Italian name). Arizona has a rival archaeologist, Dr. Kranz, who is greedy and shameless and not above resorting to criminal behaviour. Arizona and Goofy look almost identical, which has been used as a plot device, when Goofy has masqueraded as Arizona to fool Dr. Kranz. For the readers' benefit, there is one small difference: Arizona has hairs dangling from his floppy ears, whereas Goofy's floppy ears are smooth.

Arizona Goof received his English name in his first American comics appearance (1991). In a couple of 2005-2006 appearances, the character was inexplicably renamed "Arizona Dipp". But more recent uses (Disney Digicomics, 2009–2010) have restored his traditional English name.

The character Arizona Goof was created by writer Bruno Sarda and artist Massimo De Vita in 1988,[disputed ] as a spoof of the film character Indiana Jones.

Kat Nipp[edit]

Kat Nipp (not to be confused with Harvey Comics character Katnip), his name a play on the word catnip, is a villainous anthropomorphic cat. Kat Nipp is an often-drunk countryside tough guy who is a rival of Mickey Mouse.

Nipp made his debut in the animated short The Opry House (1929), in which he posed as a snake for a snake-charming act—continuing to smoke his pipe all the while. Nipp's other two appearances in animation also came in 1929, with When the Cat's Away and The Karnival Kid. The latter film introduced Nipp's habit of physically abusing Mickey, here by stretching out Mickey's nose to a ridiculous length.

Kat Nipp reappeared in a 1931 sequence of the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip (in which we also meet Kat Nipp's friend Barnacle Bill, a sailor who is an expert in untying knots). Kat Nipp was also used in the strips produced in Britain for the Mickey Mouse Annual. However, the character quickly faded away and has made only a handful of comics appearances since the mid-1930s.

Rock Sassi[edit]

Rock Sassi (original Italian name; he has no English name) is a plainclothes police officer who usually works together with Detective Casey. He first appeared in the story La lunga notte del commissario Manetta in 1997.[25]

Like Casey, Rock Sassi is a bumbling and incompetent policeman. He is physically more robust than the overweight Casey and likes to dress flashily, often wearing cowboy boots, a stetson and a bolo tie.

Rock Sassi is from Texas, United States. In one story, it was revealed that his entire family consists of criminals. However, despite this, Rock Sassi is fully law-abiding and has been wanting to be a policeman since his early childhood, much to the disappointment of his family.

Clara Cluck[edit]

Clara Cluck debuted in 1934 in the Mickey Mouse cartoon Orphan's Benefit. Since then she has appeared as a semi regular character in the Mickey Mouse cartoons. In the comic books she is shown in Duck universe as Daisy Duck's best friend. Clara has been a member of Mickey's original farmyard gang since the beginning of his career, although she is seen less often than Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar.

Clara's singing is meant to be a caricature of the Bel Canto style of Opera singing popular at the time of her appearance. Some of her arias are clearly modelled on those of Tosca. Her last major appearance was as one of the musicians in Symphony Hour. Curiously, although she is seen in the rehearsal scenes at the beginning, she is not seen in the performance scenes at the end.

As with most Disney characters, she was given small cameos in "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1983) and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988). She had some appearances in Mickey Mouse Works (1999), where she is presented as Daisy Duck's neighbor. She appeared occasionally in House of Mouse (2001). In one episode of that series, "Double Date Don", she fell in love with Donald Duck and aggressively pursued him by puckering her lips in front of him, forcing him to dance with her, wearing dresses and posing provocatively to lure him in. At one point she even grabs Donald and forcibly, yet passionately, kisses him full on the lips. She almost tricked Donald into marrying her but Daisy stopped the wedding in time. In Disney comics on the other hand, she has been shown to date Gus Goose on very few occasions. She also had appeared to put Minnie Mouse in jail for driving her car through Daisy's house to deliver a famous apple pie of hers.

Clara made a cameo appearance in the Timeless River world of Kingdom Hearts II with many other classic Disney characters like Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar as one of the world's citizens. She also makes an appearance in the Mickey's Boo to You Parade and for rare meet and greets at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Originally voiced by Florence Gill and later Russi Taylor.

Spike the Bee[edit]

Spike is a small aggressive bee who is frequently an enemy of Donald and Pluto. In many of his appearances he is on a quest to gather food. He appears in Window Cleaners (1940), Inferior Decorator (1948), Bubble Bee (1949), Honey Harvester (1949), Slide, Donald, Slide (1949), Bee at the Beach (1950), Bee on Guard (1951) and Let's Stick Together (1952)

Herman Beetle[edit]

Herman appears in cartoon shorts as old man beetle telling the audience flashback stories of his youth and Donald Duck serves as his nemesis. He first appears in Bootle Beetle (1947) dodging Donald's attempts to catch him for his bug collection. His next appearance is The Greener Yard (1949), in which he is tempted to have a go at Donald's vegetables. In the next short Sea Salts (1949), he is a long time friend of Donald, both of them marooned on an island. In the last short Morris The Midget Moose (1950) he narrates the story of the same name. His name is revealed in Mickey and the Beanstalk narrated by his friend Ludwig von Drake.

Willie the Giant[edit]

Willie the Giant is a giant that appeared in the Disney cartoons Mickey and the Beanstalk (from the film Fun and Fancy Free, voiced by Billy Gilbert) and Mickey's Christmas Carol (voiced by Will Ryan). He has also made cameo appearances in Disney's House of Mouse and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He is incredibly powerful, demonstrating amazing magic powers such as flight, invisibility and shapeshifting. Despite this, he is portrayed as immature and dimwitted, given his fondness for toys and inability to pronounce certain words, such as pistachio. His favorite dish is implied to be Chocolate Pot Roast with Pistachio, given his overweight appearance. In other words he is much dumber than the original giant he is based on from Jack and the Beanstalk.

In Mickey and the Beanstalk, Willie serves as the primary villain. He kidnaps a golden singing harp, which sings to make people and animals happy, for his own amusement and so that she cannot escape his clutches, he keeps her trapped in a box with a lock, although the harp seldom sings for her captor. When three poor peasants, Mickey, Donald and Goofy stumble across his castle via a giant beanstalk, Willie catches Mickey, who pretends to read his palm and discover his shape-shifting ability. Willie, delighted, offers to demonstrate this and Mickey, spotting a nearby fly-killer, suggests that he turn into a pink-winged fly. Willie instead turns into a pink bunny rabbit, which he believes is more cute and catches Mickey, Donald and Goofy with the fly-killer. Enraged, Willie grabs them, places them inside a small jewellery box, with the golden harp, but Mickey manages to escape and with the help of the singing harp who sings to put Willie to sleep, makes his way into Willie's shirt pocket and steals the key, accidentally landing in a small box of dust and pepper, making him and Willie sneeze and almost alerting him to his presence in the process. Mickey frees Donald and Goofy and they take the harp, but as Mickey tries to tie the sleeping Willie's shoe laces together, Willie spots him and follows them all the way to the beanstalk. As he climbs down, Mickey and Goofy chop the beanstalk and send Willie plummeting to his apparent death. However, the end of the short reveals that Willie is actually still alive and searching for Mickey. In one instance, he stumbles across the home of the short's narrator, Edgar Bergen and asks about Mickey. Bergen, startled to see Willie, faints and Jiminy Cricket promptly flees the scene. As Willie continues to search alone, Jiminy avoids being seen by him. On the 1963 television airing, Willie inquires about Mickey to Ludwig Von Drake, who also faints and the instances where Jiminy watches Willie are omitted.

In Mickey's Christmas Carol, Willie is portrayed in a much more positive light than he was in Mickey and the Beanstalk, serving as a supporting protagonist rather than a villain. Here, he plays the role of the Ghost of Christmas Present and helps show Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) the error of his ways by taking him to the house of his abused and underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit (Mickey Mouse) and showing him that by paying Cratchit so little despite his hard work, Cratchit's son, Tiny Tim, will soon die of his illness. This revelation moves Scrooge to tears, but Willie disappears before he can ask him if he still has a chance to change his ways.

Willie the Giant makes a brief cameo in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit on a poster in a movie theater in Toontown.

Willie is also a minor recurring character in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse children's series. Here, he is friends with Mickey. He still lives in the sky, only this time in a giant farm house.

J. Audubon Woodlore[edit]

J. Audubon Woodlore is the park ranger of Brownstone National Park (a play on Yellowstone National Park), one of the features of which is a geyser named "Old Fateful" (a play on Old Faithful). He was originally voiced by Bill Thompson. Woodlore's name is an inside joke-reference to John James Audubon, the famous 19th Century ornithologist/naturalist/painter. He is currently voiced by Corey Burton and Jeff Bennett.

He first appeared in two 1954 Donald Duck cartoons Grin and Bear It and Grand Canyonscope. (It is revealed in the latter that Woodlore was a postal worker prior to his Ranger days.) One year later, in Beezy Bear, he repeatedly admonishes Humphrey the Bear "You bathe too much!", not realising that the bear is really just hiding in the pond from the bees whose honey he was trying to steal.

Woodlore prides himself on running a tight ship and is frequently oblivious to those (particularly Donald) who are humiliated and/or insulted by his constant scoldings and criticisms. Despite his somewhat authoritarian attitude, he cares about the bears as if they were his children...although he once bamboozled them into cleaning up the park for him (so that he could nap in a hammock) by singing the jazzy ditty "In the Bag". When Woodlore's lazy motive became apparent, the bears irritably bagged him along with the litter.

Most of the bears are respectful of Woodlore, except Humphrey the Bear, whom the Ranger often lectures.

The Ranger also made an appearance in "Down and Out With Donald Duck" (also known as "A Duckumentary"), a mockumentary about Donald Duck's infamous temper, where he is out of uniform, now working in an employment agency where Donald seeks a job.

Woodlore's name appeared on the entrance sign at Disneyland's Bear Country land, as the resident park ranger.

Woodlore most recently appeared in an episode of Disney's House of Mouse.

Ortensia the Cat[edit]

Ortensia is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's girlfriend. She appeared in the Oswald shorts starting with The Banker's Daughter, replacing Oswald's former love interest, a much more feminine and sultry rabbit named Fanny in production materials. Ortensia's original name during the production of the Oswald shorts was Sadie (as referenced in the title of the animated short: Sagebrush Sadie). However, the names for Oswald's love interests were never widely publicized, which is likely the reason she was given a new name in Epic Mickey, following the alliteration pattern of Mickey and Minnie's mirrored relationship. As can be seen in her character design, she was very much a precursor to Minnie Mouse. Often in the original Oswald shorts, Oswald would compete with Pete for her affection. She also appeared in Oswald shorts produced by Charles Mintz and later Walter Lantz. In the Lantz shorts, she was called "Kitty". To add some confusion, copyright synopses of some Mintz and Lantz shorts erroneously refer to Ortensia/Kitty as Fanny. Since Fanny lost her hat in her first appearance and never found it Ortensia had her first appearance without a hat and was added it later in the cartoon Sky Scrappers.

As a side note, Ortensia is an Italian name that means "gardener", something that some of her art related to Epic Mickey shows to be a hobby of hers.

The Mad Doctor[edit]

The Mad Doctor (also known as Dr. XXX) is a human mad scientist who serves as an infrequent antagonist of Mickey's. He first appeared in his self-titled short, in which he attempted to operate on Pluto by attaching his body to that of a chicken; however, the entire sequence turned out to be a dream. Many years later, he served as a major antagonist in both Epic Mickey games.

Non-anthropomorphic characters[edit]

Butch the Bulldog[edit]

Butch the Bulldog is Pluto's nemesis. He first appeared in the film Bone Trouble where Pluto tried to steal his bone. Ever since then Butch has been antagonizing Pluto. Sometimes, Butch competes with Pluto for the affections of Dinah the Dachshund. At one point Butch even antagonized Figaro the Kitten. Butch appears in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse where his owner is Pete.

Fifi the Peke[edit]

Fifi the Peke is Minnie's "prize pooch" and Pluto's girlfriend. In one cartoon Pluto and Fifi even had five puppies together. One of them was eventually named Pluto Junior. Later on Fifi was replaced as Pluto's girlfriend by Dinah the Dachshund. Fifi disappeared from animation but she appeared in the line of merchandise called "Minnie 'n Me" as Minnie's dog.

Dinah the Dachshund[edit]

Dinah the Dachshund appears as Pluto's girlfriend although she sometimes dates Butch the Bulldog as well. She first appears in The Sleepwalker. In Canine Casanova, when she winds up in the dog pound, Pluto saves the day, becomes Dinah's hero and the two start dating. In other cartoons such as In Dutch, Pluto's Heart Throb and Wonder Dog, the two engage in further romance, often with Butch the Bulldog as Pluto's romantic rival. Dinah has more recently appeared in several cartoon shorts in the anthology series Mickey MouseWorks and Disney's House of Mouse, where Pluto's Arrow Error shows Dinah as Butch's girlfriend first with no serious interest in Pluto.

Louie the Mountain Lion[edit]

Louie the Mountain Lion is a mountain lion who appears as an occasional antagonist of Donald and Goofy. He first appears in two Donald Duck shorts and later Goofy shorts. He is buffonish and sometimes speaks English grumbly. His first appearance was in Lion Down where he attempts to eat Donald. In Hook, Line and Sinker he has a son. He also appears in Disney's House of Mouse.

Milton the Cat[edit]

Milton the Cat is a red ginger Siamese cat and a rival of Pluto. He often competes with Pluto for food. He made his first appearance in the short Puss-Cafe with his pal Richard. He next appears in the short Plutopia where he talks in Pluto's dream. He made a final appearance in the short Cold Turkey fighting with Pluto for a roast turkey but both of them ended up with nothing.

Salty the Seal[edit]

Salty the Seal is a seal who shows up in typical seal locations (the circus, the beach, the zoo, the arctic) and annoys Pluto into chasing him, causing Pluto to get into dangerous predicaments. Salty typically saves him, leading Salty and Pluto to become best friends—until Salty's next appearance, when the cycle begins again. Salty's debut appearance came in Mickey's Circus (1936), in which he tormented Donald Duck. Pluto's Playmate (1942), Rescue Dog (1947) and the particularly famous Mickey and the Seal (1948) followed. Salty's most recent appearances are in Mickey Mouse Works and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Bent-Tail the Coyote[edit]

Bent-Tail the Coyote is a desert coyote and an opponent against Pluto. He always tries to get some food which Pluto is guarding (mostly livestock), but fails every time. He made his first appearance in The Legend of Coyote Rock trying to get at a flock of sheep. From the second short Sheep Dog onward he has a son who works with him. His last two starring shorts are Pests of the West and Camp Dog

Ajax name brand[edit]

For other uses, see Ajax (disambiguation).

Ajax, sometimes called the Ajax Corporation, is a name brand which makes several appearances in Mickey Mouse stories. An early example is in Lonesome Ghosts (1937) where Mickey, Donald and Goofy work for Ajax Ghost Exterminators. Other examples include Ajax Locksmiths, Ajax Door Fixers, Ajax Hairbow Wear Sale and Ajax Lost and Found. The name Ajax Corporation makes several appearances in the television series Mickey Mouse Works and Disney's House of Mouse. It is roughly equivalent to Warner Bros.' Acme brand. It bears no relationship to either the real-world Ajax company, a manufacturer of railroad car brake equipment, or the Ajax line of household cleaning products made and marketed by Colgate-Palmolive company, and pre-dates the introduction of Ajax cleanser by Colgate-Palmolive in 1947.

In the 1946 film Frank Duck Brings 'Em Back Alive, Donald is working for the Ajax Circus.

Disney's film version of The Little House (1952) features a company called Ajax Wrecking – Moving.

In the Disneyland episode "Duck for Hire" (1957), Donald Duck visits the Ajax Employment Agency.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Mickey Mouse "Universe" Guide by David Gerstein (1996)
  2. ^ Mickey Mouse Comic Universe at TV Tropes
  3. ^ Holliss, Richard; Brian Sibley (1986). Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: His Life and Times. New York: Harper & Row. p. 33. ISBN 0-06-015619-8. 
  4. ^ The Mickey Mouse "Universe" Guide by David Gerstein
  5. ^ "Mickey Mouse in Blaggard Castle" (1932) is an example of this.
  6. ^ Mickey Mouse daily strip, February 29, 1932.
  7. ^ Example: "Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot," daily strip serial, 1939.
  8. ^ Examples: "Mouseton, The Eagle Has Landed," Mickey Mouse Adventures 14 (1991); "The 'Lectro Box" reprint, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories 570 (1992).
  9. ^ Example: "Fantasy Island," Walt Disney Giant 5 (1996).
  10. ^ Example: "Back From the Brink," Walt Disney's Comics and Stories 661 (2005); Mouseton and Duckburg are identified and seen side-by-side as characters fly overhead.
  11. ^ a b c d e John Grant, The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters
  12. ^ Julius the Cat
  13. ^ Dave Smith, Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia
  14. ^ INDUCKS
  15. ^ a b c d Fuchs, Wolfang J., ed. (August 2006). "Gamma - Der Mensch der Zukunft" [Eega Beeva - The human of the future]. Heimliche Helden - Band 4: Gamma [Clandestine heroes - Volume 4: Eega Beeva] (in German) (1st ed.). Egmont Ehapa. pp. 4–12. ISBN 3-7704-0693-1. 
  16. ^ a b c "60 Jahre Gamma - Das Wesen aus der Zukunft!" [60 years of Eega Beeva - The being from the future!] (in German). Egmont Ehapa. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  17. ^ "Pflip Index". INDUCKS. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  18. ^ "Gamma" [Eega Beeva] (in German). Micky Maus-Magazin. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  19. ^ "Search results (stories featuring Eega Beeva but not Mickey Mouse)". INDUCKS. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  20. ^ Jackson, Kathy (2006). Walt Disney: Conversations (1st ed.). University Press of Mississippi. p. 120. ISBN 1-57806-713-8. 
  21. ^ Topolino e la dimensione Delta ("Mickey Mouse in the Delta Dimension") by Romano Scarpa, published in 1959
  22. ^ Topolino e Bip-Bip alle sorgenti mongole ("The Sacred Spring of Seasons Past," 1959) by Romano Scarpa
  23. ^ COA I.N.D.U.C.K.S. World-wide database about Disney comics
  24. ^ "Our "Mouse-tro" Takes the Baton!". D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans. 2010-02-25. 
  25. ^ Rock Sassi at the INDUCKS

External links[edit]

See also[edit]