Mickey Mouse is one of the best recognized and well regarded symbols in the world. Children are even more willing to get inoculations if Mickey�s face is on hand. Due to an aggressive merchandising bent, this Disney character has been transformed into almost every possible physical expression. The only things that I haven�t seen done with Mickey are to turn him into buildings. Perhaps that will be next.
This book provides a primarily pictorial presentation of that history, from the original drawing by Ub Iwerks back in the 1920s through to the latest fashion in Mickey Mouse watches today. In between, you will see Mickey during his cartoon career (including a list of his appearances) beginning with his speaking role in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, through the three different versions of the Mickey Mouse Club (I was disappointed that there were no large photographs of Annette!), his role as a greeter as the Disney theme parks (you�ll be fascinated by how the costume evolved), to his evolution as a drawn figure (pupils within pupils made him more appealing).
The book is loosely themed around Mickey�s initial appeal as a brainy, underdog hero . . . a sort of mouse David versus Goliath. There are brief references to the other Disney characters, including Minnie, Donald Duck, and Pluto.
Clearly, the picture�s the thing in this book. You will see ads, balloons, comic strips, lots of watches, wordworking projects, flower and topiary representations at the theme parks, movie posters, movie stills, story boards, every conceivable kind of merchandise, photographs, conceptual art (including Andy Warhol), Mickey Mouse ears, magazine covers, and sketches.
Although the book has some exposition, it is on the light side. Serious fans of Mickey would want to know a lot more. So the ideal recipient for this book would be a young person who likes Mickey, but doesn�t know very much about him.
Fans of Minnie will be very disappointed. She is almost totally ignored in the book. Since my daughter likes Minnie much better than Mickey, this would be a poor choice as a gift for her.
Those looking for the ultimate visual experience with Mickey will also find this book to be disappointing. Although it has a lot of attractive material, it could have had much, much more.
Like most compromises, the book fails to fully satisfy. I graded the book down accordingly although it is perfectly executed for its concept of providing a little background with a lot of images of Mickey.
After you finish enjoying this book, think about who you favorite cartoon character is. Why do you like that character? What traits of that character do you wish that you embodied? What other traits would make that character even more desirable?
Look for role models wherever you can find them!