Anti-War Short “Mickey Mouse in Vietnam” Resurfaces Online

There’s been a lot of buzz online this past week about a newly discovered Mickey Mouse short, but it’s not anything made by the Disney studio. It’s the resurfacing of the rare 1968 short Mickey Mouse in Vietnam produced by painter W. Lee Savage and graphic designer Milton Glaser.

The one-minute short isn’t technically accomplished, but manages to make a powerful and subversive statement through the manipulation of the famed graphic icon. Within seconds of arriving in Vietnam, Mickey Mouse—that all-American symbol of goodness and hope—is destroyed, and along with it, the myth of American moral superiority.

(via DangerousMinds.net)


  • Jen Hurler

    I know it’s not made by Disney, but it’s still interesting to see this in comparison to all of the WWII propaganda films that the studio made for the US Army. This one was certainly more direct in getting its message across.
    I love that this is still an artform where works are being rediscovered and accessible.

  • SheZow

    Might explain why there wasn’t any WWII propaganda shorts with Mickey.

  • Ryan

    It’s been taken down already??

  • Mark Neeley

    Amid, it looks like the video posted was taken down already. “Sorry, this video does not exist” message.

    • AmidAmidi

      I just posted another YouTube version of it.

  • mawnck

    Well that didn’t last long.

  • Gavin Mouldey

    how about a spoiler alert?

    • AmidAmidi

      Ok. Mickey dies.

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    Was this film originally silent or was it released with sound?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I always wonder that myself. If I had the nerve to add a soundtrack here, I would say anything before the gunshot is a standard Mickey Mouse cartoon music one might hear in the late 20′s (let’s say “The Barnyard Battle”), then you have the gunshot, perhaps give it a slight echo effect and slowly cue in The Doors’ “The End” as we see Mickey’s final scene. That would work perfectly.

  • Inkan1969

    A character walks into a scene and gets shot: end of story.

    What’s so powerful about that?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      You do have to put yourself in the time frame this was made in to fully understand it’s blatant message.

    • Keen Bean

      I think it’s pretty much the norm in this time to see someone not glorifying what war is. A lot of propaganda back then tried to hide the fact that war is a horrible thing and that people were dying. It’s interesting to see a cartoon show what real news couldn’t. Powerful back then, the pull sorta dies in modern days but yeah it’s pretty dope still

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I wonder what Walt Disney Productions thought of this.

    • AliasElias

      This might not have been made at all if Walt had lived another coupl’a years.

  • Roberto Severino

    Interesting concept from a historical perspective, but the execution wasn’t that great.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I still dig the slow zoom-up shot of Mickey at the end personally.

  • Palmer P.

    So if someone did the same today, what do you think we’d get? Dora Explores Kabul? Finn and Jake Go To Syria?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Probably (Spongebob would probably follow the same fate as well).

  • Jeff

    Yep, soldiers get killed in combat. Pretty lame.

  • RJ

    It looks like that fake Marxist propaganda cartoon “Worker & Parasite” that Krusty The Clown once replaced an Itchy & Scratchy short with…

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com ElliotCowan

    Note from Boingboing: Update: Adam Savage writes, “Lee Savage did not die a couple of years after Vietnam, as Milton seems to suggest. Lee Savage was, in fact my father and he directed inked and animated the Mickey Mouse film which he co-wrote with Milton. My dad died in 1999 after a long bout with Alzheimer’s and was always very proud of the Mickey film.”