Underground filmmaker and historian (“Hollywood Babylon”) Kenneth Anger has made a new experimental short, MOUSE HEAVEN, “reflecting on the iconic power of Mickey Mouse and commenting on the cultural and sentimental value placed on commercial merchandise.”The film, focusing on mechanical Disney toys made in pre-Hitler Germany, was originally bankrolled by Paul Getty (grandson of oil magnate J. Paul Getty). According to Anger:
“It’s a study of animated toys of a rare nature. These are collectables of early Walt Disney toys. I’ve always loved Mickey Mouse since I was a little boy and I’m outraged about the current Disney company’s attitude to Mickey Mouse. I mean they think they own it but all the children of the world own Mickey Mouse. And I have devised a way to star Mickey Mouse in a film that the current Disney company can’t legally object to, by filming an antique toy collection of early Disney toys. And it’s just a coincidence all those toys happen to be Mickey Mouse. I’m actually being very respectful of early Mickey Mouse. I hate later Mickey Mouse, because from “Fantasia” on the Disney people decided to humanize the mouse, remove his tail- which is a kind of castration- and turn him into a little boy who is a sort of a goody-two-shoes. And he’s no longer the mischievous, sadistic mouse that he was in the beginning. He used to do nasty little tricks like twist the udders of cows and things like that. And that’s the only mouse I’m interested in, I mean this kind of demon ‘fetish’ figure.”
It screens Thursday, January 20, 2005 at 8:15 PM (with Anger in person introducing the film with three other shorts) at The Museum of Modern Art, Theatre 1, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY.