When Disney created last year’s Wii game Epic Mickey, it was touted as the first step in an overall mission to re-brand the Mickey Mouse character and return him to his rascally origins—back when Mickey wasn’t above a fistfight or two, playing pranks on his friends, or even getting a little date rape-y with Minnie—rather than the innocuous spokes-rodent he’s become. That effort is still fairly tentative, especially considering Epic Mickey was met with mostly tepid reviews, so it’s uncertain whether the new, old Mickey would factor into the first Mickey Mouse feature film that’s now said to be in the early stages of development. After all, Disney has long shied away from putting Mickey front and center in a feature, even when he was at his most blandly likable, not wanting to chance damaging its most valuable icon on a film that could fail.
So one definitely has to keep that in mind when considering the tidbit of news dropped when Bleeding Cool recently interviewed Disney animation vet Burny Mattinson, who said he’s working on a “Mickey, Donald, Goofy feature film idea.” Mattinson acknowledges that he still has to pitch it to Disney higher-ups—a concept that would be something of a comeback for the increasingly rarely-seen Disney gang, who have appeared primarily on Disney Channel TV shows and the occasional theatrical short in recent years, but one that would also require convincing the studio bosses to take the chance they've more or less avoided since Walt Disney was still alive and putting out lit cigars on Jews. [Note: This is a joke, based on years of slanderous myth. There is no evidence that Walt Disney ever smoked cigars.]
And of course, the idea of this new, “Dark Mickey” leading the pack may be even more of a long shot, considering Mattinson’s involvement: He’s best known for his work on the 1960s Winnie The Pooh films, and has most recently completed a new Winnie The Pooh that hearkens back to those same hand-drawn classics. However, whether Mickey would be the mischievous scamp of old or the more recent, cheerfully lobotomized version, the most reassuring thing about this news is that, should his film take flight, Mattinson seems like the one guy who would keep it from turning into a live-action/CGI abomination. And we can all get behind that.
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