Monday, February 16, 2015
The Mickey Mouse Reader edited by Garry Apgar
The Mickey Mouse Reader is basically a collection of news stories and articles about Mickey Mouse and Disney. It starts off with the birth of Disney, and people catching on to the fact that a star was born, and ends with a series of analysis articles about the famous mouse, and musings about its future. Occasionally, there are notes about the articles at the end, and in the appendix are the original versions of certain translated pieces.
For me, the first part was a bit boring at times. Some of the articles were basically announcements about events, which I didn't find interesting. Others, like Nazi Germany's reaction to Disney was interesting. I basically preferred the Op-Ed pieces and interviews to things that were simply announcing facts. Trivia fans may find that interesting though.
Overall, though, you get an idea of how Mickey Mouse came to be. He grew from a lovable scamp to an icon of the twentieth century, at the same time, growing from a mischievous mouse to the embodiment of respectability, which makes it difficult to play pranks. Hence, the development of Donald Duck, who can get away with things that Mickey can't. While Walt Disney was alive, this seemed to be a good thing, but now, some people think that it's holding the company back. The last few essays think about the future of The Mouse - how can the company reinvent the mouse while keeping to tradition?
Although a bit repetitive at times, this book gives you a good feel of how Mickey Mouse (and by extension, Disney as it is) came to be.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.