Mickey Mouse Gets A Makeover: A Case Study in Changing Your Image


Pam Whiting, Vice President of Communications & Media Relations

So it’s early Saturday morning and I’m trolling around the Internet, when I read The Kansas City Star’s editorial on the Disney Company’s update of the iconic mouse’s image.  The headline read:  “No more Mr. Nice Mouse: Mickey doesn’t need to be edgier.”

 News of Mickey’s makeover has been out there for a while, ever since Disney Interactive Studios announced a new video game – to be released next fall – called “Epic Mickey.” 

It’s Mickey as action hero. 

Disney Interactive Studios

Disney Interactive Studios

The blog reaction – along with The Star’s – has been interesting to read:  lots of folk railing against the changing of their beloved rodent.

Please forgive us if we in Kansas City feel a particular attachment to the king of Disney characters.  After all, he was born here – based on a real mouse that nibbled Uncle Walt’s pencils and with whom the young cartoonist shared his cheese sandwiches.  (Would Mickey have been as famous if he’d remained “Mortimer,” as Walt Disney originally named him?)

AOL’s Daily Finance reports, “Along with the game, Disney is also re-imagining everything about the character. The studio plans to tweak his clothing, personality, and home, presenting a fresh face to the Disney Channel, Disney World, and the Internet.”

It’s already happening.  These characters are now being sold in Japan:



(Remember – Mickey went global a long time ago.)

So what do YOU think?  Are the imaginators at Disney nuts – or is this an incredibly smart move to refresh and revitalize their number one character?

For my part, I recall that Mickey hasn’t always been so nice.  Steamboat Willie showed him in a mischievous light, and he certainly wasn’t behaving himself as he commandeered all those brooms in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

 Still, I’m not sure I’d buy a Mickey wearing a chain with his baseball cap askew.  But then, I’m not in that demographic!

Your thoughts?


13 Responses to “Mickey Mouse Gets A Makeover: A Case Study in Changing Your Image”

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    Mickey Mouse Gets A Makeover: A Case Study in Changing Your Image | The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

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