Dishney: Mickey Mouse Makeover!

So first Dora the Explorer, then My Little Ponies and then Strawberry Shortcake were given brand new, “grown up,” hipper looks for the too cool, tech-obsessed, short attention span of Gen-Y. But the next familiar cartoon character to receive an extreme makeover?
    
Mickey Mouse.

Yep.

Fearing that the Mouse has transmogrified into something more of a corporate icon than a cartoon character loved and sought after by generations and generations the world over, Disney has chosen to “re-imagine” him for the younger generations.

In this story published by the New York Times, Disney is said to be quietly kicking off the not-so-easy task of reconfiguring Mickey Mouse's image–which, apparently includes the way Mickey talks, the way he walks, his appearance… and even his house at the theme parks.

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Messing with something as iconic as Mickey? Probably not the safest
idea. But the company seems to think it necessary: Sales of Mickey swag
have declined within the United States, consisting of less than 20% of
their overall merch intake.

However: Even we'll admit that
Epic Mickey–the much hyped video game that has a tentative release date
of “not before fall of next year”–featuring a twisted, kind-of-creepy
Mickey running around in some sort of post-apocalyptic Disneyland looks like it has tons of potential. The NY Times piece reports
it will even feature a “disemboweled, robotic Donald Duck” and a
sinister version of “It's a Small World.”

All this news
comes on the heels of the major announcement that the Walt Disney Company has
finally received the green light from China to open a new theme park…
after 20 years of negotiation.
   
Disney, however,
recognizes the high risk of messing with a global icon and plans on treading forward lightly. Personally, we
can't wait to for the backlash when they start drawing the Mouse with
(giant, mouse-sized) iPod buds and red skinny jeans. Who knows: Maybe Donald will even get
some pants next.

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