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THREE ON THE TOWN

MICKEY MOLE : A Behind-the-Screens Look at Disney Reveals Who the Big Cheese Really Was

June 13, 1993|Patt Morrison

From the secret diaries of Mickey Mouski, Red Agent: Oct. 7, 1928 -- "Steamboat Willie" finished at last. Disney enthralled by it; I can't imagine why. The only way I could act in such bourgeois dreck was to imagine myself standing once again on the deck of our heroic cruiser Aurora, which came so valiantly to the assistance of Comrade Lenin only 11 years ago this month in Petrograd, securing peace, land and bread for the workers and soldiers who had been enslaved to the accursed designs of Bloody Nicholas and his priest-ridden sycophants. P.S., will have to fire my agent. He should have negotiated a better contract for my first talkie.

Nov. 2, 1931 -- Wrapped up work on "Mickey's Orphans." Perfect agitprop vehicle. For all its surface merriment, subtext of comic exploitation of poor children should make Americans sit up and ask about their own security in this depression, and how their leaders have played them false. How right the Kremlin was to put me here, in the very pharmacy where they manufacture this powerful opiate for the masses! New sidekick, Pluto, looks to be a useful idiot.

April 16, 1934 -- Exhausted. That greedy tyrant works us too hard. Finished principal photography on "Gulliver Mickey." Put one over on old Walt -- film is Swiftian allegory of giant lying helpless and fettered under the cooperative efforts of thousands of workers, perfect symbol of the clumsy fallen giant of capitalism, netted by the fury of the people. P.S., income tax day. Will have to fire my accountant; won't let me take business deduction for Roquefort.

July 2, 1941 -- Studio strike. Disney is bolshoi P.O.'ed, took out Variety ad accusing strike leaders of Communist agitation. If only he knew the real agitator! Would have been on picket lines myself but had to spend weekend up the coast at Hearst's ranch to observe inner sanctum of capitalistic decadence.

July 28, 1942 -- War or no war, still hard to think of reactionary like Disney as ally of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. At least he's stopped putting words in my mouth. My contacts, Boris and Natasha, tell me that the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" is Hitler favorite. Disney and I working together to keep "The Three Little Pigs" out of the European theater. The things I do for the motherland.

May 11, 1945 -- Hitler dead, FDR dead. Uncle Joe is boffo. Minnie and I have new code names for our postwar work. Julius and Ethel. She's Julius, I'm Ethel. Hope this causes no confusion.

Dec. 27, 1946 -- Bad news. Am told I must be dropped from our valiant little band, the Hollywood Eleven. Seems I can't calculate a 10-year plan because I have only eight fingers. Don't think much will ever come of them without me.

Feb. 14, 1950 -- "Cinderella" released. Oligarchic slop tricked out in glass slippers; phony working-class girl abandons honest labor and the people's struggle at the drop of a broom to become a bloodsucking aristocrat. Speaking of glass slippers, a mole in Wardrobe tells me the ball gowns from "Cinderella" have been boxed up and are being shipped to what she has learned is an FBI drop in Manassas, Virginia, marked "Attention: Mary." Will have to find out what that is all about.

Feb. 6, 1953 -- Communications with Kremlin more difficult. Can relay information only obliquely. Glad I encouraged Disney to make "Peter Pan," I hope Malenkov gets the message I intend it to send (that big cabbage-head): "Peter Pan" represents alarming, growing threat of superior Western air power.

June 23, 1955 -- Could we ever have imagined Disney would play into our hands like this? The Mickey Mouse Club will soon be on national television! Communitarian ideals beamed to millions of childish minds! Between us, Minnie and I call it the "Young Pioneers." Oh, Comrade Lenin, would that you were alive, so I could send you a watch with my face on it, and you would know the perfect success of your long-ago plans! And next month, in a place called Anaheim, will open . . . Mickeyland!

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