At the end of 2016, the year of Disney’s “Rock the Dots” campaign celebrating Minnie Mouse, Disney Editions published a coffee table book called The Art of Minnie Mouse. It featured some brief text chronicling her milestones and film appearances, but was mostly comprised of new artwork by various artists from Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. In celebration of Mickey Mouse’s 90th Anniversary, a companion book called The Art of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse is now available.
Just like The Art of Minnie Mouse, The Art of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse starts with Mickey’s filmography from Steamboat Willie to Mickey and the Roadster Racers. The second section, “Mickey’s Milestones,” gives a rundown of his many achievements, including film innovations, awards, and theme parks. But the section you no doubt expected from the title takes up about 2/3rds of the page count, “Mickey’s Gallery.” It starts with a gatefold full of mosaic images of Mickey through the years.
The Minnie Mouse version grouped the artwork by theme or style, but the Mickey Mouse book makes no attempt to follow any form of layout. As you scroll through the pages, you’ll find a varied assortment of abstract pieces, pop art, kawaii, photography, and digital art. None of the pieces have titles and the page simply lists the artist and the materials used, which is a shame as a title might have given the reader a little more information about the piece.
Many of the pieces have similarities to the work featured in The Art of Tennessee Loveless: The Mickey Mouse TEN X TEN X TEN Contemporary Pop Art Series by Dave Bossert. I personally recommend that book over this one for its more cohesive theme and ability to connect the reader with the artist. This release feels a little impersonal by not providing any information about the artwork or the artists featured.
I recommend this book to eclectic art collectors who have a deep appreciation for Mickey Mouse and varying art forms. My favorite piece features Mickey and Minnie as they appeared in the original plush dolls from the 1930’s posed for a picture. Another that really appealed to me features characters from the Pixar shot film The Blue Umbrella, but they’re wearing mouse ears in this rendering. The piece I found the least appropriate is a collage of Mickey’s various forms in Disney Emoji Blitz style, which feels too commercial in this book of otherwise original or throwback art.
The Art of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse makes a great companion piece to The Art of Minnie Mouse. If you don’t already own either, the pair make a great addition to your holiday wish list. However, the thing that you must know before you buy is that these books are not a collection of classic artwork from Mickey’s various screen appearances, but rather a collection of modern art inspired by the lovable character and his storied history.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.