Turning back to toon world

Turning back to toon world

Children these days need only switch on the television and they have a whole range shows to choose from. Whether it ‘Chota Bheem’, who has become one of the most loved cartoon characters, or shows like ‘Motu Patlu’, ‘Pakdam Pakdai’, ‘Ben 10’ and ‘Pokemon’, kids these days have a lot to choose from.

However, there was a time when characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Minnie Mouse were the only form of children’s cartoon entertainment.

To date, the mouse with his signature red shorts and yellow boots remains popular, not only with children, but adults who refuse to let go of their inner-child. On Mickey Mouse’s 86th birthday, people talk about what the tiny mouse means to them.

Krithika says it reminds her of a simpler time. “The cartoon was educational, funny and it tickled your mind.” Nikita Abhyankar says, “There is something about Mickey that simply makes your day. It’s probably the innocence on his face. I also like the fact his wardrobe hasn’t changed although everything else in the world did.”

Soumik Kulkat says he likes Mickey the best of the gang because, “It’s probably the fluffy ears and I’ve felt that he’s the most balanced of the bunch. Like Donald is too hyper, and Goofy and Daffy are too flashy...he’s the one who will quietly get everyone else out of trouble.”

Shreanca says that this was the cartoon she grew up with. “There weren’t that many cartoons at that time and this was amazing, from the storyline, voice and artwork. When I was in college, we were made to watch ‘Steamboat Willie’ and sketch Mickey. That’s when you realise there is so much to the character.”

 Although Mickey had a humble beginning in ‘Steamboat Willie’, a short film directed by Walt Disney and  Ub Iwerks, way back in 1928, he has gone on to become the largest Disney franchise in the world.

 “I used to draw when I was young and I drew a lot of Mickey sketches. He was on a lot of merchandise - pencil boxes, colouring books - so it was easy to copy him. Even with access to the internet, copying off school merchandise was easy,” says Krithika. Agni Paul adds, “My school notebooks would have rough pencil sketches of him as I found him easy to draw.”

Mickey is more than just a cartoon character. “I used to watch Mickey on my grandpa’s black and white tv as a child, and it was an even better experience watching him in colour,” says Agni.

Ulrich Armand Willy Ouhi says, “I like him because he is very funny and taught me so many things, like how to overcome a challenge and face to a problem.” The little mouse will always live on, no matter how big other cartoon franchises grow. Soumik has changed his name to ‘Mickey Kulkat’ on Facebook.

He says, “I’m not sure whether I liked Mickey because of my nickname or I got the name because of him. People picked up on the last part of my name and it lasted. Now it has become Mickey.”

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