Johanna Blakley

Media | Entertainment | Fashion

Mickey Mouse at the Whitney Museum

Just south of the entrance to the Whitney Museum in Manhattan my friend and I noticed a bizarre film featuring Mickey Mouse playing in a storefront window. It turned out to be Mouse Heaven by the gay avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger. I immediately assumed he must have exercised his right to “fair use” in order to make a sexually suggestive film starring the most jealously copyright-protected character in the world. (Is it just me, or does it look like Mickey is masturbating when he’s supposedly conducting that orchestra?) Fortunately, the film is available in high quality on YouTube and the short description there suggests how Anger probably avoided having to respond to any nasty letters from Disney. The film is composed of an “all toy” cast: Anger didn’t have to use any copyright protected images of Mickey to make this decidedly weird film; he simply filmed actual toys in motion . . . presumably with the permission of their owner.

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