Adventures of Mickey Mouse
This style still shows the rat-like characteristics which were completely gone by the time Disney did Fantasia less than a decade later.
The Adventures of Mickey Mouse
Copyright 1931 Walt Disney productions
David McKay Company, Publishers
Cover to the 1931 Adventures of Mickey Mouse.
Even ragged used copies like this sell for
$300.00 or more to collectors.
I was trying to find out who was the artist for the little book "The Adventures of Mickey Mouse" from 1931. The"50th Anniversary Edition" reprint provides no indication, though a number of the drawings have "Walt Disney" as the signature for the artist.
The three sections are simple adventure tales, though quite outdated by contemporary standards for children's books. The center tale is told entirely in rhyming couplets, in which Mickey has a run in with Peg Leg Pete over some buried pirate treasure. The tale begins with:
Mickey Mouse was full of fun.
He'd risen early with the sun,
And now was on his merry way
To hunt up some adventure gay.
Behind him loped his old houn' dog
Who'd often stop to sniff a log
Or any other thing in view,
For he sought bold adventure too.
The artwork is fun to look at, it has a looseness to it that fits with the styles I have seen in cartoon art from the early 20th century, before the art deco influence of the 1930s sharpened up the corners and shapes of cartoon art (compare, say, Dick Tracy or other strips that emphasized a connection to the angles and straight lines of deco).
Click on the images to see enlargements. Notice how peculiar the rat looks on the page in which Mickey is playing to an audience. It looks like something that might appear in a Mad Magazine satirizing Mickey Mouse, instead of a serious effort to draw one of his animal compatriots in a way which fit with the other stylized animal drawings.
Mickey Mouse. See the rat in the bottom. Click to enlarge
Mickey MouseMickey Mouse
Original Page February 2008