Little Mouse

I am a huge Mickey Mouse fan! Have been ever since I was a boy!

I love Mickey so much that when I was little I dressed up as the famous Disney mouse for numerous consecutive Halloweens. My Mom gave up on trying to persuade me to change costumes by saying “Why don’t you try being a cute lil’ Dracula” or “Don’t you want to be a Ninja Turtle this year? Cowabunga!” and just accepted the fact that she was going to have to dust off and slightly alter the old Mickey costume once more, for the 4th year in a row.

Me as Mickey Mouse for Halloween in the 80’s! How cute am I?!!?

One year Mom was able to convince me to be a cowboy … but I still had to have some Mickey Mouse involved!

You may even say that I was possessed by Mickey Mouse. In fact, my parents have video evidence of me being silly (what else is new?) and talking in a high-pitched voice saying “Hi! I’m Mickey Mouse!”. When my parents kindly ask “Garrett, use your normal voice.”, I creepily respond by shrieking “Garrett isn’t here right now, but you can talk to me, Mickey, if you want!” The video is an old 1980’s VHS home movie, and I have absolutely no idea how I’d go about transferring and uploading it to YouTube so I can’t show it to you, but I think just writing about it is embarrassing enough for me!

Now, you might be asking yourself “What’s this got to do with Italy?”. I’m getting there, don’t worry!

Mickey Mouse is known around the world either by the original American name that Walt Disney gave him or by a country’s local version (ie. Mickey Maus, Miki Miška, Ratón Mickey, Mikki Mús…).

Italy is an exception to this rule. In Italia, Mickey Mouse is known as Topolino (which translates to Little Mouse) and there’s an interesting historical reason behind this name change.

The cover of the first issue of the famous Topolino magazine in Italy … still read by children (and adults) even today!

During the period of fascism in Italy, Benito Mussolini outlawed the publication of foreign comic strips, especially American ones. The only one American comic that was “allowed” was Mickey Mouse, apparently because Mussolini’s children loved the character so much. The way to get away with publishing it anyways was to get rid of Mickey’s filthy American name and give him a new Italian one that was more in line with the ideals of strong Italian nationalism and pride. Fascism in Italy may have died off but the name stuck, and to this day Italians refer to the Disney star as Topolino.

Call him whatever you want, all I know is that Mickey Mouse continues to have a special place in my heart!

I think it’s quite clear which Disney character is my favorite. What’s yours? Leave a comment below! 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Little Mouse

  1. Baloo the bear from Jungle Book, Thumper the Rabbit from Bambi. Or the hunter who shot Bambi’s mother. Just Kidding, Just Kidding.

  2. Aw garrett I love this!! At twenty five I made my first trip to Disney CA this year. I thought all the characters were there all day every day, so was disappointed to hear this wasn’t the case. To give you some background, my cousins call me Minnie and I am literally her biggest fan. I huffed around the park and at about five pm I saw a glimpse. I swirled in a high pitched voice “ohmigawd look it’s Minnie!!!!” to find that actually it was no longer my sister who was behind me but some really hot guys who looked less than impressed. Bothered? Hell no I got a picture with her, elbowing all the kids out the way like a right crazy! 🙂

    • That’s cool that you finally got your picture taken with Minnie (even if you had to attack the children)! I go nuts at DisneyLand/DisneyWorld too! I’m just like a kid and get all excited when I see the characters!

  3. Ciao, my favourite Disney character is by faaar…..Paperino! As you know this is Donald Duck in Italian, and this is another change of name, but also Zio Paperone (Uncle Scrooge) is one of my favourites. I never realised why the names were changed, so thanks for writing about this. My simple explanation was that in Italian the names were easier to remember and to help children to identify the characters.

    • Paperino is great too! I especially love the old “classic” comics where he does really mean stuff to Huey, Dewey, and Louie (Qui, Quo, and Qua in Italian). He seems to have mellowed out over time. That, plus I don’t think it’s politically correct to beat the crap out of your nephews in today’s comics and cartoons! 🙂

  4. Hello Garrett followers, I,m Charlene Garretts Mom.
    Had some concerns about Garrett going to Kindergarten. Would he be Garrett Or Mickey?
    Had a family discussion do we leave him along and see what happens, or go to Therophy.
    Well all these years later I think he is sorta ok, but one never knows. Just remembered, it was Mickey who usually won. Hours @ hours of that voice probably made me the wack job I am today

  5. I’d have to say Donald Duck. Nobody can throw a fit like Donald, except maybe Daffy, another of my favorites, but alas, not a Disney character. I must have a thing for disturbed water fowl…

    You’ve never seen “Jungle Book”?!!! Definitely a must-see. King Louie (orangutan) singing “I Wanna Be Like You” is a classic – and easy to sing when you’ve had a sip too many, trust me on this one. Speaking of trust, “Trust in Me” by Kaa (the big snake) is great too, especially in the cover version by Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees.

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