The Origin Of The Creepy Live-Action Mickey Mouse


Over the years Mickey Mouse  has had many different interpretations and representations both on film and in real life. From being a hand drawn cartoon to a person in a suit and the theme parks.

Many of them are well loved and adorable while others appear rather disturbing. For example this was the Mickey and Minnie at the opening of Disneyland in 1955.

But with it being the Halloween Season, let’s take a look at perhaps the most creepy and downright nightmare inducing version ever put to screen.


Now, what is this and where did this monstrosity come from?

Well first of all, it’s technically not Mickey Mouse. Despite the look intentionally copying that of the Disney icon, this character is actually a nameless mouse. And what is he from? The 1934 MGM production of Babes in Toyland.

The film was an adaptation of the 1903 opera of the same name and stared the then popular comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as two workers for the toymaker of Toyland. They are side characters that drive the plot forward while the rest of the film plays out similarly to the original opera.

The film had started with RKO wanting to produce and animated adaptation with Disney, however the budget was too high for the time. Producer Hal Roach then bought the rights from RKO and then went to MGM to produce the live-action version. 

If you’re wondering “Where does the creepy Mickey Mouse fit in?” here’s the part where we get to that.

The “mouse” is actually a monkey dressed up as mouse. You see, in the world of Toyland the inhabitants are all from classical nursery rhymes and fairy tales. The Three Little Pigs, Little Bo Peep, Mother Goose, the Old Lady that Lived in a Shoe and so on.

The mouse is the companion of the Cat that Plays the Fiddle. The two are first seen together with the cat (a man in a cat suit) plays the fiddle and the mouse (a monkey in a mouse suit) dances and then falls asleep.

The mouse makes frequent appearances through the film, often causing mischief along with the cat.

The mouse even reappears at the finale dropping bombs on the invading goblin army that it attacking Toyland.

Overall the character is simply a minor one that makes small appearances and is a reference to the classic Disney Character. But he is still creepy.

The film released in 1934 in Black & White and was 79 minutes long. In 1950 a 73 minute edit called March of the Wooden Soldiers was released by Lippert Pictures. This version has since entered the public domain while the original is still owned by MGM/Amazon. There were revisions of the film in 1991 and 2006 that colorized the film.

That is the story of the creepy live-action Mickey Mouse. I hope you found it interesting as much as it was disturbing. Perhaps instead of watching this during the intended Christmas season, as it was originally intended, to be you can watch it during Halloween and see all the creepy masks and makeup this film has to offer.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.