From Steamboat Willie to Motorboat Mickey



Way back in 1928, Walt Disney's legendary creation Mickey Mouse sort of made his debut in the animated featurette Steamboat Willie.

It was a 'sort of' debut because Steamboat Willie was in fact the third animation that Mickey appeared in, following Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho. However, the earlier two cartoons didn't appeal enough to distributors for them to take them on. Thus, Steamboat Willie was the first Mickey Mouse film to receive distribution, and it's considered important for many reasons, including the fact that it's the first animation to feature synchronised sound.

The title takes the - ahem - mickey out of comedian Buster Keaton's film Steamboat Bill, Jr. The title of Keaton's flick refers to a song, 'Steamboat Bill', which happens to feature in Steamboat Willie along with 'Turkey in the Straw'. In fact, what with the synchronised sound, an argument could be made that Steamboat Willie is the very first music video; it is, after all, a story built around two feature tunes. Consider, though, how quickly animated features with synchronised sound developed: it's only 12 years until Disney's Fantasia, a timeless masterpiece that wedded music and imagery so well. It's worth nothing that another part of the plot involves love interest Minnie Mouse almost missing the boat.



In the 90-odd years from his not-quite debut, Mickey has come a long way, and he's all over the place.  Clearly, I can't avoid him, no matter where I happen to be strolling after work - whether it's on the entrance to a house in suburban Glebe after recording the audio of a spoken word gig, or in the window of a clothes shop in the high street of that fashion capital, Parramatta, as you'll see.

Although, in this instance, Mickey's activities are a little questionable. What exactly is Mickey Mouse doing, with his back to us, on this top? Where's Minnie now?

It seems somewhat of a distance from Steamboat Willie to 'motor-boating Mickey'.


Motorboating Mickey




2012 Pirelli Calendar

The 2012 Pirelli Calendar has been published, and Fashionista has provided a preview citing Italian Vanity Fair’s  preview of “the classiest pin-up girlie calendar ever”. 

In much the same way that voicing a character on an episode of The Simpsons and appearing in Woody Allen films were once measures of having ‘made it’, the Pirelli Calendar bestows prestige upon the women depicted therein. And the photographer who captured them. The calendar itself cannot be purchased – rather, it is a gift given to valued business associates and other VIPs. This year the women got their kit off for former model Mario Sorrenti. This is his photo of Saskia de Brauw. Saski-de-Brauw-Pirelli2-e1323198418956If you want to see it in its full glory (read: I’m too chickensh*t to risk litigation),visit the Pirelli website. Or Saskia â€™s. (Or the website of anyone who is less chickensh*t or has a better standing with Pirelli.) 

Meanwhile, if  you’re interested in cool calendars of beautiful babes, can I recommend the 2012 Women Lifesavers Calendar. It features the work of Joshua Rablin, it’s a fundraiser for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation and various surf lifesaving clubs. One of the models is Ali Glenny who is such an absolute glamour, I wouldn’t be surprised if she winds up in a Pirelli calendar down the track.

As it happens, JigoCity is doing a deal on the 2012 Women Lifesavers Calendar for the next little while…

Josh Rablin's portrait of Ali Glenny