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IT is gratifying to hear from Mr. Kay Kamen, Walt Disney's representative, who has been visiting these shores, an official denial of recent rumours current in the film world that Mickey Mouse, like lesser human stars before him, is in danger of qualifying for filmland's well-known "all washed up" label. Mr. Kamen even assures us that, so far from being dropped, there is a distinct probability that Mickey will soon be produced in all the glory of colour. Personally, I was sceptical of reports that Disney contemplated a quiet burial of the world's most famous cartoon character in order to concentrate on the more ambitious "Silly Symphonies." The Richest Rodent Apart from the fact that I cannot believe that Disney feels he has exhausted Mickey's possibilities, the little fellow is too valuable commercially. Its creator at present is stated to derive more revenue from royalties on Mickey Mouse' novelties than he has done from the films themselves. Nevertheless, the future of Mickey has been causing me some anxiety of late. A Temporary Lapse ? My own observations and the presence of an increasing number of complaints in the Picturegoer letter bag point to the conclusion that not only is the scintillating brilliance of recent "Symphonies" overshadowing the mouse star, but that the latter cartoons are definitely falling off in quality. That, of course, may be a temporary lapse due to the fact that the cartoonist has been in the throes of experimenting with and perfecting the exploitation of the new three-colour process. One hopes so rather than that it has been decided as a definite matter of policy that Mickey be entirely subordinated to his more spectacular stable-mate. Mr. Disney's greatest danger at the moment is being adopted by the highbrows who a few years ago invested Mickey with Freudian complexes and inhibitions and are, now that they have found a new love, clamouring for his extinction along with his "bourgeois barnyard" companions. Room for Both Very few screen artistes have survived the acclaim of the self-appointed intelligentsia. Mr. Disney, I hope, will not take their flattery as seriously as they take themselves. There is surely room, indeed almost a need, on the screen for both the Silly Symphony in the form in which it is now developing and the roystering, rowdy, vastly amusing Mickey Mouse we knew until recently. I have already paid my tribute to the artistic brilliance of the new colour films, but in spite of the fact that one of our more learned critics has pronounced them the greatest pictures ever made, they are by no means above criticism from the point of view of the average film fan. No "Belly Laughs" The coming of colour has changed the form of Disney's creations. One detects in most of the new "Symphonies" a temptation — probably due to the immaturity of the new medium — to paint "pretty" pictures, to tickle the palate rather than amuse, to give us a quietly and innocuously pleasant charm rather than hearty entertainment and a happy smile instead of the old "belly laugh." And I am not at all certain that with all the modern improvements we are getting a fair exchange for the grandly rowdy irresponsibility of the Mickey Mouse cartoon of nights gone by. Sufficiently uncertain, at any rate, to hope that Mr. Disney will accept our solution of the problem by providing us with both.

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