Icons in Society

MICKEY MOUSE – The Icon

“An iconic image is an image that refers to something outside of its individual components something or someone that has a great symbolic meaning for many people. “

For my iconic image, I chose a picture of the popular cartoon character Mickey Mouse. Mickey was one of the first cartoons made popular nationally by Walt Disney. He has become a popular image that has lasted the test of time.  We are now in a time when not only have the kids of today grown up on Mickey Mouse, but so have the adults. With the expansion of Walt Disney Co. internationally over the past 20 years, Mickey’s prowess as an international icon has only grown stronger.

Mickey Mouse conveys numerous universal concepts, emotions and meaning. He can be associated with multiple aspects of life. For a lot of people, when they look at Mickey, they may remember a family vacation they took when they were younger. Some might remember watching popular movies such as Fantasia as a kid.

Disney does a remarkable job of relating Mickey to not only their household products, but also their vacation destinations. Mickey is the Brad Pitt of the Disney family. It is literally impossible to go into a Disney store or theme park without seeing something associated with Mickey. Disney produces everything from signage around their popular theme parks, to TV shows and clothing for all ages that showcase the mouse.

Mickey has a very special meaning to me for multiple reasons. Not only did I basically grow up around Disney world, but I have read a lot into the life and time of Walt Disney as a person, and how his story is told simultaneously with the character Mickey Mouse. In my high school yearbook, my parents dedicated a page to me that had a quote written on it, which stated, “Remember, it all started with a mouse.” That quote means a lot to me and it is something that I have always thought about throughout my entire life.

Today, I have had the privilege of designing apparel for Disney and being able to use images of Mickey on the products that I design. Also, my family has recently decided to relocate their household to within 1 mile of Disney World Orlando because that particular area of the country means so much to them. So when people ask me whether or not Mickey does a good job of persuading consumers, I know from first hand experience that almost anything with him on it is guaranteed to sell in one way or another. 

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