The star character and centerpiece of Walt Disney’s world is Mickey Mouse. He was Walt’s first and, perhaps, his alter ego. He’s forever been perpetually jolly, a welcome antidote to worldwide angst, though his tinny, effeminate voice rankles my ears. Mickey Mouse’s character has been unfailingly kind. An exemplary role model for humans.

Unlike some other Disney characters who’ve stirred controversy, he wears pants.

Mickey Mouse as anti-hero! Can you picture it? To me, an avowed Disney enthusiast, it makes the world feel more out-of-whack, despite that fact that he’s make-believe. Mickey Mouse has become synonymous with happiness and not a craven, heinous villain. Will the civilized world tilt on its axis?

Help and holy crap!.

Cognitive dissonance.

Ironically, I posited such a scenario for my master’s thesis ___ years ago. The inherent goodness of Mickey and his cohorts’ characters was a given in that era. I wondered how toddlers would respond if shown a cartoon in which Mickey was an anti-hero. For example, stealing food from Pluto’s plate or pulling Goofy’s seat at the dinner table out from under him. Chucking food like toddlers are prone to do? That process led me to the literature on cognitive dissonance.

When I transitioned from being a speech-language pathologist to a writer, I encountered another massive body of literature as I tried to learn to write right. While it’s understood that the protagonist is the hero of a tale and the Hero’s Journey is a staple, it’s been posited by many that the antagonist is the hero of his version of the tale.

Thus, whether cast as protagonist or antagonist in these upcoming movies and shorts, Mickey Mouse will remain a hero in his mind as written in the scripts. Will you go to see these attractions? Will you consider Mickey a saint or a sinner?

Should we remove his star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

Here’s a blast from the past, a slice of life incident ten years ago: