MICKEY MOUSE REPRIEVED
The productions of Mr. Walt Disney are to be exempted from a general decree of the Ministry of Popular Culture that everything of foreign inspiration is to disappear from, juvenile periodicals in Italy by the end of the year, said the Rome correspondent of "The Times" on November 18.
The decree was prompted by the feeling that an excellent opportunity, of inculcating Fascist ideals in the youthful Italian mind was being neglected by allowing pure fancy to run riot in the pictures and "comic strips" of the coloured' juvenile weeklies which are as common in Italy as in any other country. Publishers and editors were accordingly informed that these periodicals must in future be used to exalt the military and heroic virtues of the Italian race. The foreign stuff was to go.
But an exception has now been made in favour of Mr. Walt Disney on account of the acknowledged artistic merit' of his work. 'This will be good news to Italian boys and girls, who were threatened with the loss of Mickey Mouse (well known in every Italian household under the name of Topolino) and many another familiar friend.
But changes there will certainly be. The whole character of this important class of literature will undergo revision. The versatile Pinocchio, for example, that favourite feature of the Italian "comics," will certainly have to come into line. He is beloved for the variety of his mischievous pranks. Ever since birth he has been easily recognisable by his dunce's cap and nose of similar shape. Now, however, he will have to quit nonsense and devote himself seriously to cultivating heroic virtues. A balilla's uniform will doubtless take the place of his pointed cap, while —since the "physical characteristics of the personages must be conspicuously Italian"—his nsse will probably have to be shortened by several inches lest it should suggest degeneration of the race.
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ITALIAN DECREE, Evening Post, Volume CXXVI, Issue 151, 23 December 1938
ITALIAN DECREE Evening Post, Volume CXXVI, Issue 151, 23 December 1938
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