When people think of Disney, Mickey Mouse is usually the very first character you think of. With his head shape being the face of Disney, it’s not too surprising. Fans usually have a very specific image of the mouse when we think of him, so it can be quite shocking when that idea is suddenly turned on its head, and we are shown a version of Mickey that is nothing like the unassuming character we’re used to. Disney’s 1995 short Runaway Brain does exactly that by introducing a very monstrous image of Mickey Mouse through a very dark means.
RELATED: Donald Duck: A History
What is Runaway Brain?
Disney’s Runaway Brain is a 7-minute short that follows Mickey Mouse in his attempt to make enough money so he can take Minnie on an expensive cruise that he accidentally promised to take her on after forgetting about their anniversary. The means by which he tries to attain the money are a bit questionable, and he ends up regretting his decision immediately.
The short was the first theatrical Mickey Mouse short that was played for audiences and actually created as a way to get him into the world in a memorable and wacky way by antsy executives that were in charge of merch, but the team at Disney in charge of the project didn’t seem to realize just how wacky they’d gone until it was too late.
RELATED: 80s Cartoons Were The Best
Why did Disney Let The Short Die a Silent Death?
While Disney’s Runaway Brain had been nominated for an Oscar and is still very entertaining, with plenty of shots and jokes for any audience to appreciate, when the company switched hands, it became very clear that executives hated it. The short was completely abandoned after it lost the Oscar to A Close Shave (a Wallace and Gromit short filmed by Aardman Studios), and the director actually left the studio because of how badly it was perceived.
There were brief musings and considerations about attaching Runaway Brain to the live-action showing of 101 Dalmatians, but it was very quickly dropped, and the short was ordered to rather be replaced with trailers of upcoming Disney projects. There were a couple of theatres that didn’t get the message in time and ended up showing Runaway Brain anyway.
Now, despite the short not even being anywhere Disney’s worst project, it is very deeply hidden in the darkest depths of The House of Mouse’s history. Fortunately for fans and unfortunately for the studio, nothing can ever truly be wiped from the internet, so if you are willing to dive deep enough, you should be able to find Runaway Brain eventually.
I would highly recommend watching it if you do manage to get your hands on the short, especially if you are someone that enjoys analyzing the art style of animation or if you just really feel like seeing a depiction of Mickey Mouse that Disney tried to hide.
It’s also one of the few Disney projects that has an on-screen character death, so that’s something to look forward to if you enjoy that sort of thing.
RELATED: 10 Fun Facts About Disney’s Animated Feature Wreck-It Ralph
Tell us, have you watched Disney’s Runaway Brain (1995)?