Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Youtube Disney Gold: Walt Disney Product Placement...even in 1936?

I am really happy to be doing a Youtube Disney Gold post again.  It's been such a long time, but people keep feeding Youtube videos.  I wanted to talk about a clip I came across the other day.  I was randomly flipping around the TV and came across Buddy Ebson dancing in an old movie and he was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt.  This was a movie from 1936 called Broadway Melody.  If the name sounds familiar, you might remember it as the movie that Gene Kelly sang Dancing in the Rain in, but you would be wrong.  If you go into IMDB there are a number of listings for Broadway Melody.  Each title supplemented by the date.  There is a movie named Broadway Melody for the years 1929, 1936, 1940 and 1952(This was the Gene Kelly version).  The one I am talking about is the 1936 version of Broadway Melody with the very young song and dance man, Buddy Ebson.  I was lucky enough to find the exact clip I needed on Youtube.  Thanks to GABRIEL ANTINOUS for this Youtube Gold.

The dance scene above is really well done and each of the actors are very good dancers and singers.  This being a Disney Blog however, we need that Disney hook and if you watched the above I'm sure you saw it.  Buddy Ebson is wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt or sweater and for some reason that really caught my eye the first time I watched this.  In three seconds as many thoughts went through my head.  My first thought was how could they have gotten what looks like a modern t-shirt back into a movie like that.  The Mickey pose and artwork is a dead ringer for shirts today.
My second thought was well, Buddy worked with Walt on the Dancing Man animatronic, was that before this movie and Buddy had a souvenir from working with Walt. My final thought in that couple second burst was that maybe Mickey was just that famous in 1936 that they were selling shirts or sweaters even then.  As far as the movie went it was normal in 1936 to see a young man wearing a Mickey shirt.  Hmmm. 
After some light research I think thought number three might be right.  By 1936, Mickey had appeared in over 90 shorts, not too shabby.  You should see the Vintage Disney section of Ebay there are a lot of items that are there and of them about 90 are from the 1930's.  A lot of different items that shows how popular Mickey was.  The items vary from figurines to brushes, from silverware with a mickey them to cereal boxes.  Take a look at this cereal box from 1936.  It's the back of a Post Toasties box with Mickey and the gang in full glory.  Note the figure at the bottom of the box.  It's a cut out figure that you can collect.  They advertise that there were different characters to cut out.  Is this perhaps where the mad dash to the Cereal Aisle at the supermarket started? 
So it really looks like the only reason the Buddy is wearing that shirt is that Mickey was so popular at the time and it was what the common thing for the lounging young guy to be wearing.  This was a nice little trip through some great Vintage Mickey stuff.  I still think there might be more to this, so I'll keep my eyes open and update this down the road if necessary.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you. I am so glad someone else noticed this and had the resources to be able to explain it. I saw this movie a few years ago and also noticed the Mickey shirt, which is exactly the same as my daughter bought in 2004. Watching it again this morning peaked my interest again in finding an explanation. Thank you again so very much.