Mickey Meets the Future Queen

How about some 1930s book art featuring cartoon characters other than Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? I recently picked up a copy of The Princess Elizabeth Gift Book, a 1935 tie-in with the Princess Elizabeth of York Hospital for Children. What it is, essentially, is an anthology of children’s stories, many of them by well-known authors and others featuring popular comics and cartoon characters of the day, such as Rupert Bear, Teddy Tail, Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, and…Mickey Mouse and friends.

It’s the product of an interesting moment in time when Princess Elizabeth of York was a young celebrity but it didn’t yet occur to anyone she’d become Queen of England someday; when Rudyard Kipling and J.M. Barrie were still alive and writing and thefore able to contribute to a book that also included work from a studio which would bastardize their stories years later; and when the British had adopted Mickey Mouse as one of their own.

The start and end of the book have color spreads of the Disney gang attending a “party” in celebration of the hospital that are two of the nicest pieces of illustration of them I’ve ever seen. (David Gerstein, if you’re reading this, are these by Wilfred Haughton?) Here they are:



3 comments on “Mickey Meets the Future Queen”

  1. Hey Didier (and Harry),

    I hate to be an awful crosspatch, but I don’t think these are Haughton’s. The art IS from a regular British artist who drew a lot of merchandising artwork in the mid-1930s, but I haven’t been able to place the name. If you’ll look closely at the treatment of Mickey’s eyes and nose (not to mention the basic look of Dippy/Goofy — very different from Haughton’s rendition of this model), you should spot the difference.
    Mickey’s Man Friday gets to hold the camera. Take up the white man’s burden, huh? )-:

  2. Is that Mickey’s Man Friday? There’s a similarity, but when did Friday have a tail??

    Also, I love Minnie’s fashionable frock, but it’s somehow unnerving to see images where Clarabelle still has a bell around her neck (and yet Horace’s plow brace has never bothered me). And hey, Peter Pig!

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