Found while surfing: An episode of the Mickey Mouse strip that features Mickey and Goofy getting all hopped up on goofballs. While they don’t go out and murder some hookers while high, they do go to Africa so they can encounter uncomfortable racial stereotypes of the era. Was this the work of a rogue writer who slipped some crazy shit past Disney censors? Well, according to the site hosting this — which offers “reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related issues”, this was really part of those wacky, wacky ’50s and their unexpected propaganda:
During the 1950s, at the height of the post-World War II expansion of U.S. suburban modernization, a number of stimulant and sedative drugs were widely used and were promoted in the mainstream press. At the time, many were available over the counter without a prescription. The inclusion of clear, positive drug references in mainstream children’s literature and film seems both archaic and surprising given the taboos around psychoactive drugs in place in the 21st century. We hope you’ll enjoy this glimpse into the history of Disney’s characters that Disney itself is unlikely to acknowledge in the modern anti-drug cultural climate.
[Via Roger Ebert]
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.