My son (the Pok) has been infatuated with Mickey Mouse since before the age of one. I am very much to blame for this as I fed his nascent interest one day by going to K-Mart and purchasing a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD. This was further fueled on a trip we took to North America where we purchased him a Mickey Mouse stuffed toy from the Disney Store in Times Square, New York. Needless to say ‘Mouse’, as he is affectionately known, has not left his side and is now the mandatory travel companion – should one be required. But now as he is getting older, his fascination with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV show has increased, and I find myself the viewing companion more times than not.
I can see his fascination with the show. In each episode there is a problem, an adventure, some ingenious solutions to the problem, and some funny characters. Don’t forget the obligatory “hot dog” dance at the end of the show – which every guest to our house has to perform with him should the show be on the tube.
But it got me thinking the other morning at 6am on the couch with my son jumping around and squealing at ‘Tootles’ (if you don’t know who ‘Tootles’ is, then you are either not a parent or your child has not yet been exposed to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). There is no running plot with the Clubhouse, just a situation with random incidents… just like a show about nothing – Seinfeld! After examining the character personas, I came to a bizarre conclusion that the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is just Seinfeld for infants. Take a look at the characters in comparison.
Mickey Mouse – Jerry Seinfeld
Both Mickey and Jerry are the stars of their shows. Both shows have revolve around their relationship with their friends, and in a more striking coincidence the key locale for both shows happens to be their place of abode. Both characters usually open and close their shows with an address to the audience (Mickey to the viewer and Jerry to his standup audience). Both shows also adorn their names in the titles.
Minnie Mouse – Elaine Benes
No I did not Photoshop a bow on top of Elaine’s head – those are her shoes. Both characters are the main female protagonists of their shows. Minnie and Elaine are both “love interests” of the star of the star of their respective shows (at one point or another). They both have similar conservative fashion sense.
Donald Duck – George Costanza
Both Donald and George are the “angry” characters of their shows. They are both the best and oldest of friends for their show’s star. Invariably, the schemes that both characters hatch during the episodes fail. This is the second most obvious character similarity between the shows.
Goofy – Cosmo Kramer
For me this is the most obvious character similarity between the show. Both characters are physically clumsy and amusing in their shenanigans. They are both taller than the rest of their cast ensembles. Their fashion sense is eerily similar, with the only thing missing from Goofy being Kramer’s trademark cigar. They also attain the most laughs in both of their shows.
Pete – Newman
Both characters the primary antagonists in their shows. They both sport the same rotund torsos. And (apologies Wayne Knight) they both have the same head.
A couple of the Clubhouse main characters don’t have direct counterparts in Seinfeld but do represent elements of the Seinfeld show.
Like all of George’s glamorous love interests, Daisy Duck is the object of Donald’s affections.
Well he is a pet dog who doesn’t speak, so he really has no Seinfeld counterpart (Jerry never owns a dog in the show).
Both shows also have many other recurring characters to aid as plot devices. But where I find the most similarity is the ability that both shows have to make their target audience laugh.
Raising an infant is the most enjoyable fun that you can have. It makes you realise that their little world is just a smaller version of your own crazy adult world.