And Finally

Disney takes Joy Division inspired Mickey t-shirt off sale

By | Published on Thursday 26 January 2012

Disney's Joy Division T-Shirt

Disney has stopped selling a Mickey Mouse t-shirt that mimicked the famous cover artwork of the 1979 Joy Division album ‘Unknown Pleasures’.

The album used the image of a waveform showing successive pulses from the first pulsating star ever discovered, and was based on an image in the ‘Cambridge Encyclopaedia Of Astronomy’. Wobbles in the waveform gave the impression of a mountain range. For its new t-shirt, Disney added its own wobbles so that the famous Mickey Mouse silhouette could be seen in the waves.

On sale at Disney’s theme parks as well as on the entertainment giant’s website, the blurb for the ‘Waves Mickey Mouse Tee’ admitted the Joy Division album artwork, rather than the Cambridge Encyclopaedia, was the inspiration for the t-shirt design, describing the product thus: “Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey’s image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That’s appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!”

But the Twitterati, as they are prone to do, did not respond well to the t-shirt once attention was thrown in its direction yesterday, and by end of play Disney management had stopped selling the tee pending a review. A rep told reporters: “As soon as we became aware there could be an issue, we pulled it from our shelves and our online store to review the situation further”.

But Joy Division alumni Peter Hook didn’t seem too bothered by the Disney tribute to his band’s record, despite confirming that, as far as he knew, there’d been no official endorsement from the band. He told the LA Times: “I take it as a compliment. If I had a pound for every time someone bootlegged Joy Division, I’d be as rich as Disney. But it’s interesting in a kitsch way. It’s this cross between something very adult and this well-known image of childhood”.