So You Want To Teach A Mickey Mouse Course?

An Undergraduate Course In The History Of Animation


  • Rand Burnette MacMurry College



Numerous times while advising students who were looking for "gut" courses or "the soft underbelly of the curriculum" I have finally said, "so you want to take a Mickey Mouse course?" At those times, I never believed that there would one day be "Mickey Mouse" courses in a college curriculum.

At our college we are supposed to teach "innovative" courses (meaning noncatalog courses) in the January Term during which students take only one course for approximately four weeks. After teaching Illinois Prehistory one January, American Utopianism for two different January Terms, as well as courses on the American Revolution, Civil War and Reconstruction, and even Illinois History, I decided why not, indeed, teach a Mickey Mouse course. I have been a fan of Disney since the early days after Pearl Harbor; later I even though of becoming a cartoonist, but soon learned that being a good copyist is not the prime requisite for being an animator. I purchased numerous Disney volumes over the years and have an excellent collection. Once our history department acquired a TV and a VCR, it seemed the right time to propose a course in The History of Animation to be taught during the January Term on a pass/fail basis. Perhaps, the curriculum committee would not realize that I was proposing a "Mickey Mouse" course.


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How to Cite

Burnette, Rand. 1992. “So You Want To Teach A Mickey Mouse Course? An Undergraduate Course In The History Of Animation”. Teaching History: A Journal of Methods 17 (2):59-67.