...by issuing in an age of interdimensional team-ups: characters who belong to different worlds regularly crossing over in each other's stories with the regularity of taking a crosstown bus. But the DC Universe isn't the only one with flexible walls between realitiesthere exists, a heartbeat of a dimension away, a multiverse where worlds collide and cross over with tick-tock precision, a multiverse of heroes, villains, magic users, misers, thieves, and ducks without pants regularly team up with characters from other mythos and stories.
I'm talking, of course, about the Disney Multiverse.
This isn't a recent development, either. Long before Kingdom Hearts or House of Mouse, the mighty mice and plucky ducks of the Disney Multiverse were crossing vibrational barriers between dimensions and adding their own brand of outrageous adventures to tales of others. I'm not merely talking about Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck teaming up to bust ghosts or solve crimes...after all, the Mouse and the Duck starred in a series of cartoon shorts movies togetherthey clearly exist in the same pocket universe. I'm specifically speaking about the oh-so-regular team-ups of characters created (not always by Disney themselves) for their own stories who then crossover to visit, befriend, and occasionally bedevil their dimensional neighbors. For example, Mickey and Donald teaming up with the Country Bear Jamboree:
...or Jiminy Cricket flying out of the world of Pinocchio and straight into Lady and the Tramp to meet Scamp:
...or Thumper of Bambi meeting the Seven Dwarves of Snow White fame, a tale that pits this star-studded eight-man...er, eight-cartoon team-up against the Giant from The Brave Little Tailor:
We can only guess what James Barrie might think of teaming up his Peter Pan kids with Yellow Beak from the early Carl Barks "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold":
Speaking of the great Duck Man, here's a rare Carl Barks-created team-up between Huey, Dewey, and Louie and the little elephant who could fly, Dumbo:
Dumbo is a frequent crossover star in other character's adventures. I theorize those giant ears, if flapping fast enough, can actually open up the fabric of space and time, allowing him to fly from reality to reality, as he did when he teamed up with Pinocchio's Jiminy Cricket:
...or this...unusual moment where Dumbo meets Peter Pan's Tinkerbell. Yeah, we all know what you want, Dumbo:
Tinkerbell, a tiny creature of the arcane world and possessor of perhaps the only hourglass shape in the Disney Multiverse, apparently has no problem breaching the dimensional walls, as seen by her many team-ups, like this one with the Aristocats, a special issue prized by collectors for its intense but still-oh-so-cute death scene of Marie the kitten:
...rodent troublemakers Chip 'n' Dale:
...or Snow White's Wicked Witch.
It doesn't take an Alan Moore to team up characters from two Victorian classics of literature, Peter Pan and The Jungle Book...
...but I'm not certain what the Disney comics artists were smokin' to pair Tink up with Super Goof:
Those who keep careful track of universal Kevin Bacon-esque connections will now realize that if Tinkerbell knows both Super Goof and Mowgli, it's merely one step to this:
Not every meeting of Disney universal superstars goes smoothly, of course. Like the obligatory fight scene that accompanies Marvel superheroes meeting for the first time, sometimes Disney heroes get off on the wrong foot, as when Bambi's Thumper attempts to enslave Chip 'n' Dale:
...or when the Aristocats attack Chip 'n' Dale with death from above:
But in the end, it's a good thing these Disney heroes meet and team up with one another, because who else could stop the Disney equivalent of the Legion of Doom: the unholy banding-together of Uncle Scrooge's nemeses The Beagle Boys, The Sword in the Stone's Mad Madame Mim, Snow White's Wicked Witch, Peter Pan's Captain Hook, Mickey Mouse's Black Pete, and The Three Little Pigs's Big Bad Wolf?:
Every single panel in this post comes from a different story in one of my shelf of Walt Disney Comic Digests. I spared you Uncle Scrooge versus the Big Bad Wolf and Captain Hook versus Br'er Rabbit. And people say the Warner comic books were weird!