Monday, January 22, 2007

Crisis on Infinite Small Worlds After All

Superhero fans know that this, moment, heralded a new age of greatness...
Flash #123 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 realities—there 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 together—they 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:
Mickey and Donald meet the Bears

...or Jiminy Cricket flying out of the world of Pinocchio and straight into Lady and the Tramp to meet Scamp:
Jiminy meets Scamp

...or Thumper of Bambi meeting the Seven Dwarves of Snow White fame, a tale that pits this star-studded, eight-cartoon team-up against the Giant from The Brave Little Tailor:
Thumper Meets the Seven Dwarves

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":
Yellow Beak meets the Darlings

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 meets the Ducks

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:
Dumbo meets Jiminy

...or this...unusual moment where Dumbo meets Peter Pan's Tinkerbell. Yeah, we all know what you want, Dumbo:
Dumbo meets Tink

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:
Tink meets the Aristokittens

...rodent troublemakers Chip 'n' Dale:
Tink meets Chip 'n' Dale

...or Snow White's Wicked Witch.
Tink meets the Witch

It doesn't take an Alan Moore to team up characters from two Victorian classics of literature, Peter Pan and The Jungle Book...
Tink meets Mowgli

...but I'm not certain what the Disney comics artists were smokin' to pair Tink up with Super Goof:
Tink meets 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:
Super Goof meets Mowgli

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:
Thumper Meets Chip 'n' Dale

...or when the Aristocats attack Chip 'n' Dale with death from above:
Aristokittens meet Chip 'n' Dale

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?:
Legion of Disney Doom

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!


SallyP said...

But...but where is Malificent? She's my favorite villain!

Bully said...

I actually commented on that in a bit of hover-text over the last image, Sally. Yeah, what's the problem, Mal...too bad for the rest of 'em?

Tom Bondurant said...


Bill D. said...

I don't think Mal really started getting her due until the late 90s for some reason, usually getting upstaged by the Wicked Queen. And you'll notice you don't see her around much anymore, do you? Suspicious to say the least.

But what I wanna know is, where's the Phantom Blot?

Sleestak said...

I just assumed even as a kid that every Disney tale takes place in an alternate universe, as it explained how Donald Duck had a different career every issue.

Anonymous said...

This probably doesn't apply to the comics world, but there was an episode of the Hercules animated series where Hercules crossed over with Aladdin, thus confirming the existence of the Disney Multiverse.

I am certain the Disney Princess DVD collection thingie could do something similar.

AVA arslibera Lockheart said...

what issues are these, and are they online to read?

Kasey said...

And no Donald VS Tinkerbell? *sniff*

Still, these are all fascinating finds. I can't believe I didn't know about any of these, and I consider myself quite a Disney nerd (save the Peter Pan/Yellow Beak and the Jungle Book/Peter Pan stories).