Steamboat Willie: Towards a Mickey Mouse version of apparatus theory | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 1757-1952
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1960



This article examines what was, for many decades, to a large audience the paradigmatic example of the short film, i.e. the animated short. Focussing on the first two Mickey Mouse shorts (i.e. Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie (both 1928)), which I understand as highly self-conscious reflections on animation, I explore how animation relies on a set of pleasures, sensations and fascinations that differ profoundly from what mainstream (‘photographic’) feature-length cinema has on offer, and thereby opens to a series of insights into ‘cinematic experiences’ that cannot be grasped within the logic of the voyeuristic model of the cinematic apparatus that has until recently dominated classical film theory.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): animation; apparatus; Disney; Eisenstein; Mickey Mouse; Steamboat Willie; voice
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