Fact Check

Does This Disney Cartoon Show Mickey Mouse Inappropriately Making Swiss Cheese?

Risqué images hidden in Disney cartoons purportedly date to the very birth of the Mickey Mouse character.

Published May 6, 2015

A Disney cartoon shows Mickey Mouse using an unusual method to make Swiss cheese.

The pages of snopes.com include numerous rumors concerning various risque images and sounds that have purportedly been slipped into animated Disney films. While some of these rumors are true (a topless woman really was visible in the home video version of their 1977 animated feature The Rescuers), the majority of these claims are based on overactive imaginations or some form of digital manipulation.

In the latter category, an animated GIF featuring the characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Peg Leg Pete in a cheese factory, showing Mickey seemingly using an obscene method to poke holes in a block of Swiss cheese, was not something even included in a real Disney film:

Ths bit of animation was created on the B3Ta Board (an Internet forum that frequently features photoshopped images) in March 2011. But even without knowing the source behind this image, viewers can spot many other factors that demonstrate it was not part of an official Disney film.

The characters in this GIF are all featured in the 1928 Disney cartoon short Steamboat Willie, but that animated classic does not contain a scene set in a cheese factory. It appears that B3ta user Drimble took images from Steamboat Willie and then added his own animations on top of the original frames. For instance, Mickey Mouse's hip movements are found around the 35-second mark of Steamboat Willie:

Minnie Mouse's cranking motion can like be viewed around the 4:30 mark:

The laughing parrot (as well as the general background for the GIF) were taken from the 1:30 mark of Steamboat Willie:

And Peg Leg Pete can be spotted in an identical pose at the 35-second mark:

Another clue that this GIF was created well after 1928 is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Regulation sign displayed in the background, as the HSE wasn't formed until the 1970s:

Although there are many reasons why Steamboat Willie is considered an animated classic (e.g., it was the first cartoon to utilize synchronized sound), its depiction of a new way to poke holes in Swiss cheese is not one of them.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.