For years, claims have spread on social media platforms that a Mickey Mouse gas mask was produced during World War II.
The oldest social media post we found that contained the claim was posted on Reddit on March 6, 2014. "My friends I give you the mickey mouse gas mask for American children during WW2," the post claimed along with a photo of the supposed gas mask.
We found other unrelated posts on Reddit that contained the claim. We also found posts that contained the claim on other social media platforms, like a 2019 Twitter post, a 2020 Facebook post, and a 2019 TikTok post.
We found the claim was true. A Mickey Mouse gas mask was produced during WWII by the Sun Rubber Co. Walt Disney designed the masks.
The Washington Post reported that the masks were meant to calm terrified children. The publication wrote:
About 1,000 Mickey Mouse respirators were eventually produced, but the civilian gas mask — for children or adults — was not really a notable presence on the home front during World War II.
As such, we rate the claim that Disney created Mickey Mouse gas masks to protect children from chemical warfare during World War II as True. You can find more of our Disney fact-checks here.