Is it unfair to judge old cartoons by the standards of the 21st century? Probably. Is it still amazing to see that there was a time when Disney had no problem depicting Mickey Mouse getting venereal diseases and attempting shotgun suicide? You bet!
All of the below comics are real and unaltered.
6Mickey Mouse Versus Gonorrhea
Comics can be a great educational tool, but we'd like to think there's a spectrum of possibilities that lie between "Let's make a public service announcement about disease" and "Let's give Mickey Mouse an STD." Yet, the April 4, 1944 issue of LOOK magazine contained an educational comic about the benefits of sulfa drugs, the first line of antibiotics ever used to treat bacteria -- and who better to explain to the population that gonorrhea is now easily curable than everyone's favorite cartoon mascot?
"I can help you with the clap, Mickey, but I'm afraid the herpes is here to stay."
We get that they wanted to teach as many people as possible about the new drugs, but perhaps Popeye would have been a better fit for this sort of thing. In order to tell the story of the creation of sulfa drugs in a simple, friendly manner, the comic starts by showing Dr. Mickey Mouse testing the new compounds on mice. Wait, uh, what's Mickey's last name again?
Is it Judas?
Yeah, this comic is packed with baffling decisions -- it also depicts the effects of a disease on the organism by showing a microscopic race war being raged inside your body, complete with gangs of bacteria stabbing red blood cells to death in a miniature re-enactment of West Side Story.
Yes, "blitzkrieg" was absolutely the best word to use in this context and period in time.
Finally, Mickey illustrates the consequences of overindulgence by downing an entire bottle of sulfa drugs, after which he's shown either tripping balls or facing imminent death. Possibly both.
"Oh God, mops! And they have arms and legs!"
So, why did Mickey need to take the gonorrhea drug, again? Has someone been spending time inside Clarabelle Cow's stable? Dammit, Mickey, stop being a douchebag and buy some fucking condoms. But hey, maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Clearly Disney relationships aren't as chaste as we might once have believed. For instance ...