In An American Werewolf in London, there are several scenes showing Disney characters in Alex's apartment. The main emphasis are the scenes with Mickey Mouse:

  1. Jack is holding Mickey Mouse while making a joke to David.

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  2. Alex is trying to comfort David after he sees Jack visit him. The same Mickey Mouse figurine that Jack picked up is on the table beside her.

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  3. David is passing by Minnie Mouse and even makes a point to stop and look at the figurine while he is bored in Alex's apartment.

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  4. David reading his book right before he starts his transformation into a werewolf. The same Mickey Mouse figurine is beside him.

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  5. A shot of the same Mickey Mouse figurine. The director makes a point of showing this during David's transformation into a werewolf. The scene is showing David's transformation and then suddenly shows this Mickey Mouse figurine and then continues showing David's transformation.

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  6. A Donald Duck figurine to the right of David's shoulder as he is going through his transformation.

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Is there any evidence that filmmakers used these Disney figurines as some sort of symbolism? Is there any significance to these figurines being prominently featured?


1 Answer 1


In an interview with Adam Savage, director John Landis talks about wanting to create a suspension of disbelief. In order to feel realistic, he needed his characters to react to the improbable by laughing at it, and he worked throughout the film to juxtapose humor with horror. Of the transformation scene that has the famous cutaway to the Mickey Mouse figure, he says he did it because "it just amused me." It acknowledges to the audience that this story is crazy, and it keeps the viewer engaged.

The interview is really entertaining, and he address American Werewolf in London several times throughout it. He talks about the Mickey Mouse cutaway at about 37:30.

In an analysis by author Diane Negra, a professor of film studies in Dublin (America First: Naming the Nation in US Film, 2007, p208), she concluded that the Disney characters functioned to remind the viewer of the character's Americanism:

At Alex's apartment, the film surrounds him with objects that alternately reference an idealized American sense of duty and sacrifice (a Casablanca poster on one wall) and a banal commercialized mass culture (the Muppets, a Mickey Mouse doll). This alternation contextualizes David's dilemma in national terms, suggesting that while honour and duty (in the form of suicide) are being urged upon him, he will abjure this option in favour of pleasure and self-indulgence (his developing romance with Alex).

  • I was waiting for this answer, great
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 21:51
  • The first link has died Commented May 21, 2023 at 17:01

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