Attention: This story is the predecessor to the title: ‘Disney: White Noise’, just wanted to get that out of the way.
A combination of shapes we’ve all come to know and love as Mickey Mouse, or H2O if you’re a geek. But where did it all start? I’m sure you’ve all heard the story, a Mr. Walt Disney was working for Universal at the time, animating cartoons for a character by the name of Oswald, and was plucked from his job by his employers. Time went by, and he eventually struck back with his own creation, giving life to a cultural phenomenon. But what if I told you, that Mickey wasn’t the first concept Walt had come up with for this newfound phenomenon?
Now of course some of you “Disney Enthusiasts” might be typing away on your keyboards that a much chubbier mouse, by the name of Mortimer, was the first one. Well, I hate to break it to you, but no, he wasn’t. The first concept is never finished, that’s the case with almost every known artist that animates their creations. A figure is drawn, given time, scrapped, another is drawn, given more time, then it is at that point where there is an option for it to be scrapped or not.
This is where Mortimer came into existence, he was the figure that was given more time and detail, but unfortunately, the option that was chosen for him was to be scrapped. But what was the first figure? Well, no-one outside of this blog post really knows for certain, but there were drawings that suggest this character to be something more unsettling than the mouse that exists today. Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Walt Disney sat down and drew a mouse pulling his own damn head off, though I have to say, that would be pretty cool to see as an artist who actually draws macabre-based material.
But no, because instead of drawing said character beheading themselves, Walt chose to draw this specific character out of several tremendous emotions he was experiencing at that point in time. This character he gave a little nickname to as ‘Bub’. Now, Bub wasn’t particularly scary in terms of appearance, though any artist that views stories such as these on a site like this will recreate a given character to meet more of a nightmarish quota. It really confuses others into thinking a character looks one way, when in reality it looks completely different, but I’m losing my main focus here.
Again, Bub wasn’t exactly an unnerving creature due to his appearance. In fact, he looked almost as friendly as you could possibly imagine, but as most people say, there are dark secrets that lie under the brightest smiles. He had some of those secrets, which were whispered to another through drawings, and these drawings weren’t exactly easy to get to. According to a source I came across a while back, which has since been removed, apparently you had to be chosen by Walt Disney himself to view these certain sketches, but he never gave them to you himself. They would always just show up in the oddest of places, mostly due to the fact that he probably couldn’t look at you with a straight face if he knew out of certainty that you saw them, so that was part of the mystery.
But why would Walt want people to see these drawings if he couldn’t bear the knowledge of someone actually seeing them? Well, because that was his call for help, or rather, whisper for help. Either way, it was never answered. This “call for help” that I’m referring to, is in regards to Walt’s mental health. Bub was not a relatively friendly creature, although he looked quite the opposite. Bub had some issues which were scribbled onto the paper where he was drawn, each with a different emotion. Now, as for his appearance, Bub wasn’t a short, chubby being with a can-do attitude like Mortimer or Mickey. Instead, he was a tall, skinny, almost famished creature with something close to a permanent smile etched onto his face. Although, he would frown from time to time, if the contents of the paper were anything close to upsetting to the artist himself.
This goes back to when I stated that Walt had a sort of “call for help” due to his mentality. Everything he wrote next to this creature never particularly changed his mood drastically, they were always more along the lines of vents than anything else. However, there would be instances where the contents on the papers would affect his behaviour the day after. This was not often, though when it occurred, he was very off in terms of activity. Of course he was upset, that I’ve already stated, however, what he did while in this mood was a different story, but I won’t get into that because that strays too far off the path I’m on right now. However, I will say this, he created a mask for himself. This mask was Bub’s face, and he would always wear it around the facility where he worked when in these particular moods. But that’s all I’ll say.
As for the contents on the papers? Well, read for yourself:
•Paper No.1 – “I’ve never felt anything like this before” and “It’s not a happy feeling”. These were written alongside a sketch of Bub sitting with his legs crossed, facing a wall with an intense amount of shading.
•Paper No.2 – “I strive to make others feel happiness, why don’t I feel it myself”. This was written alongside a sketch of Bub clasping his hands around his head, along with a nervous expression on his face.
•Paper No.3 – “I’ve been losing sleep as of yesterday” and “I don’t understand what’s happening to me, I don’t feel right”. These were written alongside a sketch of Bub lying down, with his hands under his head and his eyes open, along with crossed out Z’s seemingly floating above his head.
•Paper No.4 – “I want to laugh and smile for real, even if it’s just once” and “Will you do it for me?”. This was written alongside a sketch of Bub stretching out his smile, exposing multiple elongated teeth, along with several HA’s surrounding him.
•Paper No.5 – “You’re useless” and “I’m getting nowhere with you, I need proper help”. This was written alongside a sketch of Bub with an arrow seemingly shot through his head, and X’s over his eyes.
These were the only drawings I could find and document, but there was one more I forgot to mention. Do you remember when I stated that Bub was a rather friendly looking being, and that he wasn’t created with a dark intention? Well that last part is true, but as for the first part, I lied. For those who would never have known, Bub was an abbreviation for another name, a name for the devil. How something with a name meaning ‘devil’ being created with good intentions is beyond my comprehension. I just don’t know, but this last drawing shows that whatever intention Walt had, went straight out the window. It describes Bub as what his name originated as. Have a read:
•Paper No.6 – “BEELZEBUB” was written over and over again in messy ink, covering almost every blank inch of the harshly smudged paper, alongside a sketch of a colorless demon bearing a tremendous smile.
Unsettling, is it not? Well, luckily for you, as I stated before, this was Walt’s first concept. Meaning it was inevitably scrapped, and for good reason, obviously. Can’t make cartoons for little tykes with the goddamned devil as the main protagonist. In any case, as unsettling as all of this may be; which I humbly apologize for; I couldn’t have nerfed this. It needed to be said for the sake of anyone who ever happens to come across this creature for any reason whatsoever, because like I said, these drawings still exist. Who knows what would happen with them if they were to fall into the wrong hands.
Thank you for your time.