Mouse Heaven (2004)
Kenneth Anger
11 Min.


I don’t think there’ll be anyone who would not be disarmed by Kenneth Anger’s Mouse Heaven (2004), unless that person is allergic to the world’s most famous mouse – Mortimer aka Mickey. We can never have enough of Mickey Mouse, can we? And that is exactly what Anger in underscoring in this fabulous little short. Mouse Heaven begins with a shot of creepy lab rats (in negative, to make it worse) followed by a drawing of Mickey on paper. We are then shown shots of an animated Mickey mouse, then two of them, then a few of them and, soon, then an army of them. And before you know it, Mickey Mouse is on your underwear. Anger floods the screen with all types of Mickey Mouse merchandise – food items, clothes, toys, and tattoos, Mickey in clay, Mickey in metal and even a Mickey in diamond. Although many modern filmmakers have adopted a similar style, Mouse Heaven, clearly, is an auteur’s work. When such quirky songs like “I’m your puppet” and “If I had a million dollars” play on the soundtrack while the visuals give you hundreds of Mickeys dancing and singing, you know it is Anger at the cutting table. Unlike many of his earlier films, which used barely comprehensible imagery, Anger presents us with neat and instantly lovable visuals to show us what our fetishes have brought us to. Thematically close to the director’s unfinished film Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965) but based on a zeitgeist of this age, Mouse Heaven is Anger at his sarcastic peak as he takes a massive jab at this exploitative economy of ours, whose free agents are just waiting to stuff the next cute thing.

Hey, who flicked my Spongebob coffee mug?