Disney has released a new Mickey Mouse T-Shirt inspired by British Punk band Joy Division’s debut album ‘Unknown Pleasures’. The album artwork features a visual representation in the ‘Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy’ of the first pulsar that was discovered. It was adapted for the cover by graphic designer, Peter Saville.
The Disney T-shirt features Mickey Mouse’s iconic image within the graphic waves of a star. Disney’s licensing representatives did not contact Joy Division about the use of the image, they didn’t have to – the original image that inspired the album cover’s pulse-wave illustration is in the public domain.
Initially, Disney did make a point of mentioning that Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ album was the inspiration behind the T-Shirt which has sold out in many stores,
Disney describe the t-shirt as follows:
Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey’s image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That’s appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!
However, this statement has since been taken off the promotional material for the Tee on the Disney Website.
Some Joy Division fans are celebrating the Tee, whilst others are not as pleased about it. Former Bassist Peter Hook, said he took it as a ‘compliment’, and that it could become a ‘kind of urban legend’.
However Drummer Stephen Morris was incensed by the Tee. He told the Manchester Evening News that he was angry that members of the band had not been consulted about it, and that he could not ‘imagine any Joy Division fans wearing it.”
Joy Division’s career was cut tragically short when lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980, after battling with depression, epilepsy and the breakdown of his marriage. Their second album, Closer was released after his death and received much success and critical acclaim. After his death, the other members of the Joy Division went on to form New Order.