A Friday Visit with Jim Korkis: Sir Mickey’s
By Dave Shute
SIR MICKEYS’ IN FANTASYLAND
By Jim Korkis
When EuroDisneyland (now Disneyland Paris) opened in April 1992, one of the merchandise shops in Fantasyland was Sir Mickey’s Boutique. The Imagineers created a delightful mash-up of two of Mickey Mouse’s most popular cartoons, Mickey and the Beanstalk and The Brave Little Tailor, to create the medieval-themed location.
The Brave Little Tailor (1938) was an adaptation of the classic fairy tale with Mickey Mouse in the role of the peasant tailor who is mistaken to be a killer of giants and sent to deal with a giant bothering the kingdom.
Mickey and the Beanstalk (1947) is a twist on the famous story of Jack and the Beanstalk with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy climbing a magical beanstalk to confront the giant who has stolen the magical singing harp that brought happiness to Happy Valley.
The end of the cartoon has Willie the Giant who has fallen off the beanstalk visiting the narrator’s house and pulling off the top of the roof to peer in and ask where Mickey Mouse is.
This clever idea for a merchandise shop was adapted for Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland.
Prior to becoming Sir Mickey’s, the location had actually been two separate shops that had opened during the first year the Magic Kingdom welcomed guests. One was a merchandise shop called The AristoCats. The other shop was Merlin’s Magic Shop selling magic tricks and novelties. In 1986, this shop was converted into Mickey’s Christmas Carol Store.
In 1996, the two shops were rehabbed and merged together as one shop called Sir Mickey’s, featuring wonderful little touches that referenced both of Mickey’s medieval tales. What makes this shop special isn’t the merchandise but the design and theme of the store itself.
The shop has one of the most beautiful facades, blending in perfectly with the fantasy medieval courtyard, with its turrets, stone-like brick construction and the ancient looking glass in the windows.
However, the most prominent feature is the ever-growing beanstalk as it twists and turns inside and outside the cottage pushing itself skyward. The monster vine has even ripped the Sir Mickey’s sign off the front of the building and is starting to carry it along.
The southern wing is obviously the armory where knights are suited for battle. Heavy beams and candle-filled iron chandeliers dominate the room. Scattered about are a selection of shields, armor and weaponry awaiting use to battle the giant. The low ceilings make the large space feel more intimate.
This area flows into the northern section where the exterior signage and window displays pay more homage to the tale of Mickey as a tailor. Even the image of Mickey leaning on large shears is inspired from publicity art for the short cartoon. His eyes are the famous pie-eyes from when the cartoon was made.
One display window depicts Mickey’s workshop with sewing table, shears, fabrics and threads, along with a clever hand lettered sign proclaiming “Out Giant Hunting. Back Soon!” There are even sketches of garments he has made or plans to make.
Interestingly, this shop used to provide custom embroidery on items like Mickey ears, a service quite in keeping with the theme of a tailor shop. The clocks have hands that are the blades from a pair of scissors. However, there are also elements from the Beanstalk cartoon including a framed picture of Happy Valley and a set of keys that were instrumental in the rescue of the harp.
The windows feature three-dimensional figures of the Disney characters all attired in medieval clothing from Princess Minnie to Donald Duck as a bold knight in armor.
Inside the shop, Mickey, holding a lantern is standing on a bend of the beanstalk while Willie the Giant, just like in the original cartoon is lifting the roof to peak inside.
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Thanks, Jim! And come back next Friday for more from Jim Korkis!
In the meantime, check out his books, including Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: Things You Never You Never Knew, which reprints much material first written for this site, and The Vault of Walt: Volume 4, and his contributions to The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit, all published by Theme Park Press.