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Black Pete

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Walt has remarked on many occasions that Mickey Mouse was the "everyman", and it was Mickey's

|- | valign="top"|"can-do attitude" and "eternal optimism" that not only gave him his appeal, but ensured that he triumphed over every obstacle placed in his way. So, if you have a character who represents the every man, who do you choose as his opponent? Why, nothing more than a simple bully I would suggest. And that's all Pete is in most of his shorts. From cruel authority figures such as dog catchers to army sergeants; from the nightmare neighbour to the boss from Hell; from a complaining customer to a salesperson with no scruples…

It's when Pete works best, a low-key loudmouthed bully with a short temper and even shorter long-term ambitions. In such a role Pete, with or without his "Peg Leg" was an ideal foil for not only Mickey, but also Donald and Goofy too. There's something that clicks when such a detestable and corrupt individual confronts such likeable and innocent characters.

But just as Mickey is a character to have worn many hats over his long and varied career, so has Pete. And sometimes his ambitions have been somewhat grander. He's been a notorious Wild West outlaw several times, an Arab sultan on the lookout for new conquests for his harem and a scheming captain of the guard plotting to overthrow his royal masters on a couple of occasions. Personally, I don't think these appearances work so well - Pete should never be a manipulative plotter or successful criminal, it dilutes his appeal. While I'm no big fan of his "Goof Troop" persona, he's still better when giving bad parenting advice to Goofy or repressing his son's creativity than robbing a bank or kidnapping royalty.

However, as the exception to the rule, Pete's finest hour was his appearance as The Ghost of Christmas Future in "Mickey's Christmas Carol", still a scene I consider to be one of the most atmospheric animated sequences of all time.

Pete's been causing difficulties for Mickey since "Steamboat Willie". Let's hope he continues to do so as long as Mickey Mouse exists, whether on screen or in print. - James Reader

My earliest memories in life, not surprisingly, are watching Mickey Mouse cartoons. I vaguely remember watching various cartoons starring Mickey and oft times Pluto too. While the memories seem to fade as I grow older, the one thing about those cartoons that is still as clear as ever was the character Pete. I clearly remember him laughing at Mickey whenever something unfortunate would happen to the star. As a child I had a great dislike, almost a hate…a bitter hate towards him. Unlike the other villains, Pete had no special powers. He wasn’t a wizard or a sorcerer and he doesn’t work for anyone…Pete was just mean. Pete has no vendetta or reason for revenge. He wasn't jealous or envious of Mickey. It seems all villains have something that drives them to be evil, callous or cruel…after 22 years of watching Mickey Mouse cartoons, I have yet to find Pete’s reason. It seems like he just enjoys being mean to Mickey and Pluto |} |}

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