Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Character spotlight: Timothy Q. Mouse

Dumbo is the movie that features one of my all-time favorite Disney characters, perhaps second only to Donald Duck himself: Timothy Q. Mouse.
Timothy is 10 pounds of moxie in a 25 gram sack. He's a little guy with a big mouth and a bigger heart. What's not to like?

We don't really know much about Timothy - where he came from, or what he's doing. He just shows up amongst the circus animals wearing his little ringmaster outfit. Despite his clothing, though, Timothy doesn't seem to be an actual member of the circus cast or crew. He doesn't perform in the show, and he is never seen doing any work other than how he chooses to help Dumbo or how he secretly manipulates the ringmaster.

I like to think of Timothy as a little mouse who caught the circus during a show in Brooklyn and decided to run away with it and insinuate himself into the proceedings. He's like young Steven Spielberg who snuck onto movie sets and pretended to work there until they really thought he belonged and started paying him. It works out well for Timothy too, as he winds up managing the show's biggest act.

But Timothy doesn't get to that position of success because he's after power or money. He doesn't help Dumbo because he sees a talent worth exploiting, he only does it because he can't take watching the other elephants mercilessly ridiculing the little guy. He retaliates against them and then devotes himself to helping Dumbo turn his life around purely because his conscience would let him do no less.

Underneath the fast talking, scheming, and brass buttons is a little guy that is all heart. We should all be so lucky to have a friend like Timothy Q. Mouse. One who supports us with no thought of personal gain, and one who doesn't overlook our flaws, but sees them as strengths:

"Why didn't I think of this before? Your ears! Just look at 'em, Dumbo! Why, they're poifect wings! The very things that held ya down are gonna carry ya up, and up, and up! I can see it all now!" - Timothy Q. Mouse

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