Wally Wood was one of the all-time great comic book artists, a man who could draw just about anything and make it look easy, and for years I had searched for the title to the following piece of art. Now that I've found it, I give you "The Disneyland Memorial Orgy," and the story behind it.
The Disneyland Memorial Orgy is a cartoon illustration created by Wally Wood for satirist Paul Krassner's radical humor publication The Realist. Published shortly after the death of Walt Disney, the artwork was commissioned by Krassner to portray the liberated behavior of the cartoon characters featured in many of Disney's animated films.
The drawing first appeared in The Realist #74 (May, 1967), and Krassner also published a larger version as a poster, initially selling several thousand copies. The original art was stolen from the printer. Krassner got the idea from Disney's December 15, 1966 death, as he explained:
"This was a few years after Time's famous "God Is Dead" cover, and it occurred to me that Disney was indeed God to Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy -- the whole crowd -- he had been their creator and had repressed their baser instincts, but now they could shed all their inhibitions and participate in a magnificent mass binge."
Krassner was not sued by Disney, but Disney did force Sam Ridge, a publisher of psychedelic posters who produced a colorized, bootleg version, into an out-of-court settlement. The drawing is often used to illustrate certain parts of copyright laws in the United States, namely those that permit original works to be partially copied for satirical or critical goals but which outlaw reproductions made for commercial purposes.
Only about a third of the 64 Disney characters depicted are actively involved in sexual intercourse or are on the point of undertaking it. Most are just observing the others. A few of the characters are occupied with other activities. A dazed Mickey Mouse, to the left in the bottom area, is plunging a syringe in his arm, while the paraphernalia of drug addicts lies at his feet. Next to him, an evil looking and grinning Pluto is urinating on a large painting of the eager face of Mickey. One of the small rabbits from Bambi is probably engaged in the sin of gluttony, featured licking an ice cream cone. In the upper left, Dumbo the flying elephant has just defecated on Donald Duck while in flight.
The wide activity of the scene and the panoramic view resembles the satires of William Hogarth or medieval depictions from such masters such as Hieronymus Bosch. The upper left portion is decorated with a few allusions to the lucrative nature of Walt Disney enterprises.