Something you didn’t know you have wondered all your childhood.
Why do all cartoon characters wear gloves? (from the early days of animation, of course!)
Have you ever wondered why so many classic cartoon characters wear gloves? Have you even noticed? (We have to confess we hadn’t really clocked this).
Everyone from Mickey and Minnie, Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker, even recent game characters Mario and Sonic are all donning gloves at all times.
And that’s a bit weird.
Now, Vox has delved into this a bit further, talking to an animation historian and looking into the historical and political contexts surrounding when some of these early characters were created.
The very short answer then, is ‘because it’s easier’.
The slightly longer answer takes into account the fact that when characters like Mickey and Goofy were created, animation was all black and white and gloves made hand movements stand out more – particularly given these are anthropomorphised animals (animals doing human things).
The more in-depth answer looks at the history of vaudeville, how early animation was built around vaudeville traditions, and in particular the figure of the minstrel.
Essentially it means that, historically speaking, Mickey was developed as part of a tradition of racist parody.