The “Micky Mouse Pancakes” on Our Kids Menu Are Not Affiliated with the Walt Disney Company
And here’s some crayons for the kiddo.
By the way, we have a children’s menu on the back of that placemat which features apple cinnamon oatmeal, French toast sticks with Nutella for dipping, a selection of cold cereals, and, of course, our beloved “Micky Mouse Pancakes” which, I’m obligated to inform you, are in no way affiliated with or sanctioned by Disney.
With the pancakes, you can choose to add on banana slices, strawberries, blueberries, or chocolate chips, but let me clarify that the last two cannot and will not be sprinkled on or arranged so as to resemble any facial features which could be reasonably construed as eyes, a nose, or a mouth. Smiling or otherwise expressive mouse head-shaped pancakes, hotcakes, griddle cakes, corn cakes, crepes, and blinis are the express trademark of Disney Foodstuffs Inc., Disney Parks, and The Walt Disney Company, et al.
But you can for sure drizzle your delightfully derivative (yet in no way marketplace-encroaching) pancakes with any of our delicious syrup flavors, from our classic pure Vermont maple to pecan or strawberry. However, you may not cover more than 35% of your pancakes in our blackberry syrup as the dark purple hue has been deemed too close to the coloration of the aforementioned Disney mascot, and thus its application could constitute an actionable likeness.
Also, the pancake will be served to you with the plate turned around such that the larger circle is facing the left of your paper activity placemat and the two smaller, protruding pancake circles will face to the right of the place setting. This is to ensure that the ordering party will, in no way, associate the unambiguously described “Micky Mouse” breakfast food with the legally protected cartoon character of a similar, but not identical, moniker.
Thankfully, nobody has ever spell-checked our menus—look no further than the Eggs Beneduct—so that missing “e” in Micky really saved our you-know-whats. Despite going up against their aggressively litigious army of in-house attorneys, our part-time lawyer was able to negotiate this current verbal disclaimer policy down from what Disney initially wanted: $600 million in restitution and legal fees.
And yes, we’re well aware that, as of 2024, the original appearance of Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie becomes public domain. Could we rename them “Steamboat Willie Pancakes” and save ourselves all the hassle? Sure. But it’s the principle of the thing.
Look, we’re just a mom-and-pop diner that started pouring our pancake batter into three adjacent blobs, resembling—but not intentionally infringing upon—the silhouette of a famous animated rodent. For the kids.
We specialize in hospitality, not copyright law. We don’t have time to parse how “fair use” applies to flapjacks.
That said, if you do order these wholly coincidentally-shaped pancakes from our menu, we’d prefer you just point and tap your finger on the menu and say “this one” to avoid exacerbating things any further.
So, what’ll it be? I recommend the French toast sticks.