Speaking of symbolism, is that why you picked Mickey Mouse in particular?
MG: Well, obviously Mickey Mouse is a symbol of innocence, and of America, and of success, and of idealism — and to have him killed, as a solider is such a contradiction of your expectations. And when you’re dealing with communication, when you contradict expectations, you get a result.
Disney is very protective of their intellectual property. Did you ever hear from them after you screened the film?
MG: No… There was some talk about Disney suing us, but I think the consequence of that — everybody realized — would have been negative for Disney and would have no benefit. And obviously no profit was made out of the utilization of the character or the film, so nothing ever happened.
Is there any truth to the rumor that Disney tried to destroy every copy?
MG: I never heard that before or knew about it until you just mentioned it.
Did you continue to show the film after the Vietnam War ended?
MG: Lee died a year or two after that, but our intent was to do it expressly for this one event, and that was the end of it. I mean, we both went on, obviously to other ideas and other things. We certainly continued an ideological resistance to war, but we never followed it around or tried to promote or did anything once it was finished.
Lastly, had you had a platform like YouTube back in ‘60s, a way to make the film go viral, would you have gone that route?
MG: Well, that’s what you hope for, isn’t it? You hope in doing these things that they become visible and public, and up until now there was not a very effective mechanism for that type of occurrence. Now, of course, something hits at an unusual combination of circumstances — something is all of sudden seen around the world in days — and it’s always surprising.