If you love kids’ books and Disney, you’ve probably seen Mike Mozart’s work.
He paints well-known comic figures with brilliant color and finesse. But he’s also mixed up in not just one but two controversies.
We decided we had to know more about him.
Let’s jump in!
The Story of Mike Mozart
Wolfgang Michael Mozart started life in 1964. He’s been passionate about painting since he was a child. Growing up in an old industrial town, there were abandoned buildings. Mike’s early graffiti involved painting them rather than the usual tags other street artists displayed.
Mike started this street art in the 1970s. Someone from the town approached him to paint building walls on purpose. Mozart’s graffiti became a job. With a bit of initiative and a love of art, he next broke into the illustration world as a teenager. His tag is MiMo.
In the 1980s, Mozart’s career expanded as a professional illustrator and product designer of toys and kitchen gadgets. He has illustrated over one hundred licensed kid’s books with Disney, Warner, Ninja Turtles, and dozens more.
Mozart is a burly guy with a Kris Kringle beard. He exudes happiness in his outgoing personality.
Did Mike Mozart Have a YouTube Channel?
As a toy designer, Mozart naturally migrated to self-appointed toy reviewer. He started posting YouTube content in 2007. He built a massive following by creating comedic reviews of new and old toys.
His channels, JeepersMedia, TheToyChannel, and MikeMozart, amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. His videos have millions of views.
Mike abruptly stopped posting to his channels. Even though his videos are a bit dated, they’re still hilarious. In some, Mozart went live as he painted his favorite characters, such as Mr. Monopoly.
Is Mike Mozart Still Alive?
The disappearance of Mozart from YouTube led to rumors that he died. He reappeared in 2015 for a brief update that he was alive and well. He had also grown out his famous beard.
Mozart made a vague reference to personal drama during his absence. Then he directed everyone to his Instagram feed. He still posts there off and on and has sporadic involvement in other media such as Flickr and Facebook.
What Inspires Mike Mozart?
Mike is passionate about painting and loves drawing pictures. He can spend hours working on a piece, not stopping and completely forgetting the time. He loves doing things that other people will enjoy.
The smiling faces of the characters he creates make him happy. Mike makes us happy too.
Is Mike Mozart in a Feud?
Mike Mozart met up-and-coming street artist Alec Monopoly in a movie production studio. According to Mozart, Alec was eager to meet him and bought some of his artwork. They began a collaborative friendship that lasted about five years.
According to Mozart, the last two years of their work together saw Alec rise to international fame. Mozart claims he designed and created a substantial amount of Alec Monopoly’s most famous artworks. Images used on major retail labels were exact replicas of Mozart’s compositions.
Alec Monopoly disagrees. He claims his artistic origins are through his mother, also an artist. The inspiration for his adoption of the Mr. Monopoly character came from Bernie Madoff. He intended it as criticism of bank bailouts.
To this day, Mike Mozart claims he inspired Alec Monopoly’s work. Alec disagrees. Sites like 212arts.com recognize the volume of work Mozart created for Monopoly.
Since Mozart’s style for decades involved cartoon characters in the Monopoly style, we tend to believe him.
What’s the Story with Toy Story?
Caught up in another controversy, Mozart got into a bit of a verbal battle with a Pixar writer. Mike was friends with the late Joe Ranft, the head co-writer for Toy Story. In a YouTube video with Jonathan Carlin of the Super Carlin Brothers, Mozart discussed the previously untold backstory of the character Andy.
In fact, Carlin devoted the entire seventeen-minute video to the topic. Mozart recalled a lunch with Ranft where he talked about Andy’s missing dad and the origins of the toy character Woody.
Two days after the episode aired, Pixar writer Andrew Stanton tweeted that the story was fake news. He used the hashtag #Iwasthere. Mozart still stands by his story.
Where Can I See Some of Mike Mozart’s Art?
You can go to YouTube to see Mike’s past videos, which are still a lot of fun. To get the best look at his most recent work, go to his Instagram page.
Mozart has over four thousand posts of images and videos. His cartoon classics still include Mr. Monopoly, Donald Duck, and Calvin and Hobbes.
Outside Folk Gallery
You can explore more folk, street, and outsider art in our personal collection at Outside Folk Art. We’re celebrating these creatives and giving voice to rising black, Native, immigrant, and working mother artisans.
We’ll also be offering pop-up shows and collaborations with small museums, so be sure to follow us to discover the where and when!
Mike Mozart’s Talent Outweighs the Drama
Maybe Mike Mozart was caught up in a bit of drama. We don’t care. Undoubtedly, he has an innate creative ability that makes you smile. His gregarious personality and entertaining cartoon characters are a delight. The whole family can enjoy his paintings, illustrations, and videos.
Have you watched a Mike Mozart YouTube video? Which was your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!