CULTURE POP: SPOTLIGHT ON: M. MOUSE OUTSHINES M. EISNER

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BE LIKE MICKEY: Did you ever wonder why Michael Eisner doesn't tell Walt Disney Co. to make more cartoons starring Mickey Mouse, the very embodiment of its pop fantasias? It seems Mr. E's intention is nothing short of supplanting Mickey as Disney's most recognized icon. Look what he did to Mike Ovitz: When he started stealing his ink, Eisner had him erased from the payroll. But his slow, subtle marginalization of Mickey is far more insidious, and never more apparent than at Disney's recent shareholder meeting where Mickey was gamely trotted out only to introduce Mr. E, then quickly ushered back to 'Toontown.

But the People/Yankelovich

POP Monitor Profiles, tracking 1,000 top celebs, indicates Mike won't be able to dislodge Mickey from America's heart so easily. Disney's animated icon outshines his flesh-and-blood icon in every positive characteristic, even trustworthiness

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