TopoPrincipe, Augusto Macchetto: “A tribute to a masterpiece, with humility and courage”

Rome – The flight of a dream is also that of an airplane. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a motorized biplane or a simple banknote folded like an airplane. A lightness that is typical of a child’s imagination, not only of the one who listens to the stories but also of the one who creates the stories. Prince Mouse (Joints)the ultimate challenge of Disney parodiesstarts right here.


From an inversion that continues what began with the child’s passion for writing Paperdancer: a child who told stories to his parents. Not the other. Stories that flow by themselves, as if the space of the mind weren’t enough to contain them, triggering the speech of the story.

So a penny collected on the ground becomes a story. And so does the noise of an airplane. Which goes far, like all planes. Far away, like fantasy. The one who sees with the heart, even before the eyes.

From the screen that covers the memory of a caress, to a “like” that obscures a beautiful sunset, Topoprincipe delicately explores the space between dream and reality. To remind us that, despite everything, it doesn’t take much to go home happy.

For example, after discovering that he still knows how to play. “We wanted to re-read ‘The Little Prince’ – she explained to Augusto Macchetto, writer of the parody – breathing his own air”. And even the “baubab” seed becomes an opportunity for a meeting.

First Dante, now Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: parodies, which have always been one of Mickey’s trademarks, try their hand at increasingly challenging terrain, also offering the possibility of confronting original content as well. There is more and more an attempt to offer an approach to reading as well as entertainment. What do you work on most to combine the entertainment aspect with the literary one?

The two things must go hand in hand: when writing Disney we need to imagine that we have an immense audience in front of us: the little ones, of course, but also teenagers, adults… It would be quicker to say “everyone”, of course, but that’s risk losing sight of the goal. In that “everyone” there are so many faces, many perhaps opposing tastes, many different reading skills. The attempt is always to bring us closer to this multifaceted audience by giving each one reasons for amusement and satisfaction and we only succeed by not losing sight of all these faces.

Is it fair to say that each character in a parody plays a real role as an actor? Or should each character, so strongly connoted in the reader’s imagination, be adapted to the role he plays according to his own characteristics?

In the case of Disney characters, we need to move with caution, because they have a character of their own, written in decades of stories told through cinema, books, comics… Even if we may not realize it, we know exactly who Donald Duck is, for example . We know how he will behave in a certain situation. So roles have to be chosen carefully. In the case of the Little Prince, which features a character who lives in everyone’s imagination in the foreground, Mickey Mouse immediately took over. There was no casting, shall we say, for the role of him. Mickey Mouse is a flexible interpreter and knows how to say serious things with a smile. He does it from a point of view all of him, suspended. He easily leaves his favorite fields of action (investigations, to name one) and is capable of poetry, of great lightness.

Over the years we have gone from a plot closely linked to the main text, see Mickey’s Inferno of ’49, to get to TopoPrincipe where the plot is almost distorted: what is this choice due to?

I wouldn’t speak of upheaval, but certainly dealing with a work that has left such a strong mark on literature requires humility on the one hand and courage on the other. Humility in approaching a universal book, which even those who have not read it know. But tracing the work slightly off the original drawing would naturally have been useless. So, courage: we wanted to re-read it breathing its own air, traveling in the same atmosphere, and introducing some current issues.

The parodies of Mickey Mouse are an Italian characteristic that has seen important comics signatures put themselves to the test: is it possible to associate the great parodies with an educational intent?

Disney production is hardly didactic in the first instance, except when it is admittedly so. You don’t want to teach anything in the traditional way, you don’t get to the chair, to understand each other. It is told, and it is told in a participatory way, in which we who make the stories are completely involved, first of all. Without this involvement, this affection, the Disney story cannot be born. From stories written with love then, yes, everyone can get something beautiful, to keep, and we’re happy about it.

Reading the latest parody-stories we notice a sort of change in register: from a more humorous interpretation of the stories we have moved on to a greater characterization of the plots and characters. Is this because the way stories are received by younger readers has also changed?

Disney parodies actually have different declinations and intentions. Some are born with the stated purpose of making people smile, others offer a different point of view on the story from which they are born. From time to time you choose where to end up, in short. Certainly today even the youngest readers are able to enjoy much more complex plots than in the past and this is reflected in our work.

After the success of Paperdante and, most likely also of TopoPrincipe, what other masterpieces will you be working on in the future? What should readers expect?

It’s a secret…but readers should expect to be surprised. To be picked up and taken elsewhere, on an adventure.

(The Lighthouse online)

TopoPrincipe, Augusto Macchetto: “A tribute to a masterpiece, with humility and courage” – Il Faro Online