Painter Mani is responsible for a lot of the Mickeys in Madurai

 Madurais Mickey Man The artist who paints cartoons all over the citys auto-rickshaws
news Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 06:27

This piece was first published on India-centric lifestyle publication Lover and has been reproduced here with permission. 

"When we met in Bangalore almost three years ago, Kassia was telling me about Madurai, where she had lived for a year some time ago. I was intrigued, and on a whim I took a bus there. One of the first things I noticed was how so many of the autos had these Mickeys painted on them. Some red, some blue, some wearing hats, all kinds of cool interpretations of the character. I took some pictures and thought that it might be an interesting topic to explore further at some point.

When we were back down in Madurai recently, we decided to go ahead and do a film as a way to explore the story behind the Mickeys - to find out who Mickey is to different people and how he has become such a popular figure on auto rickshaws. We spent a few days going around the city talking to different auto drivers and found out that this painter Mani is responsible for a lot of the Mickeys in Madurai. We spent a lot of time with Mani and had him paint the title of the film in Tamil (Who is Mickey?), which my brother Garrett, an animator in LA, then animated for the film's opening sequence." - Grant Davis

Who is Mickey? (மிக்கி யார்?) from Dear on Vimeo.

Kassia Karr and Grant Davis run Dear, a Delhi-based content and film studio. Check out their website at and follow them on Instagram.