I don’t know if this is the first time Walt was parodied by his own studio; assuredly it wasn’t the last. The sorcerer in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Fantasia is named Yensid. Merlin from The Sword in the Stone is based on Walt. (Bill Peet had a long and complicated relationship with the Disney Studios in general and Walt in particular.) But I’d say this is likely the one that has the most psychological significance, all things considered—I’m not a Freudian, but Freud himself was still alive at the time and could’ve had a field day with it.
Mickey and Minnie are out for a pleasant drive in his sentient car, to be followed by a picnic. They settle down together, and a flashy car stops practically on top of them. It turns out to be driven by Mortimer, an old boyfriend of Minnie’s. He flirts with her, humiliates Mickey, inadvertently releases a bull, and runs away. Mickey and his jalopy are required to save Minnie’s life.
Mortimer is twice Mickey and Minnie’s height. He is an obnoxious bro sort, whose humour runs to things like taking the buttons off Mickey’s pants. Even his car is a jerk, deliberately crushing Mickey’s against a tree in a way that would likely be painful, if the cars feel pain—possibly this is a precursor to Pixar’s Cars universe? He shows off. Honestly, he makes you wonder what Minnie saw in him in the first place. Oh, and he dresses like Walt. And has Walt’s facial features.
I mean. Possibly, even probably, it’s just a joke to have Mortimer look like Walt. Why not? I don’t think Walt’s features were remotely as well known in 1936 as they would become. The name Mortimer is definitely a joke; famously, it was Walt’s original name for the character, and Lillian convinced him to change his mind because it was too fancy a name for a cartoon character. But Walt’s appearance? That could either be a joke or something deeper, and to my knowledge, none of the animators ever discussed which.
I dislike that Minnie brushes off Mickey’s annoyance as “just jealousy.” Is he jealous? Yes. She’s ignoring him and flirting brazenly with Mortimer in front of him. Of course he’s jealous. But Mortimer is also awful. I could get it if Minnie dated him one or twice in college (or the period-appropriate equivalent thereof; Minnie’s supposed to be lower class enough that I doubt she would have gone to college in the early ’30s. But Mickey’s right to be annoyed at the whole thing, and I’m pretty sure the cartoon knows that, whether Walt was that guy or not.