Mickey Mouse Cartoon Chronology

Week 36 Viz

Posted by David Velleca on November 8, 2018

Data Viz Approach and Data Storytelling

I really liked this week's dataset. When I decided to release this dataset for this week's Throwback Data Thursday, I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do with the data, but when I actually got into the data, it didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to focus on the characters. I specifically wanted to look at which characters typically appeared with one another.

In Excel, I tore apart the column that had all of the characters in it and focused on the characters that you tend to think of when you think "Disney World" and "Mickey Mouse" - Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald and Daisy. Initially, I wanted to use a chord diagram to show the number of appearances by character pair, but decided that this wasn't the correct approach. Instead, I used an arc Sankey following a template provided by Zen Master, Ken Flerlage.

I modified Ken's template a bit to force all of the arcs to be "positive" or above the characters using an absolute value. Additionally, I wanted to prevent the Arc Sankey from looking too busy, so I decided to drive some interactivity with a parameter that lets the user select a character. This then drives which arcs are visible, and keeps the viz a bit more minimal. I thought I was going to get to play with Dashboard Extensions for Parameter Actions, but unfortunately Extensions are not yet enabled in Tableau Public. I did get it working in Desktop though, and man was it cool!

In addition to the Sankey, I also wanted to show a rough timeline of the films. I used a stacked shape chart to do this, where the character chosen above the Sankey is also referenced in the shape chart. I used an additional datasource to accomplish this, but with the parameter, I was able to create calculated fields that allowed the datasets to interact seamlessly. Overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out.

The character interactions in the films is only one of the interesting insights in this dataset. What kind of insights can you find in this data? Download the data and see what you can do. Create your viz and post your work to Tableau Public and Twitter with the hashtag #ThrowbackDataThursday, tagging @TThrowbackThurs. We'd really love to see what you can come up with!

Data Source

This week's dataset comes from Wikipedia. Please be sure to cite the source on your viz.