Dawn van Zant

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There are two characters named Dawn van Zant, both of whom were created by Midnight Man, and who have a number of things in common.

The Imaginary Dawn


This version of Dawn is a female mouse and looks almost exactly like Gadget. However, according to her profession, she wears an outfit which is typical for archaeologists in the TaleSpin universe, and which can be seen on the TaleSpin canonical character Katy Dodd. It consists of a tropical hat, a shirt, and a pair of long pants, all of which are beige.


Little is known about her, but a bit can still be said. Two great fields of interest of hers are archaeology and aviation. She chose the former as her work and to keep the latter for herself unless it is needed. As a fresh archaeologist, she lacks practical experience in these things, but she is eager to learn by doing, also because that would require having customers.

She has got a strong sense of justice, and justice is an ideal she would fight for if necessary. Her skills at using a blowgun surely help her. Besides, she is not the kind to give up quickly.


In the beginning of Too Huge To Be True, she had just started working as an archaeologist in Cape Suzette. Getting a job isn't easy for someone with no experience, though, so she is glad when the engineer Howard Huge steps into her office and asks her to retrieve the Marabou. To make things easier, she turns the job into a treasure rally, but soon she finds herself in the very middle of it. Her similarity to Gadget causes quite a bit of confusion.

Appeared in

Too Huge To Be True

2006 Golden Acorn Awards: Best Characterization (after she leaves, everyone but Midnight seems to not have seen her at all)

2007 Golden Acorn Awards: Rookie of the Year (doesn't appear, but slipped Midnight a fake nominees list)

2008 Golden Acorn Awards: Best Drama

The Real Dawn


The real Dawn van Zant is a female mouse, too, but bears a slightly more remote resemblance to Gadget which is mostly reduced to her face and the colors of her fur, hair, and eyes. Her blond hair is shorter than Gadget's, it reaches slightly further down than to her shoulders, and it is divided by a center parting.

Her usual clothing consists of a white blouse, a beige vest, and a pair of long, straight white pants. But she doesn't mind wearing a dress whenever one is required or recommended.


Apart from her parents, Franklin van Zant and Suzanne Wheatfield van Zant, there has hardly been anyone in Dawn's life. Not only does she take the term friend very serious and doesn't apply it on everyone she finds sympathetic, but she has also had some negative experiences in her youth, the worst being the loss of her best friend to a cat. So not to allow something as terrible to occur, and as other attempts at finding friends failed, she learned how to spend her life alone. However, after meeting Midnight, she figures she has got good reasons to give friendship another try, although she wants more deep in her heart. And even then, her bit of shyness stands in her way.

Probably the worst thing one can do to her is disappoint her as a friend, for that would cause her to lose confidence in friendship again.

It is quite hard to make Dawn cry, but it is not impossible. Long ago, she has decided not to shed any tear for her lost best friend, because she knows that it wouldn't bring her back anyway. She smiles a lot, though, and she knows how to appreciate the simple things in life.

Dawn loves to fly, but she has no ambitions to become an aviator.


Dawn lives with her parents who run a rodent restaurant called The Morning Sun, and she sometimes helps them. When the weather is fine enough, she loves to be outside in the park. It is there where she met Midnight for the first few times in spring 2006. But although they spent a lot of time together since he had moved to New York City mainly for her, it took them until Christmas Eve 2006 to become a loving couple, and almost as long to even be friends.

She also was the first living relative Gadget encountered after she had lost her father. (Spoilers blanked)

Appeared in

A Hero That's None

Last Date


A Little Story Of Midnight And Dawn

2006 Golden Acorn Awards: Best Characterization

2007 Golden Acorn Awards: Rookie of the Year

2008 Golden Acorn Awards: Best Drama

Two presentations which didn't make it into the 2010 Golden Acorn Awards: Best Original Website Section, Outstanding Website Achievement


Midnight Man was inspired to create both Dawns at once, a fact which is proved by their common name. The first name, Dawn, matches the name of the author's self-insertion avatar, Midnight, and the last name is a remote play on the imaginary Dawn's profession.

The only time both Dawns ever met was on a special occasion, at the 2006 Golden Acorn Awards where they were on stage together with Midnight.