Micky Mouse Cartoon
Mickey Mouse is Walt Disney’s most popular cartoon character. This small naughty little mouse lives in the heart of millions all over the world. Mickey Mouse was first displayed in a short time picture, “Steam Boat Willy”, on 18th November 1928 and that was the first talking cartoon picture. Now more than 150 Mickey Mouse picture films are released and other characters are Minnie, Donald duck, Goofy, and Pluto.
Mickey Mouse is a funny animal cartoon character and the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company. He was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studios in 1928.
Creators: Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney
Significant other: Minnie Mouse
Fictional universe: Mouseton
Movies and TV shows: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Fantasia,
Mickey Mouse was created by Walter Elias Disney in 1928 as a replacement for his lost creation Oswald the Lucky Rabbit whom he had lost to Universal Studios earlier in the year. With help from cartoonist Ub Iwerks, Disney created a cartoon mouse inspired by a childhood pet of his named Mortimer. Walt’s wife Lillian convinced him to change the name, and so “Mickey Mouse” was born. Sharing director duties with Ub as the main animator, Walt debuted Mickey in a short called Plane Crazy.
History of Mouse
“He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when the business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb, and disaster seemed right around the corner,” Walt penned in a 1948 essay titled “What Mickey Means to Me.” The disaster Walt mentioned was the brazen theft of both his successful cartoon character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, as well as most of the Disney artists, at the hands of Universal distributor Charles Mintz. As for who popped out of Walt’s mind? Why that was Mickey Mouse!
Just before Walt left New York for the cross-country train ride back to Hollywood, he sent his brother Roy a telegram. Nowhere in it did he outline the possible career-ending blow he and his brother had just sustained. He simply indicated when he would arrive home, and took care to add, “Don’t worry everything OK,” to ease his brother’s nerves. Everything was not okay. Walt knew he had to come up with a new character, and fast. Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller recalled, “It was on that long train ride that dad conceived of a new cartoon subject, a mouse who was then refined and further developed by Ub Iwerks, and given his name by my mother.”
The first Mickey Mouse cartoon actually completed was Plane Crazy. Inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s heroic first solo flight across the Atlantic, its plot entailed Mickey and some animal friends attempting to assemble their own airplane. The cartoon premiered in Hollywood on May 15, 1928, in the form of a test screening. It failed to obtain distribution. The second Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Gallopin’ Gaucho, met with the same fate. One unpleasant distributor even told Walt, “They don’t know you and they don’t know your mouse.”
The third time was the charm for Mickey, however, when Steamboat Willie premiered on November 18, 1928, at New York’s Colony Theatre. It was one of the very first cartoons to ever successfully utilize synchronized sound and was so popular, it was talked about more than the feature film it was meant to just compliment. Walt received $1,000 for a two-week run—the highest sum ever paid for a cartoon on Broadway. Walt Disney Studios, with its small but loyal staff, was saved, and a cartoon star was born.But, when was he born?
Oddly enough, Mickey’s “official” birthday changed dates seemingly every year for decades following 1928. In 1933, Walt himself proclaimed, “Mickey Mouse will be five years old on Sunday. He was born on October 1, 1928. That was the date on which his first picture was started, so we have allowed him to claim this day as his birthday.” That date wouldn’t last. Ranging from late September to December, Mickey’s birthday was often altered to conform to specific promotions. It wasn’t until 1978 that Dave Smith, the founder of the Disney Archives, determined that the premiere of Steamboat Willie was truly Mickey Mouse’s first public appearance, therefore his date of birth.
November 18, 1928, Minnie Mouse’s birthday too, as she was there hurrying along the banks of the river trying to catch Pegleg Pete’s steamboat. Ever resourceful, Mickey found a way to get her aboard even after the boat had departed. The two realized an instant connection, and the rest, as they say, is history.
First Sound Cartoon
When sound became the latest in film technology in 1928, Walt Disney researched several New York film companies in the hopes of recording his cartoons with sound to make them stand out. He struck a deal with Pat Powers of Powers Cinephone System, a company that offered the novelty of sound with film. While Powers added sound effects and music to the cartoon, Walt Disney was the voice of Mickey Mouse.
Pat Powers became Disney’s distributor and on November 18, 1928, Steamboat Willie (the world’s first sound cartoon) opened at the Colony Theater in New York. Disney himself did all the character voices in the seven-minute-long film. Receiving rave reviews, audiences everywhere adored Mickey Mouse along with his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, who also made her first appearance in Steamboat Willie. By the way, November 18, 1928, is considered the official birthday of Mickey Mouse.
The first two cartoons, Plane Crazy (1928) and The Gallopin’Gaucho (1928), were then released with sound, with more cartoons on the way with additional characters, including Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy.
On January 13, 1930, the first Mickey Mouse comic strip appeared in newspapers around the country.
Evolution of the Mouse
Mickey continued to grow and evolve throughout the 20th century, moving into comic strips, feature films, video games, theme parks and a ton of games and toys. He first appeared in color in 1935, in the cartoon called “The Band Concert”. He got his now-standard gloves in the 1929 short The Opry House. Mickey’s appearance changed steadily from his creation onwards. What has often considered the “classic version” of Mickey is the one that was designed by Floyd Gottfredson? The most popular version, however, is the Mickey created by Italian illustrator Romano Scarpa.
Mickey Mouse Legacy
While Mickey Mouse gained the popularity of fan clubs, toys, and worldwide fame, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit faded into obscurity after 1943.
As the Walt Disney Company grew over the decades into a mega-entertainment empire, including feature-length motion pictures, television stations, resorts and theme parks, Mickey Mouse remains the icon of the company as well as the most recognizable trademark in the world.
In 2006, the Walt Disney Company acquired the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Did U Know?
Mickey has been voiced by Walt Disney, Jim MacDonald, and Wayne Allwine, who voices Mickey to this day.
Walt Disney was given a special Oscar in 1932 for the creation of Mickey Mouse.
Mickey appeared along rival Looney Tunes characters in the film Who Framed Roger Rabit.
Mickey was inducted into the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1934.
Facts about Mickey Mouse
- Mickey Mouse is the first cartoon character to receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on his 50th anniversary on 1978. He received the star under the Motion Pictures category, and you can get to see this star at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard.
- Although Mickey and Minnie have never shown to be married or be getting married in any of their onscreen appearances, their creator Walt Disney has clarified that the two are married in private life.
- Mickey Mouse is usually not a verbal character, that is because his birth was during the silent era of movies. But however once the talkies or the talking pictures came to be, we heard Mickey’s first words, which were “Hot Dog” in his ninth short movie The Karnival Kid, in July 1929.
- We all know Mortimer as Mickey Mouse’s rival. However, what isn’t common knowledge is that Walt Disney had decided on the name Mortimer for the iconic Mouse himself, before his wife convinced him to change it to Mickey, claiming that it would be more popular that way.
- Over the course of his long, long career, Mickey Mouse has donned over 175 different outfits. His gal Minnie however, who has appeared in far fewer episodes has beat him with a solid 200 outfits.
- Almost everybody knows that Mickey Mouse has only 4 fingers in each hand. That is because according to Walt Disney, to save time and in turn money, they had to forgo a finger on each hand of these roughly 6.5-minute shorts which consisted of over 45,000 drawings. He also felt that 4 fingers on each hand were more apt for a mouse.
- It is said that Mickey Mouse’s movements were inspired by popular contemporary Hollywood stars of the time, one of whom is the character of The Tramp as created by actor/director Charlie Chaplin.
- The first Mickey Mouse club was started by Harry Woodin at his theater in Woodin, California, where he led attendees in a Mickey Mouse pledge and showed Mickey Mouse shorts on Saturday Afternoons. When Walt Disney heard about this, he partnered with Woodin and that was the birth of many Mickey Mouse club across the US.
- Walt Disney himself voiced both Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from 1929 to 1946. In fact, rumors say, that he only stopped voicing the characters because excessive smoking had taken a toll upon his voice, making it unsuitable to voice for squeaky Mickey and Minnie.
- Mickey Mouse’s birthday is November 18th, 1928, which coincidentally is also Minnie Mouse’s birthday. So technically they are both 87 years old.
- Mickey Mouse has been a regular feature in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after his debut appearance in it in 1934, as a 40-foot tall balloon. He ended up being the first cartoon character to ever lead the parade, which happened in 1935, as a giant 55-foot tall balloon.
- Despite his crazy popularity the only movie featuring Mickey Mouse to ever win an Academy Award was “Lend A Paw”, which didn’t even star him as the central character, but was actually Pluto’s story.
- Walt Disney remains to this date, the highest recipient of the Academy Awards, with over 26 Oscars in his possession, 22 of which were in a competitive category. One of his first was an honorary Oscar for the creation of Mickey Mouse in 1932.
- The last Mickey Mouse short created by Walt Disney was “The Simple Things” in 1953, following which he was unable to resume work on them due to other commitments, until his death in 1966.
- So from 1953 till the next Mickey Mouse short in 1995, The Runaway Brain, there was a gap of almost 40 years, which was only broken by his only other appearance in that period – Mickey’s Christmas Carol in 1983.
- Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, was, unfortunately, afraid of mice. The only reason he created these characters was because, despite his irrational fear, he found them to be very sympathetic creatures.
- The only time Mickey Mouse appeared on the silver screen with the only other cartoon character who could match up to his popularity levels – Bugs Bunny, was in the movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? made possible by the star power of Steven Spielberg.
- Mickey Mouse’s fullname is Michael Thedore Mouse, which is revealed by the French comic La Planete Des Cerveaux. However, earlier in the short Symphony Hour and the House of Mouse episode his name is shown to be as Michael Mouse.
- It has been suggested that Walt Disney truly got the inspiration for Mickey Mouse from an actual mouse that he almost trained with breadcrumbs at Laugh-O-Gram Studio.
- The biggest irony in the home of Mickey Mouse – Disneyland is that over 200 feral cats are kept on the premises to keep them free of the rat and mouse population. Not sure Mickey will be pleased about that.