Mickey Mouse day takes place November 18 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first appearance of Mickey Mouse in the short film Steamboat Willie (1928), one of the first sound cartoons. Mickey Mouse was originally created as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an earlier cartoon character created by the Disney studio for Charles Mintz, a film producer who distributed product through Universal Studios. In 1928, Disney fell out with Mintz and restarted from scratch deter,ined to hold onto the rights of his characters. The new Disney Studio initially consisted of animator Ub Iwerks Les Clark and Wilfred Jackson
In 1928, Ub Iwerks started drawing up new character ideas. Iwerks tried sketches of various animals, such as dogs and cats, such as Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar and Flip the Frog series. Walt Disney then got the inspiration for Mickey Mouse from a tame mouse at his desk at Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City, Missouri.Ub Iwerks then created a new mouse character for Disney. “Mortimer Mouse” However his wife, Lillian, convinced him to change it to Mickey Mouse.
Mickey mouse made his debut in a test screening of the cartoon short Plane Crazy, on May 15, 1928, Walt went on to produce a second Mickey short, The Gallopin’ Gaucho. The next cartoon short Steamboat Willie was first released on November 18, 1928, in New York. It was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Iwerks assisted by Johnny Cannon, Les Clark, Wilfred Jackson and Dick Lundy. It parodied Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr., As a result of being one of the first cartoons with sound, Mickey would soon become the most prominent animated character of the time
The cartoon was not the first cartoon to feature a soundtrack connected to the action. Fleischer Studios, headed by brothers Dave and Max Fleischer, had already released a number of sound cartoons using the DeForest system in the mid-1920s. However, these cartoons did not keep the sound synchronized throughout the film. For Steamboat Willie, Disney had the sound recorded with a click track that kept the musicians on the beat. This is apparent during the “Turkey in the Straw” sequence when Mickey’s actions exactly match the accompanying instruments. Walt Disney then added sound to both Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho (which had originally been silent releases) and their new release added to Mickey’s success and popularity. A fourth Mickey short, The Barn Dance, was also made.
Mickey also featured as a comic strip character. His self-titled newspaper strip, drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson, ran for 45 years. Mickey has also appeared in comic books such as Disney Italy’s Topolino, MM Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine, and Wizards of Mickey, and in television series such as The Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1996) and others. He also appears in other media such as video games as well as merchandising and is a meetable character at the Disney parks.
Mickey generally appears alongside his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, his pet dog Pluto, his friends Donald Duck and Goofy, and his nemesis Pete, among others. In Mickey’s early films he was often characterized not as a hero, but as an ineffective young suitor to Minnie Mouse. The Barn Dance is the first time in which Mickey is turned down by Minnie in favor of Pete. Walt Disney himself voiced both Mickey and Minnie and remained Mickey’s voice through 1946 for theatrical cartoons. Jimmy MacDonald took over the role in 1946, but Walt provided Mickey’s voice again from 1955 to 1959 for The Mickey Mouse Club television series on ABC.
The Opry House was the first time in which Mickey wore his white gloves. Mickey wears them in almost all of his subsequent appearances and many other characters followed suit. The three lines on the back of Mickey’s gloves represent darts in the gloves’ fabric extending from between the digits of the hand, typical of glove design of the era. When the Cat’s Away essentially a remake of the Alice Comedy, “Alice Rattled by Rats”, was an unusual appearance for Mickey. Although Mickey and Minnie still maintained their anthropomorphic characteristics, they were depicted as the size of regular mice and living with a community many other mice as pests in a home. The next Mickey short The Barnyard Battle (April 25, 1929) depict Mickey as a soldier and also the first to place him in combat. The Karnival Kid (1929) was the first time Mickey spoke. Before this he had only whistled, laughed, and grunted. His first words were “Hot dogs! Hot dogs!”. The next animated short Mickey’s Follies (1929) introduced the song “Minnie’s Yoo-Hoo” which became the theme song for Mickey Mouse films for the next several years. Mickey’s dog Pluto also appeared as Mickey’s pet in The Moose Hunt (1931) after previously appearing as Minnie’s dog “Rover” in The Picnic (1930). The Cactus Kid (1930) was the last film to be animated by Ub Iwerks at Disney.
Ub Iwerks then left to start his own studio. The departure is considered a turning point in Mickey’s career, as well as that of Walt Disney. Walt lost the man who served as his closest colleague and confidant since 1919. Mickey lost the man responsible for his original design and for the direction or animation of several of the shorts. Disney and his remaining staff continued the production of the Mickey series, and he was able to eventually find a number of animators to replace Iwerks. Mickey’s popularity rose and by 1932 The Mickey Mouse Club would have one million members. At the 5th Academy Awards in 1932, Mickey received his first Academy Award nomination, received for Mickey’s Orphans (1931). Walt Disney also received an honorary Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse. Despite being eclipsed by the Silly Symphonies short the Three Little Pigs in 1933, Mickey still maintained great popularity. Mickey Mouse next appeard In Orphan’s Benefit (1934) alongside Donald Duck who had been introduced earlier that year in the Silly Symphonies series. Mickey first appeared animated in color in Parade of the Award Nominees in 1932. Which was created for the 5th Academy Awards ceremony. Mickey’s official first color film came in 1935 with The Band Concert which features Mickey conducting the William Tell Overture, however the band is swept up by a tornado. In 1994, The Band Concert was voted the third-greatest cartoon of all time in a poll of animation professionals. In 1935, Walt also received a special award from the League of Nations for creating Mickey. Mickey, Donald Duck, and Goofy featured in some of Mickey’s most critically acclaimed films, including Mickey’s Fire Brigade (1935), Moose Hunters (1937), Clock Cleaners (1937), Lonesome Ghosts (1937), Boat Builders (1938), and Mickey’s Trailer (1938). Also during this era, Mickey starred in Brave Little Tailor (1938), an adaptation of The Valiant Little Tailor, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Mickey was redesigned by animator Fred Moore, in The Pointer (1939). Mickey was given white eyes with pupils instead of black eyes, a Caucasian skin colored face, and a pear-shaped body. He changed once more in The Little Whirlwind, where he lost his tail, got more realistic ears that changed with perspective and a different body anatomy. But this change would only last for a short period of time before returning to the one in “The Pointer”, with the exception of his pants. In his final theatrical cartoons in the 1950s, he was given eyebrows, which were removed in the more recent cartoons.
In 1940 Mickey appeared in his first feature-length film, Fantasia. His screen role as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, set to the symphonic poem of the same name by Paul Dukas, is perhaps the most famous segment of the film and one of Mickey’s most iconic roles. The segment features no dialogue at all, only the music. The apprentice (Mickey), not willing to do his chores, puts on the sorcerer’s magic hat after the sorcerer goes to bed and casts a spell on a broom, which causes the broom to come to life and perform the most tiring chore—filling up a deep well using two buckets of water. When the well eventually overflows, Mickey finds himself unable to control the broom, leading to a near-flood. After the segment ends, Mickey is seen in silhouette shaking hands with Leopold Stokowski, who conducts all the music heard in Fantasia. Mickey has often been pictured in the red robe and blue sorcerer’s hat in merchandising. It was also featured into the climax of Fantasmic!, an attraction at the Disney theme parks.
After 1940, Mickey’s popularity would decline until his 1955 re-emergence as a daily children’s television personality. Despite this, the character continued to appear regularly in animated shorts until 1943 (winning his only competitive Academy Award—with canine companion Pluto—for a short subject, Lend a Paw) and again from 1946 to 1953. The last regular installment of the Mickey Mouse film series came in 1953 with The Simple Things in which Mickey and Pluto go fishing and are pestered by a flock of seagulls.
In the 1950s, Mickey became more known for his appearances on television, particularly with The Mickey Mouse Club. Many of his theatrical cartoon shorts were rereleased on television series such as Ink & Paint Club, various forms of the Walt Disney anthology television series, and on home video. Mickey returned to theatrical animation in 1983 with Mickey’s Christmas Carol, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in which Mickey played Bob Cratchit. This was followed up in 1990 with The Prince and the Pauper.
Throughout the decades, Mickey Mouse competed with Warner Bros.’ Bugs Bunny for animated popularity. But in 1988, the two rivals finally shared screen time in the Robert Zemeckis Disney/Amblin film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Disney and Warner signed an agreement stating that each character had the same amount of screen time in the scene.
Similar to his animated inclusion into a live-action film on Roger Rabbit, Mickey made a featured cameo appearance in the 1990 television special The Muppets at Walt Disney World where he met Kermit the Frog. The two are established in the story as having been old friends. The Muppets have otherwise spoofed and referenced Mickey over a dozen times since the 1970s. Eventually, The Muppets were purchased by the Walt Disney Company in 2004.
His most recent theatrical cartoon short was 2013’s Get a Horse! which was preceded by 1995’s Runaway Brain, while from 1999 to 2004, he appeared in direct-to-video features like Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers and the computer-animated Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas.
Many television series have centered on Mickey, such as the ABC shows Mickey Mouse Works (1999–2000), Disney’s House of Mouse (2001–2003), Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2016), and Mickey and the Roadster Racers (2017–). Prior to all these, Mickey was also featured as an unseen character in the Bonkers episode “You Oughta Be In Toons”.
Mickey has recently been announced to star in two films. One is being based on the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, while the other features Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. Since 2013, Disney Channel has been airing new 3-minute Mickey Mouse shorts, with animator Paul Rudish at the helm, incorporating elements of Mickey’s late twenties-early thirties look with a contemporary twist. on November 4, 2018. ABC television aired a two-hour prime time special, Mickey’s 90th spectacular, in honor of Mickey’s 90th birthday. The program featured never-before-seen short videos and several other celebrities who wanted to share their memories about Mickey Mouse and performed some of the Disney songs to impress Mickey.
Mickey Mouse has received ten nominations for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. These are Mickey’s Orphans (1931), Building a Building (1933), Brave Little Tailor (1938), The Pointer (1939), Lend a Paw (1941), Squatter’s Rights (1946), Mickey and the Seal (1948), Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), Runaway Brain (1995), and Get a Horse! (2013). Among these, Lend a Paw was the only film to actually win the award. Walt Disney also received an honorary Academy Award in 1932 in recognition of Mickey’s creation and popularity.
In 1994, four of Mickey’s cartoons were included in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons which listed the greatest cartoons of all time as voted by members of the animation field. The films were The Band Concert (#3), Steamboat Willie (#13), Brave Little Tailor (#26), and Clock Cleaners (#27). On November 18, 1978, in honor of his 50th anniversary, Mickey became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star is located on 6925 Hollywood Blvd. Melbourne (Australia) runs the annual Moomba festival street procession and appointed Mickey Mouse as their King of Moomba. Although immensely popular with children, there was controversy with the appointment: some Melburnians wanted a ‘home-grown’ choice, e.g. Blinky Bill. Patricia O’Carroll (from Disneyland’s Disney on Parade show) was performing the mouse,
Mickey was the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day 2005. He was the first cartoon character to receive the honor and only the second fictional character after Kermit the Frog in 1996. Mickey Mouse went on to appear in over 130 films, Ten of Mickey’s cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, one of which, Lend a Paw, won the award in 1942.