Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse!

Happy Birthday, Mickey!

Did you know that Mickey Mouse was not Walt Disney’s first successful cartoon personality?  And did you know that Steamboat Willie was not Mickey’s public debut performance?  Read on, my friend. 

Oswald? Who is Oswald?

In January 1927, executives at Winkler Pictures told Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks that Universal Pictures was desiring to get back into the cartoon market, and that Disney and Iwerks should create a cartoon character that could be sold to Universal Pictures.  At the suggestion of Carl Laemmle, Universal’s founder, Disney decided to make the new character a rabbit. 

Ultimately, the rabbit was called Oswald, The Lucky Rabbit.  Even though it took a few “versions” of Oswald before he was acceptable to Universal, when they released Trolley Troubles on September 5, 1927, with a “perfected” version of the character, it was favorably received, and Oswald became a hit. 

The problem:  Disney didn’t own Oswald.  Universal owned him.  So when Walt sought a raise, based on the success of his new character, he was, instead offered a 20% CUT in pay!  As a result of this and some other “tricky” stuff the studio was pulling, Disney and Iwerks abandoned Oswald.  He and his animators stopped working on the character and any additional cartoons, and eventually parted company with Universal. 

Mickey Is Born

Walt and Iwerks secretly started developing a new character.  Even though Disney was afraid of mice, it was a mouse in his office that inspired Mickey.  

After Disney and Ub Iwerks created Mickey Mouse, Walt didn’t waste any time getting the character registered with the U.S. Patent Office, so there could be no repeat of the Oswald episode! 

Mickey Mouse was created by Walt Disney in 1928, and from that point until 1947, Walt Disney provided his voice.  

In May 1928, Mickey made his debut in a silent cartoon short called Plane Crazy.  Sadly, it didn’t bowl anyone over at the studio, so it was shelved, but about six months later, on November 18, 1928, at the Colony Theater in New York City, both Mickey and Minnie publicly debuted in another black-and-white film, an 8-minute short called Steamboat Willie

Steamboat Willie was a hit, two stars were born, and ever since then, their fans have celebrated November 18, 1928 as Mickey’s and Minnie’s birthday. 

Mickey Mouse Was First

Mickey Mouse is the first fictional character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Mickey’s Star is located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California.  It was presented to him for the role he’s played all these years in animated films, and it was dedicated on his 50th Anniversary. 

On Monday, November 13, 1978 – the 50th Anniversary of his appearance on the Silver Screen – right in front of Mann’s (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theater, Mr. Mouse received the 1,700th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!  Minnie was right there to cheer him on. 

At this point, there are 17 animated characters (not all Disney) who have stars – but Mickey was the first

Didja Know . . .

First Films

Plane Crazy, The Gallopin’ Gaucho, neither impressed the studio “powers that be.” 

More Firsts  

Mickey Mouse was First in a number of areas: 

In 1929’s The Karnival Kid, the voice of Mickey Mouse became the very first of any animated characters to ever be heard in a film.  Wanna know what he said?  “Hot dogs!” 

Mickey is the first (and only?) fictional character to be photographed with almost every U.S. President since Harry Truman. 

Michael Theodore Mouse is the first fictional character to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

FOMs

Friends of Mickey go back to Harry Truman, the first President of the United States to have his picture taken with Mickey.  Since then, practically every President has posed with Mickey, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson and Barrack Obama.  Apparently LBJ never visited Disneyland, and, while Obama did visit and speak at Disneyland, he was not photographed with Mickey. 

Original Name

Mortimer Mouse. 

Mickey Parade Disney Mickey Mouse Walt Disney

It is said that Lillian Disney (Walt’s wife) didn’t care for the name “Mortimer” and convinced Walt and Ub to call him “Mickey” instead.   

According to the Disney Unified Comics Wiki – Fandom – Mickey’s full name is Michael Theodore Mouse  (https://scrooge-mcduck.fandom.com/wiki/Mickey_Mouse)

Parents

Walter Elias and Lillian Mouse (aka Walter Elias and Lillian Disney)

Spouse

Minerva Mouse (aka Minnie) 

Not Universally Known:  In a 1933 interview, Walt Disney disclosed – unofficially – that, although there was never an announcement or an onscreen ceremony, and they don’t live together, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were married.  You heard it here first! 

As everyone knows, Pluto is Mickey’s dog, and, of course, Pluto is a famous movie star in his own right, but even if your dog isn’t famous, and he or she could stand a little “polishing,” click here to check out a fantastic new way to get him or her in shape.   

Missed my November Pet Awareness Days?  No problem, It’s right here    https://wetnosecentral.com/november-pet-awareness-days/

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Resources 

IGLU Cruise

Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Mickey Mouse, Cruise Blog, Updated:  30th March 2021, https://www.iglucruise.com/blog/2017/04/20/ten-facts-you-didnt-know-about-mickey-mouse

National Museum of American History 

Mickey Mouse turns 90, by NMAH, May 15, 2018, https://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/mickey-mouse-turns-90

National Today

Mickey Mouse’s Birthday, November 18, 2021,

Parade Magazine 

Mickey, the Mouse Who Knows Presidents, by Walter Scott, Parade Magazine, November 13, 2013, https://parade.com/229690/walterscott/the-mouse-who-knows-presidents/

Reuters 

After 90 year wait, Minnie Mouse gets her Hollywood Moment, Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Sebastien Malo and Reuters Television; Editing by Tom Brown, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-minniemouse-star/after-90-year-wait-minnie-mouse-gets-her-hollywood-moment-idUSKBN1FB2ZW

Showbiz CheatSheet

Which Disney Characters Have Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?, Matthew Trzcinski, Published on March 23,, 2020, https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/which-disney-characters-have-stars-on-the-hollywood-walk-of-fame.html/

Simplemost 

18 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Mickey Mouse, December 5, 2016, by Bridget Sharkey, https://www.simplemost.com/18-fun-facts-you-didnt-know-about-mickey-mouse/

St.  Louis Post Dispatch

17 Fictional Characters with Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lee Digital Content Center, November 18, 2020, https://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/17-fictional-characters-with-stars-on-the-hollywood-walk-of-fame/collection_109905c5-2bc8-551f-903b-e1297224e4f1.html#2

The Disney Wiki

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Oswald_the_Lucky_Rabbit

TIME

A Brief History of Mickey Mouse, by Claire Suddath, Tuesday, November 18, 2008, http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1859935,00.html

WPTV – West Palm Beach

Mickey and Minnie Mouse turn 91 years old on Monday, CNN Newsourse, November 18, 2019, https://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/water-cooler/mickey-and-minnie-mouse-turn-91-on-monday 

Images

Mickey Waving With White Gloves

200.0mm – f/9.0 – 1/500s – ISO 1600

Image             JPG

Resolution      3072 x 2048

CC0 Public Domain – Free for commercial use

 Canon EOS 300d Digital

https://www.maxpixel.net/photo-1988522

All other images in this post were found on Pixabay.com. 

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