Mickey Mouse was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. The animated character was voiced by Walt Disney himself. Mickey celebrates his birthday on November 18, 1928. This was also the day when Mickey made an appearance in Steamboat Willie. Ever since, Mickey Mouse has been a popular part of the animated cartoon world and dedicated comic strips. Star of the Disney Channel’s Playhouse Disney series and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Mickey is a leader.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was a popular Disney studio cartoon till Mickey’s creation. In fact the latter was created to replace the Lucky Rabbit. Walt Disney and Charles Mintz of Universal Studios had a disagreement over the budget and payroll plan for the Mintz series. Disney refused the deal and was determined to come up with a rebuttal. He set up the Walt Disney Studio with animation specialist Ub Iwerks and Les Clark, the apprentice.
Mickey debuted in Plane Crazy, in 1928, with Minnie Mouse. The film was co-directed by Disney and Iwerks. They were assisted by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising. Mickey became a struggling aviator, who builds his own aircraft. He chooses Minnie as his first passenger. The mischievous and amorous mouse took time to summon an audience even as Walt Disney went on to produce The Gallopin’ Gaucho.The adventurous Mickey added to an appeal that soon helped distinguish the series from the work of rivals.
It was Steamboat Willie and the ‘large dots’ for eyes that connected with the commoner. Walt Disney lent his voice to both Mickey and Minnie. The clever use of sound for comedy and interesting dialogue witnessed movie theaters across the United States installing exclusive film equipment to magnify sound. Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse had arrived!
Mickey soon became the most popular animated character. However, Mickey actually spoke only in the 1929 release, The Karnival Kid. “Hot dogs, Hot dogs!” became a clarion call for children and adults alike. Mickey capitalized on the fading of Felix the Cat, his sole rival at that time. Audiences did not appreciate the transition to sound in the case of Felix. Mickey Mouse has played a number of roles. He has immortalized the well-mannered gentleman, young suitor and soldier.
Mickey’s apparel was initially designed around his eyes, skin colored face and pear-shaped trunk. Trademark pants came in with the make over from the long tail and mouse-ears. The realistic ears and tail-less body gave his ‘look’ a new perspective. Subsequently, he was awarded eyebrows, trademarked ears, a round head and gloves.
Mickey Mouse is the first cartoon character to have a star on 6925 Hollywood Boulevard. The star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was awarded on his 50th anniversary, in 1978. Mickey is immortalized as a famous cartoon via several animated logos for Walt Disney Home Entertainment. His appearance on ‘regular’ and ‘classic’ titles, comic books and video boxes has made him a household ‘must-have’ across the globe.
Video games such as Kingdom Hearts II, Mickey Mousecapade, The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse, Castle of Illusion and Keyblade have ensured that Mickey Mouse is known to children of every generation. Mickey Mouse is no stranger to the ballot. He is a popular choice offered instead of the traditional ‘None of the Above’. The protest votes are popularly selected in his name.