Happy 88th Birthday Mickey

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse.

10 Mickey Moments

1. Mickey Mouse made his debut, Nov. 18, 1928 in the animated short Steamboat Willie at the Colony Theater in New York City.

2. Steamboat Willie was the world’s first cartoon with synchronized sound and featured Walt Disney’s own voice for Mickey’s squeaks.

3. A Mickey Mouse cartoon could include more than 10,000 drawings for a seven and half minute film and could take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.

4. In January 1930, the very first Mickey Mouse comic strip appeared in 40 newspapers. The comics were done by Ub Iwerks.

5. More than 100 Mickey Mouse cartoons were produced during the 1930s and were shown at theaters with feature film, newsreels and serial dramas and comedies. Disney’s shorts were so popular that moviegoers would often ask if a Mickey cartoon would be part of the show before purchasing a ticket, according to Robert Tieman, author of “The Mickey Mouse Treasures.”

6. Arguably the most successful piece of Mickey merchandise was the iconic Mickey Mouse watch. Debuting in June 1933, more than 2.5 million watches were sold in the first two years of production and a Mickey Watch was even included in the time capsule at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.

7. Mickey made his first color film appearance in The Band Concert in 1935.

8. Mickey’s white gloves made their first appearance in 1929’s When the Cat’s Away.

9. In honor of his 60th birthday, Mickey Mouse was given a place in the Smithsonian Institution. In 1988, Walt Disney Studios donated six original animation drawings from Steamboat Willie to the National Museum of American History.

10. Ub Iwerks, the artist who helped Disney first design Mickey, said of the character, “People accepted him as a symbolic character, and though he looked like a mouse, he was accepted as dashing and heroic.” [1]

Oswald and Mickey Connection

I lost my voice for a couple of days and laid up in bed with a fever. A dear neighbor went to the Library for me and picked up a video I had requested: PBS’s American Experience documentary about Walt Disney. [2] Perfect timing huh? Hooray for Libraries!

The Walt Disney video was four hours long but just as easily been eight. Perhaps even more that’s how prolific a career Walt Disney had.

Insofar as Mickey is concerned, he was meant to be. How Mickey came to be is a story within itself.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. CreateOswald the Lucky Rabbit. Created by Disney and Iwerks.d by Disney and Iwerks.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Created by Disney and Iwerks.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit turned out to be the predecessor of Mickey Mouse.

Here is how their story unfolded.

“Oswald — created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney — was a spunky & mischievous character with a personality and look that would later be reminiscent of a certain famous mouse.

“The first Oswald cartoon Trolley Troubles, was released September 5, 1927. Oswald’s clever gestures and amusing gags made him a favorite with moviegoers over the next 17 months.

“Disney, constantly striving for a higher quality, began producing Oswald cartoons that were costly. In February 1928 Walt traveled to New York to speak with Mintz about an increase in pay. To Walt’s surprise, Mintz wanted to cut his pay by some 20%! In addition, he learned that Mintz controlled the rights to Oswald. Rather than accept the cut, Walt gave up his creation, making Mintz the first of many who believed they could assume Disney’s success.

“Mintz and Winkler eventually lost the character as well. Ironically Oswald would return to Disney in February 2006!

“Walt learned from this loss and went on to create another successful character … that no one would ever be able to take away.” [3]

Disney was originally going to call Mickey — Mortimer. Walt’s wife Lillian wasn’t overly fond of the name Mortimer and suggested Mickey instead which was cheerfully embraced.

Happy 88th dear Mickey!

Hattingdon's 88th Birthday Wishes Hat to Mickey!
Hattingdon’s 88th Birthday Wishes Hat to Mickey!

[1] http://abc7ny.com/entertainment/happy-birthday-mickey-fun-facts-about-everyones-favorite-mouse/1090046/; http://www.ibtimes.com/mickey-mouse-birthday-10-facts-about-disney-cartoon-character-88th-anniversary-2448219
[2] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/walt-disney/
[3] http://thisdayindisneyhistory.homestead.com/oswaldrabbit.html


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