Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse (born November 18, 1928) is a comic animal cartoon character who has become a symbol for The Walt Disney Company. Created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, the mouse has evolved from being simply a character in animated cartoons and comic strips to become one of the most recognizable symbols in the world.

Walt Disney himself voiced Mickey Mouse from 1928 until 1946, when sound effects man Jim MacDonald took over the role. Mickey has been voiced since 1983 by Wayne Allwine, MacDonald's former apprentice.

The icon

Mickey's most recognizable look has him wearing red shorts and yellow shoes.

Mickey Mouse may be the most recognized symbol of America, except for the flag. For some, he symbolizes the country's cultural imperialism, the spread of its culture to other places in the world. For others, he represents happiness and innocence. He is the symbol for The Walt Disney Company and, in many ways, Walt Disney himself. It was said by Lillian Disney, his wife, that over the years, Mickey and Walt grew together and were mirrors of each other's personality. They both started off mischievous, but as they grew older preferred to step out of the spotlight and observe others work their magic. President Jimmy Carter once said; "Mickey Mouse is the symbol of goodwill, surpassing all languages and cultures. When one sees Mickey Mouse, they see happiness."

The Mickey icon, a three-circle silhouette of Mickey's head, serves as the logo for most of Disney's subsidiaries which contain the name 'Disney'. Andy Warhol's portrait The Art of Mickey Mouse used Warhol's famous pop art techniques on the classic mouse.

Creation and debut

Mickey's first appearance in Plane Crazy.

Mickey was created by Ub Iwerks as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an earlier star created by the Disney studio. Oswald had also been created by Ub Iwerks with limited input from Walt Disney for Charles Mintz of Universal Studios. In fact, Mickey closely resembled Oswald in his early appearances. However, Disney received an unpleasant surprise when he asked Mintz for a larger budget for his popular Oswald series. In reply, Mintz announced he had hired the bulk of Disney's staff but that Disney could keep doing the Oswald series as long as he agreed to a budget cut and went on the payroll. Mintz owned Oswald and thought he had Disney over a barrel. Angrily, Disney refused the deal and returned to California to produce the final Oswald cartoons he contractually owed Mintz. Disney was dismayed at the betrayal by his staff but determined to restart from scratch. The new Disney Studio initially consisted of Iwerks and a loyal apprentice artist, Les Clark. One lesson Disney learned from the experience was to thereafter always make sure that he owned all rights to the characters produced by his company.

In order for Walt and his older brother and business partner Roy to keep their company active, new characters had to be created to star in their subsequent animated shorts. One day, during a train ride, Walt desperately wanted to come up with a money-making character to replace the one he lost, Oswald. He had visions of a mouse in the back of his head (he had previously made silent cartoon shorts with animated mice). He wanted to name his new creation Mortimer Mouse, but his wife Lillian Marie Bounds thought the name was too pretentious, so he changed it to Mickey Mouse. The name Mortimer would later be used for a character in a Mickey cartoon.

It has been suggested that Walt Disney was influenced by an actual mouse that he almost tamed by feeding it crumbs on his desk at the Laugh-O-Gram Studio.

"We felt that the public, and especially the children, like animals that are cute and little. I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea. We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin — a little fellow trying to do the best he could." "When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it's because he's so human; and that is the secret of his popularity." "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse." — Walt Disney

Mickey and Minnie Mouse (Mickey's girlfriend) debuted in the cartoon short Plane Crazy, first released on May 15, 1928. The short was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Iwerks was also the main animator for this short, and reportedly spent six weeks working on it. In fact, Ub Iwerks was the main animator for every Disney short released in 1928 and 1929. He left Disney in 1930 in order to form his own studio and introduced Flip the Frog in the first sound cartoon made in color. Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising also assisting Disney during 1928 and 1929; these two had already signed their contracts with Charles Mintz, but he was still in the process of forming his new studio and so for the time being they were still employed by Disney. This short would be the last they animated under this somewhat awkward situation.

The plot of Plane Crazy was fairly simple. Mickey is apparently trying to become an aviator in emulation of Charles Lindbergh. After building his own aircraft, he proceeds to ask Minnie to join him for its first flight, during which he repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempts to kiss her, eventually resorting to force. Minnie then parachutes out of the plane. While distracted by her, Mickey loses control of the plane. This becomes the beginning of an out-of-control flight that results in a series of humorous situations and eventually in the crash-landing of the aircraft. A non-anthropomorphic cow that briefly becomes a passenger in the aircraft is believed to be Clarabelle Cow making her debut.

Mickey as portrayed in Plane Crazy was mischievous, amorous, and has often been described as a rogue. Modern audiences have occasionally commented on this version of Mickey as being somewhat more complex and consequently more interesting than his later self. At the time of its first release, however, Plane Crazy apparently failed to impress audiences, and to add insult to injury, Walt could not find a distributor. Though understandably disappointed, Walt went on to produce a second Mickey short: The Gallopin' Gaucho.

Early landmarks

First encounter with Black/Peg Leg Pete

The Gallopin' Gaucho was again co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, with the latter serving as the sole animator in this case. The short was intended as a parody of Douglas Fairbanks's The Gaucho, a film first released on November 21, 1927. Following the original film, the events of the short take place in the Pampas of Argentina. The gaucho of the title was Mickey himself. He is first seen riding on a Rhea, instead of a horse as would be expected (or an ostrich as often reported). He soon encounters "Cantina Argentina," apparently serving as the local bar and restaurant. Mickey proceeds to enter the establishment and take a seat. He apparently just wants to relax with some drinking and tobacco smoking. Also present at the establishment are Black Pete (later renamed Peg Leg Pete, or just Pete), a wanted outlaw and fellow customer for the time being, and Minnie Mouse, the barmaid and dancer of the establishment, at the time performing a tango. Both customers soon begin to flirt with Minnie and to rival one another. At some point Pete proceeds in kidnapping Minnie and attempts to escape on his horse. Mickey gives chase on his rhea. He soon catches up to his rival and they proceed to fight with swords. Mickey emerges the victor of this joust. The finale of the short has Mickey and Minnie riding the rhea into the distance.

In later interviews, Iwerks would comment that Mickey as featured in The Gallopin' Gaucho was intended to be a swashbuckler, an adventurer modeled after Fairbanks himself. This short marks the first encounter between Mickey and Black Pete, a character already established as an antagonist in both the Alice Comedies and the Oswald series. Based on Mickey and Minnie acting as strangers to each other before the finale, it was presumably intended to feature their original acquaintance to each other as well. Modern audiences have commented that all three characters seem to be coming out of rough, lower class backgrounds that little resemble their later versions. Consequently the short is arguably of some historical significance.

At the time of its original production though, Walt again failed to find a distributor. It would be first released on December 30, 1928, following the release of another Mickey short. Reportedly Mickey was at first thought to be much too similar to Oswald and this resulted in the apparent lack of interest in him. Walt would soon start to contemplate ways to distinguish the Mickey Mouse series from his previous work and that of his rivals. The result of his contemplations would be the third Mickey short to be produced, the second to be released and the first to really draw the attention of the audiences: Steamboat Willie.

Addition of sound to the series

Mickey in Steamboat Willie.

Steamboat Willie was first released on November 18, 1928. It was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Iwerks again served as the head animator, assisted by Johnny Cannon, Les Clark, Wilfred Jackson and Dick Lundy. This short was intended as a parody of Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jr., first released on May 12 of the same year. Despite the fact this was not the first Mickey cartoon made or released, it is still considered by some as Mickey Mouse's true debut. The cartoon is often listed in history books as being the first animated film ever to feature a synchronized sound, music, and dialogue track, but Fleischer Studios, headed by brothers Dave and Max Fleischer had already released some sound cartoons using the DeForest system in the mid-1920s. As a matter of fact, Disney got the idea of making a sound cartoon after watching an Aesop's Film Fable cartoon entitled Dinner Time. This series was distriubuted by Pathé and produced by Paul Terry. Steamboat Willie was, however, the first sound cartoon to achieve wide recognition. Animation historians have long debated who had served as the composer for the film's original music. This role has been variously attributed to Wilfred Jackson, Carl Stalling and Bert Lewis, but identification remains uncertain. Walt Disney himself acted as voice actor for both Mickey and Minnie.

The script had Mickey serving aboard Steamboat Willie under Captain Pete. At first he is seen piloting the steamboat while whistling. Then Pete arrives to take over piloting and angrily throws him out of the boat's bridge. They soon have to stop for cargo to be transferred on board. Almost as soon as they leave, Minnie arrives. She was apparently supposed to be their only passenger but was late to board. Mickey manages to pick her up from the river shore. Minnie accidentally drops her sheet music for the popular folk song "Turkey in the Straw". A goat which was among the animals transported on the steamboat proceeds to eat the sheet music. Consequently Mickey and Minnie use its tail to turn it into a phonograph which is playing the tune. Through the rest of the short, Mickey uses various other animals as musical instruments. Later audiences have often described those scenes as humorously exaggerated examples of animal cruelty. Captain Pete is eventually disturbed by all this noise and places Mickey back to work. Mickey is reduced to peeling potatoes for the rest of the trip. A parrot attempts to make fun of him but is then thrown to the river by Mickey. This served as the final scene of this short.

Audiences at the time of Steamboat Willie's release were reportedly impressed by its use of sound for comedic purposes. Sound films were still considered innovative. The first feature-length movie with dialogue sequences, The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson, was released on October 6, 1927. Within a year of its success, most United States movie theaters had installed sound film equipment. Walt Disney apparently intended to take advantage of this new trend and, arguably, managed to succeed. Most other cartoon studios were still producing silent products and so were unable to effectively act as competition to Disney. As a result Mickey would soon become the most prominent animated character of the time. Walt Disney soon worked on adding 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 was also put into production. It was The Barn Dance.

Roles

Mickey as a suitor

The Barn Dance, first released on March 14, 1929, would be the first of twelve Mickey shorts released during that year. It was directed by Walt Disney with Ub Iwerks as the head animator. The barn dance of the title is the occasion which brings together Minnie and her two suitors: Mickey and Pete. The latter two and their vehicles are first seen arriving at Minnie's house in an attempt to pick her up for the dance. Mickey turns up in his horse-cart while Pete in a newly purchased automobile. Minnie initially chooses Pete to drive her to the dance but the automobile unexpectedly breaks down. She resorts to accepting Mickey's invitation. They are later seen dancing together, but Mickey proves to be a rather clumsy dancer as he repeatedly steps on Minnie's feet. She consequently turns down his invitation for a second dance. She instead accepts that of Pete, who proves to be a better dancing partner. Mickey then attempts to solve his problem by placing a balloon in his shorts. That apparently helps him to be "light on his feet" and he proceeds to ask Minnie for another dance. She accepts and is surprised to find his dancing skills to have apparently improved. Pete soon discovers Mickey's trick and points it out to Minnie. Minnie is visibly disgusted by this attempt at deception. As a result, she leaves Mickey and resumes dancing with Pete. In the finale Mickey is reduced to crying on the floor.

This short was the first to feature its three main characters as parts of a love-triangle. It is notable for featuring Mickey turned down by Minnie in favor of Pete. It is also an unusual appearance of the Pete; previously depicted as a menacing villain, he is portrayed here as a well-mannered gentleman. In addition, Mickey was not depicted as a hero but as a rather ineffective young suitor. In his sadness and crying over his failure, Mickey appears unusually emotional and vulnerable. It has been commented, however, that this only serves to add to the audiences' empathy for the character.

First gloved appearance

"Ever wonder why we always wear these white gloves?" - Various characters (with minor variations)

Mickey in gloves.

The Opry House, first released on March 28, 1929, would be the second short released during the year. It cast Mickey as the owner of a small theater (or opera house according to the title). Mickey performs a vaudeville show all by himself. Acts include his impersonation of a snake charmer, his dressing in drag and performing a belly dance, his caricature of a Hasidic Jew and, for the finale, a piano performance. Minnie did not appear in person in this short. Instead, a poster of her can be seen which introduces her as a member of the Yankee Doodle Girls, apparently a group of female performers. The only other recurring character to appear in the short is known as Kat Nipp (apparently a play on the word catnip). This would be his debut; he would appear in two more shorts during the year as a minor antagonist. This short featured no dialogue and consequently its humor relies in a long series of visual gags. The musical pieces accompanying them notably included "Yankee Doodle" and Georges Bizet's Carmen. More notably this short introduced Mickey's gloves. Mickey can be seen wearing them in most of his subsequent appearances. Supposedly one reason for adding the white gloves was to allow audiences to distinguish the characters' hands when they appeared against their bodies, as both were black (Mickey did not appear in color until The Band Concert in 1935).

Depiction as a regular mouse

When the Cat's Away, first released on April 11, 1929, would be the third Mickey short to be released that year. It was essentially a remake of one of the Alice Comedies, Alice Rattled by Rats, which had been first released on January 15, 1926. Kat Nipp makes his second appearance, though his name is given as "Tom Cat" (this describes his being a tom cat, and the character should not be confused with the co-star of the Tom and Jerry series). He is seen getting drunk on alcoholic beverages. Then he leaves his house to go hunting. In his absence an army of mice invade his house in search of food. Among them are Mickey and Minnie, who proceed to turn this gathering into a party. This short is unusual in depicting Mickey and Minnie as having the size and partly the behavior of regular mice. The set standard both before and after this short was to depict them as having the size of a rather short human being. On another note, it has been commented that since this short was released during the Prohibition era, the alcoholic beverages would probably have been products of bootlegging.

Mickey as a soldier

The next Mickey short to be released is also considered unusual. It was The Barnyard Battle, first released on April 25, 1929. As the title implies it featured a battle between an invading army of cats and an army of mice trying to defend their homes and farms. Pete was depicted as a leading soldier of the former army and Mickey as a conscript of the latter one. Before joining the army, Mickey has to pass a physical examination. This scene depicts Mickey becoming the subject of physical and emotional abuse. After passing the examination, he is given a machine gun and is sent to battle. Mickey's combat efforts are comical in depiction but prove effective enough in forcing the enemy to retreat. Mickey is hailed as a hero by his fellow soldiers and then the short ends.

This short is notable as the first to depict Mickey as a soldier and the first to place him in combat. The physical examination scene has since often been edited out as being somewhat disturbing. However modern viewers have often pointed to this scene as being the most memorable of the short. The short did not clearly identify the war it depicted; but it has been noted that the cats are depicted as wearing military helmets similar to those used by the German Empire during World War I. On the other hand, the mice are marching in battle to the tune of "Dixie", a song written in 1859. The song is known to have been popular among the forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. The victory of the mice is celebrated in the tune of "Battle Cry of Freedom", known to have been popular among the forces of the United States during the same conflict. In any case both wars were still within living memory of the audiences at the time of release and so it is possible that the details mentioned were intended as recognizable references to both of them.

Firsts

First encounter with Horace Horsecollar

Mickey returned to civilian life with The Plow Boy, first released on May 9, 1929. As the title implies he was depicted as a farmer alongside Minnie. He is first seen with his horse while ploughing a field. Then Minnie comes along with her cow. She has Mickey milk the cow for her. As he does, the cow starts licking him in an apparent sign of affection. Mickey does not seem pleased and replies by rolling up its muzzle with its own tongue. Mickey eventually manages to present Minnie with a full bucket of milk and proceeds to kiss her. Minnie's reply to this sign of affection is knocking his head with the bucket. At some point the horse is stung by a bee, panics and starts galloping. By the time the horse calms down again, the plough has been broken. In the finale, Mickey resorts to using a pig as a plough. Curiously the short is considered mainly notable for the livestock it featured. Minnie's cow is considered to be Clarabelle Cow making her second appearance, and Mickey's plow horse is considered to be Horace Horsecollar making his debut. Though depicted as non-anthropomorphic animals during this short, later that same year both would become as anthropomorphic as their former owners.

First speaking appearance

Mickey spanks a hot dog in "The Karnival Kid" (1929)

During his first eight appearances Mickey would whistle, laugh, cry and otherwise vocally express himself. But he would not actually speak until his ninth appearance. This short was The Karnival Kid, first released on May 23, 1929. Mickey's first spoken words were "Hot Dogs!". The short featured Mickey selling hot dogs at a carnival. Much of the humor in this short came from the interaction between Mickey and his hot dogs, with the latter tending to act like actual dogs in relation to their owner/trainer. Three other recurring characters of the series also appear. The first of them was Clarabelle Cow in a cameo. The second was Kat Nipp, making his third and last appearance. A barker at the carnival, he briefly gets into an argument with Mickey. The third was Mickey's recurring love interest: Minnie Mouse "the Shimmy Dancer" of the carnival. Having purchased one of Mickey's hot dogs, she is surprised to see it run away. The short ends at night time. Mickey apparently attempts to draw Minnie's attention by playing guitar singing outside her window. He only manages to draw the attention of two alley cats who decide to join him and then that of an irate neighbour of Minnie who starts throwing things at these three annoyances in an attempt to silence them. This marks the finale of the short.

First singing appearance

This following Mickey short to be released was Mickey's Choo Choo, first released on June 20, 1929. As the title implies, Mickey is depicted as the engineer in charge of an unusually anthropomorphic locomotive. His only passenger seems to be Minnie, cast as a fiddle player for this short. At some point Mickey loses control of the locomotive. Clarabelle has another brief appearance as a cow running out of its way. It was soon followed by Mickey's Follies, first released on June 26, 1929. The short featured a barnyard show including various numbers. A female pig singing opera is considered to be Patricia Pig making her only animated appearance. She would be a recurring character early in Mickey's comic strip series. But the short is more notable for Mickey's main act. It has Mickey singing Minnie's Yoo Hoo for the first time. This humorous little song is considered to have a historical importance of its own. For one thing "the guy they call little Mickey Mouse" for the first time addresses an audience to explain that he has "Got a sweetie" who is "Neither fat nor skinny" and proudly proclaims that "She's my little Minnie Mouse". For another this would serve as the new theme song for the series. The music to the song was written by Carl Stalling and the lyrics by Walt Disney. Finally, animation historians have pointed that it seems to be the first song with original lyrics created by Walt's studio.

From comedy to musical

The ninth Mickey short to be released that year was The Jazz Fool, first released on July 5, 1929. The title was probably intended to be reminiscent of both The Jazz Singer, and also The Singing Fool, first released on September 19, 1928. Both musical films featured Al Jolson as their star and had proved commercially successful. This film followed the originals in having minimal plot and focusing on musical performances. Mickey and his friend Horace Horsecollar, the later in his first anthropomorphic appearance, are cast as the sole two performers of "Mickey's Big Road Show". The former plays the piano and the later the xylophone. The soundtrack of the film reportedly contained elements of both ragtime and Dixieland jazz. This short is considered to be representative of a change of focus early in the series. The preceding shorts already featured their share of song and dance numbers as part of their comedic plots. Many of the following ones can better be described as animated song and dance shows with little to no plot.

First encounter with ghosts

This was not the case however with the next Mickey short to be released: Haunted House, first released on August 1, 1929. The short begins at night time. Mickey is seen caught up in a storm with an umbrella serving as his only protection from the rain. Mickey is naturally seeking a refuge for himself. He soon discovers an apparently deserted house and proceeds to enter it. The door suddenly shuts behind him and seems to be locked. Mickey is somewhat unnerved and his encounters with bats and large spiders only increase his growing fear. At this point, Mickey finds out that the house is indeed inhabited — by ghosts in skeleton form. Mickey has entered a haunted house. The figure of the Grim Reaper orders him to play music to entertain them. Mickey is surprised but clearly too scared to argue with it. Skeletons are seen dancing to Mickey's tune. At some point, Mickey attempts to escape but any room he attempts to enter contains more skeletons. The finale has a terrified Mickey crashing through a window to escape.

The short is clearly similar to The Skeleton Dance, first released on August 22, 1929, which was the first short of the Silly Symphonies series. Both feature elements generally found in horror fiction and particularly in horror films effectively combined with music and dance. A series of creative and rather morbid gags provide comedic elements. The result is often described as surreal and at points impressive. Consequently both shorts have been considered among the highlights of their respective series and animated classics.

Earliest adventure at sea

Another Mickey short was released in between them: Wild Waves, first released on August 15, 1929. Mickey and Minnie are featured spending a day at the beach. They are at first singing and dancing at the shore but at some point Minnie is swept by a wave into the sea. She panicks and seems to start drowning. Mickey discovers a rowboat placed upside-down on the beach. He lifts it to discover an amorous couple who were using the boat as their cover from prying eyes. Mickey proceeds to place it into the water and then rows the boat forward until he reaches Minnie. He manages to rescue her and return her to the shore but Minnie is still visibly shaken from the experience. Mickey starts singing the tune of Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep in an apparent effort to cheer her up. Soon seals, walruses, penguins, pelicans, and other water birds start dancing to Mickey's tune. Minnie cheers up and the short ends. Mickey was depicted acting much like a lifeguard during the short. Otherwise it is only notable as the first of Mickey's adventures at sea.

Mouse in transition

Mickey entering the Depression Era

The twelfth and last Mickey short released during the year was Jungle Rhythm, first released on November 15, 1929. Mickey is seen in a safari somewhere in Africa. He rides on an elephant and is armed with a shotgun. But the later proves to be problematic soon after Mickey finds himself standing in between of a lion and a bear. Mickey proceeds to play music to calm them down. During the rest of the short, various jungle animals dance to Mickey's tunes. The tunes vary from the previously mentioned "Yankee Doodle" and "Turkey in the Straw" to "Auld Lang Syne", "The Blue Danube", and Aloha `Oe.

First comic strip appearance

By this point Mickey had appeared in fifteen commercially successful animated shorts and was easily recognized by the public. So Walt Disney was approached by King Features Syndicate with the offer to licence Mickey and his supporting characters for use in a comic strip. Walt accepted and Mickey made his first comic strip appearance on January 13, 1930. The comical plot was credited to Walt Disney himself, art to Ub Iwerks and inking to Win Smith. The first week or so of the strip featured a loose adaptation of Plane Crazy. Minnie soon became the first addition to the cast. The strips first released between January 13 and March 31, 1930 have been occasionally reprinted in comic book form under the collective title "Lost on a Desert Island".

Classical music performances

Meanwhile in animation, two more Mickey shorts had been released. The first of them was The Barnyard Concert, first released on March 3, 1930. It featured Mickey conducting an orchestra. The only recurring characters among its members were Clarabelle as a flutist and Horace as a drummer. Their rendition of the Poet and Peasant is humorous enough; but it has been noted that several of the gags featured were repeated from previous shorts. The second was originally released on March 14, 1930 under the title Fiddlin' Around but has since been renamed to Just Mickey. Both titles give an accurate enough description of the short which has Mickey performing a violin solo. It is only notable for Mickey's emotional renditions of the finale to the William Tell Overture, Robert Schumann's Träumerei (Reverie), and Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

Departure of a co-creator and consequences

The opening title card of Steamboat Willie credits both Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks

They were followed by Cactus Kid, first released on April 11, 1930. As the title implies the short was intended as a Western movie parody. But it is considered to be more or less a remake of The Gallopin' Gaucho set in Mexico instead of Argentina. Mickey was again cast as a lonely traveler who walks into the local tavern and starts flirting with its dancer. The latter is again Minnie. The rival suitor to Mickey is again Pete though using the alias Peg-Leg Pedro. For the first time in a Mickey short, Pete was depicted as having a peg-leg. This would become a recurring feature of the character. The rhea of the original short was replaced by Horace Horsecollar. This is considered to be his last non-anthropomorphic appearance. The short is considered significant for being the last Mickey short to be animated by Ub Iwerks.

Shortly before its release, Iwerks had left the Studio in an attempt to create his own. The result of his early efforts was the Flip the Frog series. His departure is considered to mark a turning point to the careers of both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. The former lost the man who served as his closest colleague and confidant since 1919. The latter lost the man responsible for his original design and for the direction and/or animation of several of the shorts released till this point, and some would argue Mickey's creator. Walt Disney has been credited for the inspiration to create Mickey, but Iwerks was the one to design the character and the first few Mickey Mouse cartoons were mostly or entirely drawn by Iwerks. Consequently some animation historians have suggested that Iwerks should be considered the actual creator of Mickey Mouse. It has been pointed that advertising for the early Mickey Mouse cartoons credit them as "A Walt Disney Comic, drawn by Ub Iwerks". Later Disney Company reissues of the early cartoons tend to credit Walt Disney alone.

In any case, Walt and his remaining staff continued the production of the Mickey series. Mickey continued to appear regularly in animated shorts until 1943 and again from 1946 to 1953. But back in early 1930, Walt had another matter to attend to: the creation of the comic strip after Iwerks' departure. At first Walt was content to continue scripting it and assigning the art to Win Smith. However, Walt's focus had always been in animation and Smith was soon assigned with the scripting as well. Win Smith was apparently discontent at having to script, draw, and ink a series by himself. This became evident by his sudden resignation. Another reason might be that Walt Disney was a very impossible man, and Win Smith got sick of this lack of freedom to create in.

Walt proceeded to search for a replacement to Smith among the remaining staff of the Studio. For uncertain reasons he chose Floyd Gottfredson, a recently hired employee. At the time Floyd was reportedly eager to work in animation and somewhat reluctant to accept his new assignment. Walt had to assure Floyd that the assignment was only temporary and that he would eventually return to animation. Floyd accepted and ended up holding this "temporary" assignment from May 5, 1930 to November 15, 1975.

Appearances in comics

Floyd at first had to work on the continuation of a storyline which his predecessors had started on April 1, 1930. The storyline was completed on September 20, 1930 and was later reprinted in comic book form as Mickey Mouse in Death Valley. This early adventure contributed to the extension of the comic strip cast which by this point only included Mickey and Minnie. This story would bring the first comic strip appearances of Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar and Black Pete as well as the debuts of corrupted lawyer Sylvester Shyster and Minnie's uncle Mortimer Mouse. The story was followed by Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers, first printed between September 22 and December 26, 1930, which introduced Marcus Mouse and his wife as Minnie's parents.

Starting with these two early comic strip stories, Mickey's versions in animation and comics are considered to have diverged from each other. While Disney and his cartoon shorts would continue to focus on comedy, the comic strip effectively combined comedy and adventure. This adventurous version of Mickey would continue to appear in comic strips and later comic books throughout the 20th and into the 21st century.

Later Mickey history

1930-1950

A typical style of sign in Walt Disney World, showing one of many uses by Disney of the Mickey ears logo.

In his earliest cartoons Mickey was often mischievous and the cartoons sometimes used outhouse humor. As the series became more popular, Disney decided to change his best-known character into a well meaning everyman, and creating mischief was thereafter left to other characters.

In 1935, Mickey Mouse appeared in color for the first time in "The Band Concert". Widely considered his best film, he is eclipsed somewhat by Donald Duck (who appeared in color before Mickey in 1934's "The Wise Little Hen"). Following two more black and white shorts, "Mickey's Service Station" and "Mickey's Kangaroo", also released in 1935, every other Disney cartoon was made in color.

"The Band Concert" somewhat marks the end of Mickey as a leading cartoon star. The Disney studio had a hard time coming up with stories for Mickey. "Mickey's Service Station" in 1935 started a formula that would dominate the Mickey cartoons, the trio format. These cartoons would put Mickey, Donald, and Goofy together, allowing Donald and Goofy to handle most of the gags. The studio realized that while Mickey Mouse is a very appealing character, he is not all that funny.

Once in a while, the Disney Studio would find a perfect vehicle for Mickey. "Thru the Mirror" (1936), "Mickey's Rival" (1936), "The Brave Little Tailor" (1938), and "The Nifty Nineties" (1941) are all good examples of Mickey at his best. Probably his best film appearance was the popular segment "The Sorcerer's Apprentence" in Disney's "Fantasia" (1940). Throughout the 40s, Mickey made fewer and fewer films, until his last film "The Simple Things" in 1953. Mickey would not return to theatres until 1983, with the release of "Mickey's Christmas Carol".

From 1930 until 1950, though the numbers of the comic creators that worked on Mickey increased, the most popular version (considered the "classic" version today) was that of Floyd Gottfredson, who developed Mickey's character, adopted characters from the cartoons, and created many others. Since 1950 the most popular version of Mickey has been that of Italian creator Romano Scarpa, who has further developed Gottfredson's characters and has added many of his own.

Mickey's most well known supporting characters are his girlfriend, Minnie Mouse; his dog, Pluto; and his best friends, Goofy and Donald Duck.

By his sister Amelia Fieldmouse, Mickey Mouse has two nephews, the lesser-known Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse (in contrast to Donald Duck's famous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie).

In 1929, Disney created the original Mickey Mouse Club for fans of his character and cartoons, which later formed the basis for a popular 1950's television show (with follow-ups of the same name in 1977 and 1989).

Mickey has only starred in two feature films: the "Sorcerer's Apprentence" segment in "Fantasia", and the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of Fun and Fancy Free (1947). He has also starred in two half-hour theatrical featurettes, Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983, screened in front of a re-issue of The Rescuers) and The Prince and the Pauper (1990, screened in front of The Rescuers Down Under).

For many years, Mickey Mouse has served as the mascot for The Walt Disney Company, alongside Jiminy Cricket and Tinkerbell.

Recent history

Mickey and friends run a nightclub together in Disney's House of Mouse.

On November 18, 1978, in honor of his 50th anniversary, he became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star is located on 6925 Hollywood Blvd.

Throughout the decades, Mickey Mouse competed with Warner Bros.' Bugs Bunny for animated popularity. But in 1988, in a historic moment in motion picture history, the two rivals finally shared screen time in the Robert Zemeckis film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Warner and Disney signed an agreement stating that each character had exactly the same amount of screen time, right down to the semi-second.

Only three people have regularly provided the voice for Mickey (not including theme park attractions and parades): Walt Disney from 1928 to 1947, James Macdonald from 1948 to 1983, and currently, Wayne Allwine, who first voiced the Mouse in Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983. His most recent theatrical cartoon was 1995's short Runaway Brain, while in 2004 he appeared in the made-for-video features The Three Musketeers and the computer-animated Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. He has yet to appear in an original Disney film that wasn't based on classical works. Many television programs have centered around Mickey, such as the recent shows Mickey Mouse Works (1999 - 2000) and Disney's House of Mouse (2001 - 2003).

Mickey was the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day 2005.

Computer and video games

He appeared in other video games prior to and after Kingdom Hearts, such as Mickey Mousecapade, Mickey Mania, Mickey's Ultimate Challenge, Disney's Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse, Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Great Circus Mystery, Mickey's Dangerous Chase and Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands. In the 2000s, Disney's Magical Quest came out on Game Boy Advance, as well as Disney's Magical Quest 2 and Disney's Magical Quest 3. Other video games released in this period were Disney's Magical Mirror and Disney's Hide & Sneak for Nintendo Gamecube.

Kingdom Hearts

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. King Mickey in Organization attire

In Disney Interactive and Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts video game series, King Mickey Mouse presided over Disney Castle alongside Queen Minnie Mouse. Donald Duck is his Court Wizard, while Goofy is the head of the King's royal guard. However, he left his castle at the beginning of the game with instructions for Goofy and Donald to find and protect the one chosen by the Keyblade (Sora). Mickey only appeared briefly near the end, revealing he managed to get into the World of Darkness using the Dark Corridor entrance in Traverse Town to obtain the Keyblade located there. He returns in the Game Boy Advance sequel, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, in which used the Dark Corridor to enter Castle Oblivion so he could help Riku in finding his way through the basements. In Kingdom Hearts II, Mickey becomes playable in certain boss battles, after Sora is defeated. He remains playable until he revives Sora, as a boss fight cannot be finished with Mickey.

Mickey's Voice

A large part of Mickey's screen persona is his famously shy, falsetto voice. From his first speaking role in The Karnival Kid onward, Mickey was voiced by Walt Disney himself, a task Disney took great personal pride in. (Carl Stalling and Clarence Nash allegedly did some uncredited ADR for Mickey in a few early shorts as well.) However, by 1947, Disney was becoming too busy with running the studio to do regular voicework (and it is "speculated" his cigarette habit had damaged his voice over the years), and during the recording of the Mickey and the Beanstalk section of Fun and Fancy Free, Mickey's voice was handed over to veteran Disney musician and actor Jim Macdonald. (Both Disney's and Macdonald's voices can be heard on the final soundtrack.) Macdonald voiced Mickey in the remainder of the theatrical shorts, and for various television and publicity projects up until his retirement in the mid-1970s, although Walt voiced Mickey again for the introductions of the original 1954-1959 "Mickey Mouse Club" TV series and the "Fourth Anniversary Show" episode of the "Disneyland" TV series aired on 9/11/58. 1983's Mickey's Christmas Carol marked the debut of Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse, who is the current voice actor. Allwine is, incidentally, married to Russi Taylor, the current voice of Minnie Mouse. Les Perkins did the voice of Mickey in the TV special Down and Out with Donald Duck released in 1987.

Social impact

Electoral career

In the United States, protest votes are often made in order to indicate dissatisfaction with the slate of electors presented on a particular ballot, or to highlight the inadequacies of a particular voting procedure. Since most states' electoral systems do not provide for blank balloting or a choice of "None of the Above", most protest votes take the form of a clearly non-serious candidate's name entered as a write-in vote. Cartoon characters are typically chosen for this purpose; as Mickey Mouse is the most well-known and well-recognized character in America, his name is frequently selected for this purpose. (Other popular selections include Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny.) This phenomenon has the humorous effect of causing Mickey Mouse to be a minor but perennial contestor of nearly all U.S. presidential elections.

A similar phenomenon occurs in the parliament elections in Finland and Sweden, although Finns and Swedes usually write Donald Duck or Donald Duck Party as a protest vote as Donald is more popular than Mickey in these countries.

Pejorative use of Mickey's name

"Mickey Mouse" is a slang expression meaning small-time, amateurish or trivial.

Musicians often referred to a score that directly follows each action on screen as "Mickey Mousing."

In Finland, the software company Microsoft is often derogatorily called "Mikkisofta" ("Mickey Software").

"Mickey Mouse money" is a derogatory term for foreign currency, often used by Americans to describe indigenous currency in a foreign country in which they are traveling.

It is common for residents of the state of Florida, home of Walt Disney World Resort, to refer to him as "Mickey Rat".

In the 1996 Warner Brothers film Space Jam, Bugs Bunny derogatorily referred to Daffy Duck's idea for the name of their basketball team ("the Ducks", as in the Mighty Ducks) as a "Mickey Mouse organization."

In 1984, just after a game in which Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers beat the New Jersey Devils 13-4, Gretzky is quoted as saying to a reporter, "They're putting a Mickey Mouse operation on the ice. It's ruining hockey."

Mickey Mouse bans

In 1935, Romanian authorities banned Mickey Mouse films from cinemas after they feared that children would be scared to see a ten-foot mouse in the movie theatre.

Copyright and trademark issues

Many people have believed erroneously that the Mickey Mouse character is protected only by copyright. In fact, the Mickey Mouse character, like all major Disney characters, is protected as a trademark, which like all trademarks lasts in perpetuity as long as it continues to be used commercially by its owner. Whether or not a particular Disney cartoon goes into the public domain, the characters themselves will remain protected as trademarks from unauthorized use.

The Walt Disney Company has become well known for protecting its trademark on the Mickey Mouse character, whose likeness is so closely associated with the company, with particular zeal. Disney chose not to sue Paul Krassner for publishing Wally Wood's illustration of The Disneyland Memorial Orgy in the underground newspaper The Realist in 1967, and didn't pursue legal redress until a bootleg blacklight poster appeared. In a protracted case in the 1970s, Disney sued underground cartoonist Dan O'Neill for his comic book Air Pirates, even going so far as to request the court press criminal charges.

Filmography

Notable Mickey Mouse cartoons and appearances

  • 1928: Plane Crazy
  • 1928: Steamboat Willie
  • 1929: The Karnival Kid
  • 1929: Haunted House
  • 1930: The Chain Gang
  • 1931: Mickey's Orphans
  • 1932: The Grocery Boy
  • 1933: The Mad Doctor
  • 1934: The Orphan's Benefit
  • 1935: Mickey's Service Station
  • 1935: The Band Concert
  • 1936: Thru the Mirror
  • 1937: Lonesome Ghosts
  • 1938: Mickey's Trailer
  • 1938: Brave Little Tailor
  • 1939: The Pointer
  • 1940: The Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia
  • 1941: The Little Whirlwind
  • 1942: Mickey's Birthday Party
  • 1942: Symphony Hour
  • 1946: Mickey's Delayed Date
  • 1947: Mickey and the Beanstalk segment of Fun and Fancy Free
  • 1948: Mickey and the Seal
  • 1953: The Simple Things
  • 1955: The Mickey Mouse Club
  • 1983: Mickey's Christmas Carol
  • 1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (cameo)
  • 1990: The Prince and the Pauper
  • 1995: Runaway Brain

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In a protracted case in the 1970s, Disney sued underground cartoonist Dan O'Neill for his comic book Air Pirates, even going so far as to request the court press criminal charges. But the N64 guaranteed the second place in the market, easily outselling the Sega Saturn (10 million). Disney chose not to sue Paul Krassner for publishing Wally Wood's illustration of The Disneyland Memorial Orgy in the underground newspaper The Realist in 1967, and didn't pursue legal redress until a bootleg blacklight poster appeared. With 32 million Nintendo 64 units sold worldwide [2], Nintendo was unsuccessful in recapturing the preceding SNES's market share and the fifth generation was taken over by the PlayStation which had sold over 100 million units worldwide. The Walt Disney Company has become well known for protecting its trademark on the Mickey Mouse character, whose likeness is so closely associated with the company, with particular zeal. Backup/development units:. Whether or not a particular Disney cartoon goes into the public domain, the characters themselves will remain protected as trademarks from unauthorized use. If the chip did not match the game's boot code, the game would not run.

In fact, the Mickey Mouse character, like all major Disney characters, is protected as a trademark, which like all trademarks lasts in perpetuity as long as it continues to be used commercially by its owner. To discourage playing of copied games by piggybacking a real cartridge, Nintendo produced five different versions of the chip. Many people have believed erroneously that the Mickey Mouse character is protected only by copyright. Unlike previous versions, the N64 lockout chip contains a seed value which is used to calculate a checksum of the game's boot code. In 1935, Romanian authorities banned Mickey Mouse films from cinemas after they feared that children would be scared to see a ten-foot mouse in the movie theatre. Each Nintendo 64 cartridge contains a so-called lockout chip to prevent manufacturers from creating unauthorized copies of the games. It's ruining hockey.". Naboo enjoyed an impressive draw distance and large amounts of snow and rain even with the high resolution, thanks to their efforts.

In 1984, just after a game in which Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers beat the New Jersey Devils 13-4, Gretzky is quoted as saying to a reporter, "They're putting a Mickey Mouse operation on the ice. Then for Naboo they took what they learned from Rogue and pushed the machine even farther to make the game run at 640x480, and implement enhancements for both particles and the landscape engine. In the 1996 Warner Brothers film Space Jam, Bugs Bunny derogatorily referred to Daffy Duck's idea for the name of their basketball team ("the Ducks", as in the Mighty Ducks) as a "Mickey Mouse organization.". In Rogue Squadron the team tweaked the microcode for a landscape engine to create the alien worlds. It is common for residents of the state of Florida, home of Walt Disney World Resort, to refer to him as "Mickey Rat". Factor 5 also showed ingenuity with their Star Wars games, Rogue Squadron and Battle for Naboo, where their team again used custom microcode. "Mickey Mouse money" is a derogatory term for foreign currency, often used by Americans to describe indigenous currency in a foreign country in which they are traveling. In the end, the game was more feature filled than the PC version (quite a feat) and was one of the most advanced games for Nintendo 64.

In Finland, the software company Microsoft is often derogatorily called "Mikkisofta" ("Mickey Software"). Factor 5's microcode allowed almost unlimited realtime lighting, and significantly boosted the polygon count. Musicians often referred to a score that directly follows each action on screen as "Mickey Mousing.". They wrote microcode for realtime lighting, because the SGI code was poor for this task, and they wanted to have more lighting than even the PC version had used. "Mickey Mouse" is a slang expression meaning small-time, amateurish or trivial. They took advantage of the cartridge as a texture streaming source to squeeze as much detail into each environment, and work around RAM limitations. A similar phenomenon occurs in the parliament elections in Finland and Sweden, although Finns and Swedes usually write Donald Duck or Donald Duck Party as a protest vote as Donald is more popular than Mickey in these countries. The tool would analyze each texture and try to choose the best texture format to work with the machine and look as good as possible.

presidential elections. To work around the 4KB texture cache the programmers came up with custom texture formats and tools to help the artists make the best possible textures. (Other popular selections include Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny.) This phenomenon has the humorous effect of causing Mickey Mouse to be a minor but perennial contestor of nearly all U.S. For starters, the Z-buffer could not be used because it alone used up a huge amount of the console's texture fillrate. Cartoon characters are typically chosen for this purpose; as Mickey Mouse is the most well-known and well-recognized character in America, his name is frequently selected for this purpose. The machine was taxed to the limit running at 640x480 though, so they absolutely needed to scrape every last bit of performance they could out of N64. Since most states' electoral systems do not provide for blank balloting or a choice of "None of the Above", most protest votes take the form of a clearly non-serious candidate's name entered as a write-in vote. In this game the Factor 5 team decided they wanted the game to run in high resolution mode (640x480) because of how much they liked the crispness it added.

In the United States, protest votes are often made in order to indicate dissatisfaction with the slate of electors presented on a particular ballot, or to highlight the inadequacies of a particular voting procedure. One of the best examples of rewritten µcode on N64 was with Factor 5's Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. Les Perkins did the voice of Mickey in the TV special Down and Out with Donald Duck released in 1987. It was, however, far more difficult to program for and to reach peak performance/quality. Allwine is, incidentally, married to Russi Taylor, the current voice of Minnie Mouse. Still, with these drawbacks to the hardware, the machine was architecturally superior in nearly every way to the PlayStation. 1983's Mickey's Christmas Carol marked the debut of Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse, who is the current voice actor. There was no memory prefetch or read under write functionality either.

(Both Disney's and Macdonald's voices can be heard on the final soundtrack.) Macdonald voiced Mickey in the remainder of the theatrical shorts, and for various television and publicity projects up until his retirement in the mid-1970s, although Walt voiced Mickey again for the introductions of the original 1954-1959 "Mickey Mouse Club" TV series and the "Fourth Anniversary Show" episode of the "Disneyland" TV series aired on 9/11/58. The R4300 CPU was the worst off component because it had to go through the RCP to access main memory, and could not use DMA (the RCP could) to do so, so its RAM access performance was quite poor. (Carl Stalling and Clarence Nash allegedly did some uncredited ADR for Mickey in a few early shorts as well.) However, by 1947, Disney was becoming too busy with running the studio to do regular voicework (and it is "speculated" his cigarette habit had damaged his voice over the years), and during the recording of the Mickey and the Beanstalk section of Fun and Fancy Free, Mickey's voice was handed over to veteran Disney musician and actor Jim Macdonald. Game developers also said that the N64's memory controller setup was fairly poor, and this magnified the situation somewhat. From his first speaking role in The Karnival Kid onward, Mickey was voiced by Walt Disney himself, a task Disney took great personal pride in. A high latency memory subsystem creates delays in how fast the processors can get the data they need, and how fast they can alter this data. A large part of Mickey's screen persona is his famously shy, falsetto voice. The RDRAM was incredibly high latency memory (640 ns read) and this mostly cancelled out its high bandwidth advantage.

He remains playable until he revives Sora, as a boss fight cannot be finished with Mickey. The unified memory subsystem of Nintendo 64 was another critical weakness for the machine. In Kingdom Hearts II, Mickey becomes playable in certain boss battles, after Sora is defeated. This game also used custom microcode to improve the RSP's capabilities. He returns in the Game Boy Advance sequel, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, in which used the Dark Corridor to enter Castle Oblivion so he could help Riku in finding his way through the basements. In fact, World Driver Championship was one of the most polygon-loaded N64 games and frequently would push past Sony Playstation's typical in-game polygon counts. Mickey only appeared briefly near the end, revealing he managed to get into the World of Darkness using the Dark Corridor entrance in Traverse Town to obtain the Keyblade located there. Most Nintendo 64 games were actually fillrate limited, not geometry limited, which is ironic considering the great concern for N64's low ~100,000 polygon per second rating during its time.

However, he left his castle at the beginning of the game with instructions for Goofy and Donald to find and protect the one chosen by the Keyblade (Sora). Z-Buffering significantly crippled the RDP's fillrate so managing the Z-depth of objects, so things would appear in the right order and not on top of each other, was put on the programmer instead of the hardware to get maximum speed. Donald Duck is his Court Wizard, while Goofy is the head of the King's royal guard. There were other challenges for developers to work around. In Disney Interactive and Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts video game series, King Mickey Mouse presided over Disney Castle alongside Queen Minnie Mouse. Conker's Bad Fur Day is possibly the best example of this ingenuity. Other video games released in this period were Disney's Magical Mirror and Disney's Hide & Sneak for Nintendo Gamecube. Creative developers towards the end of N64's lifetime managed to use tricks such as multi-layered texturing and heavily clamped small texture pieces to simulate larger textures.

In the 2000s, Disney's Magical Quest came out on Game Boy Advance, as well as Disney's Magical Quest 2 and Disney's Magical Quest 3. To put this in perspective, this cache could be quickly filled with even small textures (a 64x64 4-bit/pixel texture is 2KB and a 128x64 4-bit/pixel texture is 4KB). He appeared in other video games prior to and after Kingdom Hearts, such as Mickey Mousecapade, Mickey Mania, Mickey's Ultimate Challenge, Disney's Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse, Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Great Circus Mystery, Mickey's Dangerous Chase and Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands. To make matters worse, because of how the renderer was designed, if mip mapping was used the texture cache was effectively halved to 2KB. Mickey was the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day 2005. This was the primary cause of N64's blurry texturing, secondary to the blurring caused by the trilinear filtering and limited ROM storage. Many television programs have centered around Mickey, such as the recent shows Mickey Mouse Works (1999 - 2000) and Disney's House of Mouse (2001 - 2003). This made it extremely difficult to load large textures into the rendering engine, especially textures with high color depth.

He has yet to appear in an original Disney film that wasn't based on classical works. One major flaw was the limited texture cache of 4KB. His most recent theatrical cartoon was 1995's short Runaway Brain, while in 2004 he appeared in the made-for-video features The Three Musketeers and the computer-animated Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. The Nintendo 64 had some glaring weaknesses that were caused by a combination of oversight on the part of the hardware designers, limitations on 3D technology of the time, and manufacturing capabilities. Only three people have regularly provided the voice for Mickey (not including theme park attractions and parades): Walt Disney from 1928 to 1947, James Macdonald from 1948 to 1983, and currently, Wayne Allwine, who first voiced the Mouse in Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983. Two of the SGI microcodes. Warner and Disney signed an agreement stating that each character had exactly the same amount of screen time, right down to the semi-second. Factor 5, Boss Game Studios, and Rare).

But in 1988, in a historic moment in motion picture history, the two rivals finally shared screen time in the Robert Zemeckis film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Several companies were able to create custom microcode programs that ran their software far better than SGI's generic software (i.e. Throughout the decades, Mickey Mouse competed with Warner Bros.' Bugs Bunny for animated popularity. Some developers noted that the default SGI microcode ("Fast3D") was actually quite poorly profiled for use in games (it was too accurate), and performance suffered as a result. The star is located on 6925 Hollywood Blvd. As a result, it was extremely easy to make mistakes that would be very hard to track down; mistakes that could cause seemingly random bugs or glitches. On November 18, 1978, in honor of his 50th anniversary, he became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Programming RSP microcode was said to be quite difficult because the N64 µcode tools were very basic, with no debugger, and poor documentation.

For many years, Mickey Mouse has served as the mascot for The Walt Disney Company, alongside Jiminy Cricket and Tinkerbell. However, Nintendo was quite unwilling to share the microcode tools with developers until the end of N64's lifecycle when they shared this information with a select number of companies. He has also starred in two half-hour theatrical featurettes, Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983, screened in front of a re-issue of The Rescuers) and The Prince and the Pauper (1990, screened in front of The Rescuers Down Under). By altering the microcode run on the device it can perform different operations, create new effects, be better tuned for speed or quality, among other possibilities. Mickey has only starred in two feature films: the "Sorcerer's Apprentence" segment in "Fantasia", and the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of Fun and Fancy Free (1947). The RSP is completely programmable, through microcode (µcode). In 1929, Disney created the original Mickey Mouse Club for fans of his character and cartoons, which later formed the basis for a popular 1950's television show (with follow-ups of the same name in 1977 and 1989). This created a fascinating system that was quite flexible and moldable to the game's needs, but it also assumed the programmer would be able to properly profile the code to optimize usage of each part of the machine.

By his sister Amelia Fieldmouse, Mickey Mouse has two nephews, the lesser-known Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse (in contrast to Donald Duck's famous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie). Workload on N64 could be arranged almost in any way the programmer saw fit. Mickey's most well known supporting characters are his girlfriend, Minnie Mouse; his dog, Pluto; and his best friends, Goofy and Donald Duck. It was relatively common to do audio on the main CPU to increase the graphics performance. Since 1950 the most popular version of Mickey has been that of Italian creator Romano Scarpa, who has further developed Gottfredson's characters and has added many of his own. Nintendo 64 was one of the few consoles without a dedicated audio chip so these tasks fell on the RSP and/or CPU. From 1930 until 1950, though the numbers of the comic creators that worked on Mickey increased, the most popular version (considered the "classic" version today) was that of Floyd Gottfredson, who developed Mickey's character, adopted characters from the cartoons, and created many others. In a typical N64 game the RSP would do transforms, lighting, clipping, triangle setup, and some of the audio decoding.

Mickey would not return to theatres until 1983, with the release of "Mickey's Christmas Carol". The RSP was the transform portion of the RCP, although it was really just a DSP, similar to a MIPS R4000 core, designed to work with 8-bit integer vector operations. Throughout the 40s, Mickey made fewer and fewer films, until his last film "The Simple Things" in 1953. The RDP component basically just read a FIFO buffer and rasterized polygons. Probably his best film appearance was the popular segment "The Sorcerer's Apprentence" in Disney's "Fantasia" (1940). The CPU was primarily used for game logic, such as input management, some audio, and AI, while the RCP did everything else. "Thru the Mirror" (1936), "Mickey's Rival" (1936), "The Brave Little Tailor" (1938), and "The Nifty Nineties" (1941) are all good examples of Mickey at his best. The Nintendo Revolution uses "12cm discs" for storage, which are just encrypted DVDs, thus making it the first Nintendo console to use a standardized storage format.

Once in a while, the Disney Studio would find a perfect vehicle for Mickey. In 2001, the Nintendo 64 was replaced by the disc-based Nintendo GameCube, although even with this system they refused to use mainstream CD/DVD technology, opting for the DVD-based but incompatible GameCube Optical Disc. The studio realized that while Mickey Mouse is a very appealing character, he is not all that funny. The N64 also secured its share of the mature audience thanks to GoldenEye 007, Resident Evil 2, Shadow Man, Doom 64 and Quake II. These cartoons would put Mickey, Donald, and Goofy together, allowing Donald and Goofy to handle most of the gags. Much of this success was credited to Nintendo's strong first-party franchises, such as Mario and Zelda, which had strong name brand appeal yet appeared exclusively on Nintendo platforms. "Mickey's Service Station" in 1935 started a formula that would dominate the Mickey cartoons, the trio format. N64 took second place for its generation of consoles while the PlayStation finished first, with 40% and 51% of the market respectively.

The Disney studio had a hard time coming up with stories for Mickey. Despite the controversies, the N64 still managed to support many popular games, giving it a long life run. "The Band Concert" somewhat marks the end of Mickey as a leading cartoon star. While most PlayStation games rarely exceeded $50, N64 titles could reach $80. Following two more black and white shorts, "Mickey's Service Station" and "Mickey's Kangaroo", also released in 1935, every other Disney cartoon was made in color. Publishers had to pass these higher expenses to the consumer so N64 games tended to sell for slightly higher prices than PlayStation games did. Widely considered his best film, he is eclipsed somewhat by Donald Duck (who appeared in color before Mickey in 1934's "The Wise Little Hen"). The cost of producing an N64 cartridge was far higher than producing a CD: one gaming magazine at the time cited average costs of twenty-five dollars per cartridge, versus 10 cents per CD.

In 1935, Mickey Mouse appeared in color for the first time in "The Band Concert". This incident provided a highly-publicized denunciation of Nintendo's cartridge-based system which caused negative publicity for Nintendo. As the series became more popular, Disney decided to change his best-known character into a well meaning everyman, and creating mischief was thereafter left to other characters. Despite the fact that all six previous Final Fantasy games had been published on Nintendo systems, the series' producer, Squaresoft, chose to release Final Fantasy VII on the Sony PlayStation. In his earliest cartoons Mickey was often mischievous and the cartoons sometimes used outhouse humor. disc debate came to an infamous climax during the release of Final Fantasy VII. This adventurous version of Mickey would continue to appear in comic strips and later comic books throughout the 20th and into the 21st century. The cartridge vs.

While Disney and his cartoon shorts would continue to focus on comedy, the comic strip effectively combined comedy and adventure. As a result many game developers which had traditionally supported Nintendo game consoles were now developing games for the competition because of the higher profit margins found on CD based platforms. Starting with these two early comic strip stories, Mickey's versions in animation and comics are considered to have diverged from each other. These discs are much cheaper to manufacture and distribute, resulting in lower costs to third party game publishers. Slicker and the Egg Robbers, first printed between September 22 and December 26, 1930, which introduced Marcus Mouse and his wife as Minnie's parents. At that time, competing systems from Sony and Sega (the PlayStation and Saturn, respectively) were using CD-ROM discs to store their games. The story was followed by Mr. Later cartridges such as Resident Evil 2 featured more ROM space, which demonstrated that N64 was capable of detailed in-game graphics when the media permitted, but this performance came late in the console war and at a high price.

This story would bring the first comic strip appearances of Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar and Black Pete as well as the debuts of corrupted lawyer Sylvester Shyster and Minnie's uncle Mortimer Mouse. While N64 games generally had higher polygon counts, the limited storage size of ROM carts limited the amount of available textures, resulting in games which had a plain and flat-shaded look. This early adventure contributed to the extension of the comic strip cast which by this point only included Mickey and Minnie. Graphically, benefits of the Nintendo cartridge system were mixed. The storyline was completed on September 20, 1930 and was later reprinted in comic book form as Mickey Mouse in Death Valley. Nintendo later approached the Dutch electronics giant Philips to develop a Super NES CD-ROM drive, but that deal also went nowhere. Floyd at first had to work on the continuation of a storyline which his predecessors had started on April 1, 1930. Nintendo sued Sony over the PlayStation name, although they later settled.

Floyd accepted and ended up holding this "temporary" assignment from May 5, 1930 to November 15, 1975. Sony reportedly kept the name for their later 32-bit system to spite Nintendo. Walt had to assure Floyd that the assignment was only temporary and that he would eventually return to animation. In addition to the CD-ROM add on, Sony would release a combination Super NES/CD-ROM system in one unit, which would have been called the PlayStation. At the time Floyd was reportedly eager to work in animation and somewhat reluctant to accept his new assignment. Nintendo later backed out of the contract due to Sony's insistence that they would receive all licensing revenue for games released on CD-ROM. For uncertain reasons he chose Floyd Gottfredson, a recently hired employee. While Nintendo chose the cartridge format for the N64, the company originally signed a contract with Sony in 1988 to develop a CD-ROM drive add-on for the SNES.

Walt proceeded to search for a replacement to Smith among the remaining staff of the Studio. Nintendo's choice had several advantages:. Another reason might be that Walt Disney was a very impossible man, and Win Smith got sick of this lack of freedom to create in. The Nintendo 64 was the last mainstream home video game console to use ROM cartridges to store its games. This became evident by his sudden resignation. In G4's recent 'Top 10 Games Consoles' feature, the Nintendo 64 was voted number one against other consoles. Win Smith was apparently discontent at having to script, draw, and ink a series by himself.
The last Nintendo 64 game to be released in the United States was Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 on August 20, 2002 while Mario Party 3 released on 16 November 2001 was the last title Europe would see.

However, Walt's focus had always been in animation and Smith was soon assigned with the scripting as well. Some of their more popular titles include:. At first Walt was content to continue scripting it and assigning the art to Win Smith. Apart from Nintendo's own in-house development, Rareware produced a steady stream of titles for the N64. But back in early 1930, Walt had another matter to attend to: the creation of the comic strip after Iwerks' departure. Super Mario 64 is still considered to have set the standard for 3D platform games and is considered by many to be one of the greatest games ever published. Mickey continued to appear regularly in animated shorts until 1943 and again from 1946 to 1953. Some of Nintendo's most notable games for the N64 are:.

In any case, Walt and his remaining staff continued the production of the Mickey series. The early N64 development system was an SGI Indy equipped with an add-on board that contained a full N64 system. Later Disney Company reissues of the early cartoons tend to credit Walt Disney alone. The system was designed by Silicon Graphics Inc., and features their trademark dithered 32-bit graphics. It has been pointed that advertising for the early Mickey Mouse cartoons credit them as "A Walt Disney Comic, drawn by Ub Iwerks". Regardless, the Nintendo 64 was the first popular system to have these features. Consequently some animation historians have suggested that Iwerks should be considered the actual creator of Mickey Mouse. The Vectrex in fact had introduced analog joysticks, while the first to feature four controller ports was the Bally Astrocade.

Walt Disney has been credited for the inspiration to create Mickey, but Iwerks was the one to design the character and the first few Mickey Mouse cartoons were mostly or entirely drawn by Iwerks. The first game console to bill itself as "64-bit" was actually the Atari Jaguar (although the truth of this is disputed, as the Jaguar merely had two 32-bit processors- albeit its graphics processor was 64-bit). The latter lost the man responsible for his original design and for the direction and/or animation of several of the shorts released till this point, and some would argue Mickey's creator. Nintendo touted many of the system's more unusual features as groundbreaking and innovative, but many of these features had in fact been implemented before. The former lost the man who served as his closest colleague and confidant since 1919. Killer Instinct was the most advanced game of its time graphically, featuring pre-rendered movie backgrounds which were streamed off the hard drive and animated as the characters moved horizontally. His departure is considered to mark a turning point to the careers of both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. In fact, the hardware had nothing to do with what was finally released; the arcade games used hard drives and TMS processors.

The result of his early efforts was the Flip the Frog series. After first announcing the project, two companies, Rareware (UK) and Midway (USA), created the arcade games Killer Instinct and Cruis'n USA which claimed to use the Ultra 64 hardware. Shortly before its release, Iwerks had left the Studio in an attempt to create his own. . The short is considered significant for being the last Mickey short to be animated by Ub Iwerks. Once unveiled to the public the name changed to Nintendo Ultra 64, referring to its 64-bit processor, and Nintendo dropped "Ultra" from the name on February 1, 1996, just five months before its Japanese debut. This is considered to be his last non-anthropomorphic appearance. The name Project Reality came from the speculation within Nintendo that this console could produce CGI on par with then-current supercomputers.

The rhea of the original short was replaced by Horace Horsecollar. During the developmental stages the N64 was referred to by its code name, Project Reality. This would become a recurring feature of the character. Official coverage by Nintendo soon followed a few weeks later on the nascent Nintendo Power website, and then in volume #85 of their print magazine. For the first time in a Mickey short, Pete was depicted as having a peg-leg. The first published photos from the event were presented on the web via coverage by Game Zero magazine two days after the event. The rival suitor to Mickey is again Pete though using the alias Peg-Leg Pedro. The N64 was first publicly introduced on November 24, 1995 as the Nintendo Ultra 64 at the 7th Annual Shoshinkai Software Exhibition in Japan (though preview pictures from the Nintendo "Project Reality" console had been published in American magazines as early as June, 1993).

The latter is again Minnie. The Nintendo 64 cost $199 at launch in the United States. Mickey was again cast as a lonely traveler who walks into the local tavern and starts flirting with its dancer. It was released with only two launch games in Japan and North America (Super Mario 64 and PilotWings 64) while Europe had a third launch title in the form of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (which was released earlier in the other markets). But it is considered to be more or less a remake of The Gallopin' Gaucho set in Mexico instead of Argentina. The N64 was released on June 23, 1996 in Japan, September 29, 1996 in North America and Puerto Rico, 1 March 1997 in Europe/Australia and September 1, 1997 in France. As the title implies the short was intended as a Western movie parody. The Nintendo 64, commonly called the N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console.

They were followed by Cactus Kid, first released on April 11, 1930. CD64, by Success Compu. 2. Z64, by Harrison Electronics. It is only notable for Mickey's emotional renditions of the finale to the William Tell Overture, Robert Schumann's Träumerei (Reverie), and Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. Doctor V64 and Doctor V64jr, by Bung Enterprises Ltd. Both titles give an accurate enough description of the short which has Mickey performing a violin solo. Adapters to play Game Boy games - there is an unofficial adaptor to play Game Boy cartridges, similar to the Super Game Boy and an official adapter, able to play Game Boy Color games (never released).

The second was originally released on March 14, 1930 under the title Fiddlin' Around but has since been renamed to Just Mickey. It featured networking capabilities similar to the (SNES) Satellaview. Their rendition of the Poet and Peasant is humorous enough; but it has been noted that several of the gags featured were repeated from previous shorts. 64DD - The official N64 Disk Drive attachment was a commercial failure and was consequently never released outside of Japan. The only recurring characters among its members were Clarabelle as a flutist and Horace as a drummer. Rare's Perfect Dark was initially going to be compatible with the Transfer Pak in order to use pictures taken with the Game Boy Camera in the game but this function was scrapped. It featured Mickey conducting an orchestra. Pokémon Stadium is a game that relies heavily on the Transfer Pak.

The first of them was The Barnyard Concert, first released on March 3, 1930. Transfer Pak - an accessory that plugged into the controller and allowed the Nintendo 64 to transfer data between Game Boy and N64 games. Meanwhile in animation, two more Mickey shorts had been released. It has (since its release in 1997 alongside Star Fox 64) become a built-in standard for the current generation console controllers. The strips first released between January 13 and March 31, 1930 have been occasionally reprinted in comic book form under the collective title "Lost on a Desert Island". Rumble Pak - an accessory that plugged into the controller and vibrated during game play. Minnie soon became the first addition to the cast. Mad Catz marketed its own version of Expansion Pak called the High Rez Pack doing the same job for less money, though there were reports of overheating due to inferior quality.

The first week or so of the strip featured a loose adaptation of Plane Crazy. The expansion pack was shipped with some games and also available separately. The comical plot was credited to Walt Disney himself, art to Ub Iwerks and inking to Win Smith. Supporting games usually offered higher video resolutions when it was present, or in the case of Perfect Dark, unlocked 100% of game play. Walt accepted and Mickey made his first comic strip appearance on January 13, 1930. Only a few games such as Perfect Dark and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron supported the expansion, while games such as Donkey Kong 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask required it for play. So Walt Disney was approached by King Features Syndicate with the offer to licence Mickey and his supporting characters for use in a comic strip. It contained 4MB of RAM.

By this point Mickey had appeared in fifteen commercially successful animated shorts and was easily recognized by the public. Expansion Pak - a memory expansion that plugged into the console's memory expansion port. The tunes vary from the previously mentioned "Yankee Doodle" and "Turkey in the Straw" to "Auld Lang Syne", "The Blue Danube", and Aloha `Oe. Games by Konami were particularly notorious as they often required the controller Pak to save even though the games could have easily contained three or more save-slots (such as in the case of Holy Magic Century). During the rest of the short, various jungle animals dance to Mickey's tunes. Over time, the Controller Pak lost ground to the convenience of a back-up battery (or flash memory) found in some cartridges. Mickey proceeds to play music to calm them down. A Controller Pak was initially useful or even necessary for the earlier N64 games.

But the later proves to be problematic soon after Mickey finds himself standing in between of a lion and a bear. The number of pages that a game occupied varied. He rides on an elephant and is armed with a shotgun. The original models from Nintendo offered 256KB Flash RAM, split into 123 pages, but third party models had much more, often in the form of compressed memory. Mickey is seen in a safari somewhere in Africa. Controller Pak - a memory card that plugged into the controller and allowed the player to save game progress and configuration. The twelfth and last Mickey short released during the year was Jungle Rhythm, first released on November 15, 1929. Nintendo never allowed this code to be used in shipping games.

Otherwise it is only notable as the first of Mickey's adventures at sea. Turbo3D microcode: 500,000-600,000 polygons per second with PSX quality. Mickey was depicted acting much like a lifeguard during the short. Fast3D microcode: < ~100,000 polygons per second. Minnie cheers up and the short ends. Controller: 1 analog stick; 2 shoulder buttons; one digital cross pad; six face buttons, 'start' button, and one digital trigger. Soon seals, walruses, penguins, pelicans, and other water birds start dancing to Mickey's tune. Weight: 2.4 lb (1.1 kg).

Mickey starts singing the tune of Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep in an apparent effort to cheer her up. Dimensions: 10.23 x 7.48 x 2.87 inches (260 x 190 x 73mm) WxDxH

    . He manages to rescue her and return her to the shore but Minnie is still visibly shaken from the experience. Media: 4 MB to 64 MB (32-Mbit to 512-Mbit) cartridges. Mickey proceeds to place it into the water and then rows the boat forward until he reaches Minnie. Sampling: 48 kHz (max, 44.1 kHz is CD-quality). He lifts it to discover an amorous couple who were using the boat as their cover from prying eyes. Channels: 100 PCM (max, 16-24 avg.).

    Mickey discovers a rowboat placed upside-down on the beach. Sound: 16-bit ADPCM Stereo

      . She panicks and seems to start drowning. 150,000 polygon/s (all RDP features enabled). They are at first singing and dancing at the shore but at some point Minnie is swept by a wave into the sea. Colors: 16.7 million (32,768 on-screen). Mickey and Minnie are featured spending a day at the beach. Resolution: 256x224 to 640x480 pixels flicker-free, interlaced.

      Another Mickey short was released in between them: Wild Waves, first released on August 15, 1929. Environment mapping. Consequently both shorts have been considered among the highlights of their respective series and animated classics. Perspective correction. The result is often described as surreal and at points impressive. Trilinear Filtered Mipmap Interpolation (increases texture map rendering speed). A series of creative and rather morbid gags provide comedic elements. Texture mapping (placing images over shapes, for example mapping a face image to a sphere creates head)

        .

        Both feature elements generally found in horror fiction and particularly in horror films effectively combined with music and dance. Anti-aliasing (smoothes jagged lines and edges). The short is clearly similar to The Skeleton Dance, first released on August 22, 1929, which was the first short of the Silly Symphonies series. Z-buffering (maintains 3D spatial relationships, is Mario in front of the tree or vice-versa?). The finale has a terrified Mickey crashing through a window to escape. RDP (Reality Drawing Processor) handles all pixel drawing operations in hardware, such as:

          . At some point, Mickey attempts to escape but any room he attempts to enter contains more skeletons. RSP (Reality Signal Processor) controls 3D graphics and sound functions.

          Skeletons are seen dancing to Mickey's tune. Graphics: SGI 62.5MHz RCP (Reality Coprocessor) contains two sub-processors:

            . Mickey is surprised but clearly too scared to argue with it. Data path: Custom 9-bit Rambus at 500 MHz (max). The figure of the Grim Reaper orders him to play music to entertain them. Bandwidth: 562.5 MB/s. Mickey has entered a haunted house. RAM: 4 MB RDRAM (upgradeable to 8 MB with 4MB Expansion Pak)
              .

              At this point, Mickey finds out that the house is indeed inhabited — by ghosts in skeleton form. Manufactured by NEC using 0.35µm transistor fabrication process. Mickey is somewhat unnerved and his encounters with bats and large spiders only increase his growing fear. 4.6 million transistors. The door suddenly shuts behind him and seems to be locked. On-chip memory management unit (MMU). He soon discovers an apparently deserted house and proceeds to enter it. Operations: 93 MIPS (millions of instructions per second).

              Mickey is naturally seeking a refuge for himself. Bandwidth: 250 MB/s. Mickey is seen caught up in a storm with an umbrella serving as his only protection from the rain. Addressable Memory Space: 4 GB (Virtual 1 TB). The short begins at night time. Instruction Set: MIPS R4000 64-bit. This was not the case however with the next Mickey short to be released: Haunted House, first released on August 1, 1929. Bus Width: 32-bit address and data.

              Many of the following ones can better be described as animated song and dance shows with little to no plot. L1 cache: 24 KB (split: 16 KB instruction, 8 KB data). The preceding shorts already featured their share of song and dance numbers as part of their comedic plots. Processor: 93.75 MHz NEC VR4300 (info), based on MIPS R4300i series 64-bit RISC CPU

                . This short is considered to be representative of a change of focus early in the series. Storing data at first required a cartridge battery whose energy would diminish over time, though the battery generally lasted for years, and in subsequent games EEPROMs were used instead. The soundtrack of the film reportedly contained elements of both ragtime and Dixieland jazz. Most cartridges store individual profiles and game progress on the cartridge itself, eliminating the need for separate and expensive memory cards.

                The former plays the piano and the later the xylophone. It is possible to add specialized support chips (such as coprocessors) to ROM cartridges, as was done on some SNES games. Mickey and his friend Horace Horsecollar, the later in his first anthropomorphic appearance, are cast as the sole two performers of "Mickey's Big Road Show". While unauthorized interface devices for the PC were later developed, these devices are rare when compared to a regular CD drive as used on the PlayStation. This film followed the originals in having minimal plot and focusing on musical performances. ROM cartridges are difficult and expensive to duplicate, thus resisting piracy (albeit at the expense of lowered profit margin for Nintendo). Both musical films featured Al Jolson as their star and had proved commercially successful. This can be observed from the loading screens that appear in many PlayStation games but are virtually non-existent in N64 versions.

                The title was probably intended to be reminiscent of both The Jazz Singer, and also The Singing Fool, first released on September 19, 1928. ROM cartridges have very fast load times in comparison to disc based games. The ninth Mickey short to be released that year was The Jazz Fool, first released on July 5, 1929. Perfect Dark. Finally, animation historians have pointed that it seems to be the first song with original lyrics created by Walt's studio. Killer Instinct Gold. The music to the song was written by Carl Stalling and the lyrics by Walt Disney. Jet Force Gemini.

                For another this would serve as the new theme song for the series. GoldenEye 007. For one thing "the guy they call little Mickey Mouse" for the first time addresses an audience to explain that he has "Got a sweetie" who is "Neither fat nor skinny" and proudly proclaims that "She's my little Minnie Mouse". Donkey Kong 64. This humorous little song is considered to have a historical importance of its own. Diddy Kong Racing. It has Mickey singing Minnie's Yoo Hoo for the first time. Conker's Bad Fur Day.

                But the short is more notable for Mickey's main act. Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel Banjo-Tooie. She would be a recurring character early in Mickey's comic strip series. Blast Corps.. A female pig singing opera is considered to be Patricia Pig making her only animated appearance. Banjo-Kazooie. The short featured a barnyard show including various numbers. Wave Race 64.

                It was soon followed by Mickey's Follies, first released on June 26, 1929. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Clarabelle has another brief appearance as a cow running out of its way. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. At some point Mickey loses control of the locomotive. Super Mario 64. His only passenger seems to be Minnie, cast as a fiddle player for this short. Super Smash Bros..

                As the title implies, Mickey is depicted as the engineer in charge of an unusually anthropomorphic locomotive. Star Fox 64. This following Mickey short to be released was Mickey's Choo Choo, first released on June 20, 1929. Paper Mario. This marks the finale of the short. Mario Party. He only manages to draw the attention of two alley cats who decide to join him and then that of an irate neighbour of Minnie who starts throwing things at these three annoyances in an attempt to silence them. Mario Kart 64.

                Mickey apparently attempts to draw Minnie's attention by playing guitar singing outside her window. The short ends at night time. Having purchased one of Mickey's hot dogs, she is surprised to see it run away. The third was Mickey's recurring love interest: Minnie Mouse "the Shimmy Dancer" of the carnival.

                A barker at the carnival, he briefly gets into an argument with Mickey. The second was Kat Nipp, making his third and last appearance. The first of them was Clarabelle Cow in a cameo. Three other recurring characters of the series also appear.

                Much of the humor in this short came from the interaction between Mickey and his hot dogs, with the latter tending to act like actual dogs in relation to their owner/trainer. The short featured Mickey selling hot dogs at a carnival. Mickey's first spoken words were "Hot Dogs!". This short was The Karnival Kid, first released on May 23, 1929.

                But he would not actually speak until his ninth appearance. During his first eight appearances Mickey would whistle, laugh, cry and otherwise vocally express himself. Though depicted as non-anthropomorphic animals during this short, later that same year both would become as anthropomorphic as their former owners. Minnie's cow is considered to be Clarabelle Cow making her second appearance, and Mickey's plow horse is considered to be Horace Horsecollar making his debut.

                Curiously the short is considered mainly notable for the livestock it featured. In the finale, Mickey resorts to using a pig as a plough. By the time the horse calms down again, the plough has been broken. At some point the horse is stung by a bee, panics and starts galloping.

                Minnie's reply to this sign of affection is knocking his head with the bucket. Mickey eventually manages to present Minnie with a full bucket of milk and proceeds to kiss her. Mickey does not seem pleased and replies by rolling up its muzzle with its own tongue. As he does, the cow starts licking him in an apparent sign of affection.

                She has Mickey milk the cow for her. Then Minnie comes along with her cow. He is first seen with his horse while ploughing a field. As the title implies he was depicted as a farmer alongside Minnie.

                Mickey returned to civilian life with The Plow Boy, first released on May 9, 1929. In any case both wars were still within living memory of the audiences at the time of release and so it is possible that the details mentioned were intended as recognizable references to both of them. The victory of the mice is celebrated in the tune of "Battle Cry of Freedom", known to have been popular among the forces of the United States during the same conflict. The song is known to have been popular among the forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.

                On the other hand, the mice are marching in battle to the tune of "Dixie", a song written in 1859. The short did not clearly identify the war it depicted; but it has been noted that the cats are depicted as wearing military helmets similar to those used by the German Empire during World War I. However modern viewers have often pointed to this scene as being the most memorable of the short. The physical examination scene has since often been edited out as being somewhat disturbing.

                This short is notable as the first to depict Mickey as a soldier and the first to place him in combat. Mickey is hailed as a hero by his fellow soldiers and then the short ends. Mickey's combat efforts are comical in depiction but prove effective enough in forcing the enemy to retreat. After passing the examination, he is given a machine gun and is sent to battle.

                This scene depicts Mickey becoming the subject of physical and emotional abuse. Before joining the army, Mickey has to pass a physical examination. Pete was depicted as a leading soldier of the former army and Mickey as a conscript of the latter one. As the title implies it featured a battle between an invading army of cats and an army of mice trying to defend their homes and farms.

                It was The Barnyard Battle, first released on April 25, 1929. The next Mickey short to be released is also considered unusual. On another note, it has been commented that since this short was released during the Prohibition era, the alcoholic beverages would probably have been products of bootlegging. The set standard both before and after this short was to depict them as having the size of a rather short human being.

                This short is unusual in depicting Mickey and Minnie as having the size and partly the behavior of regular mice. Among them are Mickey and Minnie, who proceed to turn this gathering into a party. In his absence an army of mice invade his house in search of food. Then he leaves his house to go hunting.

                He is seen getting drunk on alcoholic beverages. Kat Nipp makes his second appearance, though his name is given as "Tom Cat" (this describes his being a tom cat, and the character should not be confused with the co-star of the Tom and Jerry series). It was essentially a remake of one of the Alice Comedies, Alice Rattled by Rats, which had been first released on January 15, 1926. When the Cat's Away, first released on April 11, 1929, would be the third Mickey short to be released that year.

                Supposedly one reason for adding the white gloves was to allow audiences to distinguish the characters' hands when they appeared against their bodies, as both were black (Mickey did not appear in color until The Band Concert in 1935). Mickey can be seen wearing them in most of his subsequent appearances. More notably this short introduced Mickey's gloves. The musical pieces accompanying them notably included "Yankee Doodle" and Georges Bizet's Carmen.

                This short featured no dialogue and consequently its humor relies in a long series of visual gags. This would be his debut; he would appear in two more shorts during the year as a minor antagonist. The only other recurring character to appear in the short is known as Kat Nipp (apparently a play on the word catnip). Instead, a poster of her can be seen which introduces her as a member of the Yankee Doodle Girls, apparently a group of female performers.

                Minnie did not appear in person in this short. Acts include his impersonation of a snake charmer, his dressing in drag and performing a belly dance, his caricature of a Hasidic Jew and, for the finale, a piano performance. Mickey performs a vaudeville show all by himself. It cast Mickey as the owner of a small theater (or opera house according to the title).

                The Opry House, first released on March 28, 1929, would be the second short released during the year. "Ever wonder why we always wear these white gloves?" - Various characters (with minor variations). It has been commented, however, that this only serves to add to the audiences' empathy for the character. In his sadness and crying over his failure, Mickey appears unusually emotional and vulnerable.

                In addition, Mickey was not depicted as a hero but as a rather ineffective young suitor. It is also an unusual appearance of the Pete; previously depicted as a menacing villain, he is portrayed here as a well-mannered gentleman. It is notable for featuring Mickey turned down by Minnie in favor of Pete. This short was the first to feature its three main characters as parts of a love-triangle.

                In the finale Mickey is reduced to crying on the floor. As a result, she leaves Mickey and resumes dancing with Pete. Minnie is visibly disgusted by this attempt at deception. Pete soon discovers Mickey's trick and points it out to Minnie.

                She accepts and is surprised to find his dancing skills to have apparently improved. That apparently helps him to be "light on his feet" and he proceeds to ask Minnie for another dance. Mickey then attempts to solve his problem by placing a balloon in his shorts. She instead accepts that of Pete, who proves to be a better dancing partner.

                She consequently turns down his invitation for a second dance. They are later seen dancing together, but Mickey proves to be a rather clumsy dancer as he repeatedly steps on Minnie's feet. She resorts to accepting Mickey's invitation. Minnie initially chooses Pete to drive her to the dance but the automobile unexpectedly breaks down.

                Mickey turns up in his horse-cart while Pete in a newly purchased automobile. The latter two and their vehicles are first seen arriving at Minnie's house in an attempt to pick her up for the dance. The barn dance of the title is the occasion which brings together Minnie and her two suitors: Mickey and Pete. It was directed by Walt Disney with Ub Iwerks as the head animator.

                The Barn Dance, first released on March 14, 1929, would be the first of twelve Mickey shorts released during that year. It was The Barn Dance. A fourth Mickey short was also put into production. Walt Disney soon worked on adding 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.

                As a result Mickey would soon become the most prominent animated character of the time. Most other cartoon studios were still producing silent products and so were unable to effectively act as competition to Disney. Walt Disney apparently intended to take advantage of this new trend and, arguably, managed to succeed. Within a year of its success, most United States movie theaters had installed sound film equipment.

                The first feature-length movie with dialogue sequences, The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson, was released on October 6, 1927. Sound films were still considered innovative. Audiences at the time of Steamboat Willie's release were reportedly impressed by its use of sound for comedic purposes. This served as the final scene of this short.

                A parrot attempts to make fun of him but is then thrown to the river by Mickey. Mickey is reduced to peeling potatoes for the rest of the trip. Captain Pete is eventually disturbed by all this noise and places Mickey back to work. Later audiences have often described those scenes as humorously exaggerated examples of animal cruelty.

                Through the rest of the short, Mickey uses various other animals as musical instruments. Consequently Mickey and Minnie use its tail to turn it into a phonograph which is playing the tune. A goat which was among the animals transported on the steamboat proceeds to eat the sheet music. Minnie accidentally drops her sheet music for the popular folk song "Turkey in the Straw".

                Mickey manages to pick her up from the river shore. She was apparently supposed to be their only passenger but was late to board. Almost as soon as they leave, Minnie arrives. They soon have to stop for cargo to be transferred on board.

                Then Pete arrives to take over piloting and angrily throws him out of the boat's bridge. At first he is seen piloting the steamboat while whistling. The script had Mickey serving aboard Steamboat Willie under Captain Pete. Walt Disney himself acted as voice actor for both Mickey and Minnie.

                This role has been variously attributed to Wilfred Jackson, Carl Stalling and Bert Lewis, but identification remains uncertain. Animation historians have long debated who had served as the composer for the film's original music. Steamboat Willie was, however, the first sound cartoon to achieve wide recognition. This series was distriubuted by Pathé and produced by Paul Terry.

                As a matter of fact, Disney got the idea of making a sound cartoon after watching an Aesop's Film Fable cartoon entitled Dinner Time. The cartoon is often listed in history books as being the first animated film ever to feature a synchronized sound, music, and dialogue track, but Fleischer Studios, headed by brothers Dave and Max Fleischer had already released some sound cartoons using the DeForest system in the mid-1920s. Despite the fact this was not the first Mickey cartoon made or released, it is still considered by some as Mickey Mouse's true debut. This short was intended as a parody of Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jr., first released on May 12 of the same year.

                Iwerks again served as the head animator, assisted by Johnny Cannon, Les Clark, Wilfred Jackson and Dick Lundy. It was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Steamboat Willie was first released on November 18, 1928. The result of his contemplations would be the third Mickey short to be produced, the second to be released and the first to really draw the attention of the audiences: Steamboat Willie.

                Walt would soon start to contemplate ways to distinguish the Mickey Mouse series from his previous work and that of his rivals. Reportedly Mickey was at first thought to be much too similar to Oswald and this resulted in the apparent lack of interest in him. It would be first released on December 30, 1928, following the release of another Mickey short. At the time of its original production though, Walt again failed to find a distributor.

                Consequently the short is arguably of some historical significance. Modern audiences have commented that all three characters seem to be coming out of rough, lower class backgrounds that little resemble their later versions. Based on Mickey and Minnie acting as strangers to each other before the finale, it was presumably intended to feature their original acquaintance to each other as well. This short marks the first encounter between Mickey and Black Pete, a character already established as an antagonist in both the Alice Comedies and the Oswald series.

                In later interviews, Iwerks would comment that Mickey as featured in The Gallopin' Gaucho was intended to be a swashbuckler, an adventurer modeled after Fairbanks himself. The finale of the short has Mickey and Minnie riding the rhea into the distance. Mickey emerges the victor of this joust. He soon catches up to his rival and they proceed to fight with swords.

                Mickey gives chase on his rhea. At some point Pete proceeds in kidnapping Minnie and attempts to escape on his horse. Both customers soon begin to flirt with Minnie and to rival one another. Also present at the establishment are Black Pete (later renamed Peg Leg Pete, or just Pete), a wanted outlaw and fellow customer for the time being, and Minnie Mouse, the barmaid and dancer of the establishment, at the time performing a tango.

                He apparently just wants to relax with some drinking and tobacco smoking. Mickey proceeds to enter the establishment and take a seat. He soon encounters "Cantina Argentina," apparently serving as the local bar and restaurant. He is first seen riding on a Rhea, instead of a horse as would be expected (or an ostrich as often reported).

                The gaucho of the title was Mickey himself. Following the original film, the events of the short take place in the Pampas of Argentina. The short was intended as a parody of Douglas Fairbanks's The Gaucho, a film first released on November 21, 1927. The Gallopin' Gaucho was again co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, with the latter serving as the sole animator in this case.

                Though understandably disappointed, Walt went on to produce a second Mickey short: The Gallopin' Gaucho. At the time of its first release, however, Plane Crazy apparently failed to impress audiences, and to add insult to injury, Walt could not find a distributor. Modern audiences have occasionally commented on this version of Mickey as being somewhat more complex and consequently more interesting than his later self. Mickey as portrayed in Plane Crazy was mischievous, amorous, and has often been described as a rogue.

                A non-anthropomorphic cow that briefly becomes a passenger in the aircraft is believed to be Clarabelle Cow making her debut. This becomes the beginning of an out-of-control flight that results in a series of humorous situations and eventually in the crash-landing of the aircraft. While distracted by her, Mickey loses control of the plane. Minnie then parachutes out of the plane.

                After building his own aircraft, he proceeds to ask Minnie to join him for its first flight, during which he repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempts to kiss her, eventually resorting to force. Mickey is apparently trying to become an aviator in emulation of Charles Lindbergh. The plot of Plane Crazy was fairly simple. This short would be the last they animated under this somewhat awkward situation.

                Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising also assisting Disney during 1928 and 1929; these two had already signed their contracts with Charles Mintz, but he was still in the process of forming his new studio and so for the time being they were still employed by Disney. He left Disney in 1930 in order to form his own studio and introduced Flip the Frog in the first sound cartoon made in color. In fact, Ub Iwerks was the main animator for every Disney short released in 1928 and 1929. Iwerks was also the main animator for this short, and reportedly spent six weeks working on it.

                The short was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Mickey and Minnie Mouse (Mickey's girlfriend) debuted in the cartoon short Plane Crazy, first released on May 15, 1928. We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin — a little fellow trying to do the best he could." "When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it's because he's so human; and that is the secret of his popularity." "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse." — Walt Disney. I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea.

                "We felt that the public, and especially the children, like animals that are cute and little. It has been suggested that Walt Disney was influenced by an actual mouse that he almost tamed by feeding it crumbs on his desk at the Laugh-O-Gram Studio. The name Mortimer would later be used for a character in a Mickey cartoon. He wanted to name his new creation Mortimer Mouse, but his wife Lillian Marie Bounds thought the name was too pretentious, so he changed it to Mickey Mouse.

                He had visions of a mouse in the back of his head (he had previously made silent cartoon shorts with animated mice). One day, during a train ride, Walt desperately wanted to come up with a money-making character to replace the one he lost, Oswald. In order for Walt and his older brother and business partner Roy to keep their company active, new characters had to be created to star in their subsequent animated shorts. One lesson Disney learned from the experience was to thereafter always make sure that he owned all rights to the characters produced by his company.

                The new Disney Studio initially consisted of Iwerks and a loyal apprentice artist, Les Clark. Disney was dismayed at the betrayal by his staff but determined to restart from scratch. Angrily, Disney refused the deal and returned to California to produce the final Oswald cartoons he contractually owed Mintz. Mintz owned Oswald and thought he had Disney over a barrel.

                In reply, Mintz announced he had hired the bulk of Disney's staff but that Disney could keep doing the Oswald series as long as he agreed to a budget cut and went on the payroll. However, Disney received an unpleasant surprise when he asked Mintz for a larger budget for his popular Oswald series. In fact, Mickey closely resembled Oswald in his early appearances. Oswald had also been created by Ub Iwerks with limited input from Walt Disney for Charles Mintz of Universal Studios.

                Mickey was created by Ub Iwerks as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an earlier star created by the Disney studio. Andy Warhol's portrait The Art of Mickey Mouse used Warhol's famous pop art techniques on the classic mouse. The Mickey icon, a three-circle silhouette of Mickey's head, serves as the logo for most of Disney's subsidiaries which contain the name 'Disney'. When one sees Mickey Mouse, they see happiness.".

                President Jimmy Carter once said; "Mickey Mouse is the symbol of goodwill, surpassing all languages and cultures. They both started off mischievous, but as they grew older preferred to step out of the spotlight and observe others work their magic. It was said by Lillian Disney, his wife, that over the years, Mickey and Walt grew together and were mirrors of each other's personality. He is the symbol for The Walt Disney Company and, in many ways, Walt Disney himself.

                For others, he represents happiness and innocence. For some, he symbolizes the country's cultural imperialism, the spread of its culture to other places in the world. Mickey Mouse may be the most recognized symbol of America, except for the flag. .

                Mickey has been voiced since 1983 by Wayne Allwine, MacDonald's former apprentice. Walt Disney himself voiced Mickey Mouse from 1928 until 1946, when sound effects man Jim MacDonald took over the role. Created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, the mouse has evolved from being simply a character in animated cartoons and comic strips to become one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. Mickey Mouse (born November 18, 1928) is a comic animal cartoon character who has become a symbol for The Walt Disney Company.

                1995: Runaway Brain. 1990: The Prince and the Pauper. 1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (cameo). 1983: Mickey's Christmas Carol.

                1955: The Mickey Mouse Club. 1953: The Simple Things. 1948: Mickey and the Seal. 1947: Mickey and the Beanstalk segment of Fun and Fancy Free.

                1946: Mickey's Delayed Date. 1942: Symphony Hour. 1942: Mickey's Birthday Party. 1941: The Little Whirlwind.

                1940: The Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia. 1939: The Pointer. 1938: Brave Little Tailor. 1938: Mickey's Trailer.

                1937: Lonesome Ghosts. 1936: Thru the Mirror. 1935: The Band Concert. 1935: Mickey's Service Station.

                1934: The Orphan's Benefit. 1933: The Mad Doctor. 1932: The Grocery Boy. 1931: Mickey's Orphans.

                1930: The Chain Gang. 1929: Haunted House. 1929: The Karnival Kid. 1928: Steamboat Willie.

                1928: Plane Crazy.

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