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

This page about Mickey Mouse includes information from a Wikipedia article.
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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. The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "N" and "n" for upper and lower case respectively. 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. The EBCDIC code for capital N is 213 and for lowercase a is 149. 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. The ASCII code for capital N is 78 and for lowercase n is 110; or in binary 01001110 and 01101110, correspondingly. Whether or not a particular Disney cartoon goes into the public domain, the characters themselves will remain protected as trademarks from unauthorized use. In Unicode the capital N is codepoint U+004E and the lowercase n is U+006E.

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. A small capital [ɴ] represents the uvular nasal. Many people have believed erroneously that the Mickey Mouse character is protected only by copyright. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the lowercase [n] represents the alveolar nasal sound. 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. Aspirated forms NH and NGH are sometimes seen in other languages. It's ruining hockey.". In English, n is silent when it is preceded by an m, in words like hymn (although it is pronounced in words such as damnation).

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. A common digraph with N is NG, which produces a velar nasal in a variety of languages, usually final in English. 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.". N serves as an alveolar nasal in virtually all languages that use the Latin alphabet. It is common for residents of the state of Florida, home of Walt Disney World Resort, to refer to him as "Mickey Rat". It is speculated that Semitic people working in Egypt adapted hieroglyphics to create the first alphabet, and that they used the same snake symbol to represent N, because their word for 'snake' may have begun with that sound. "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. The most common snake hieroglyphic was used in Egyptian writing to stand for a sound like English 'J', because the Egptian word for snake was "djet".

In Finland, the software company Microsoft is often derogatorily called "Mikkisofta" ("Mickey Software"). . Musicians often referred to a score that directly follows each action on screen as "Mickey Mousing.". Greek name: Nυ, Ny. "Mickey Mouse" is a slang expression meaning small-time, amateurish or trivial. Semitic Nûn was probably the picture of a snake; the sound value of the letter was /n/ - as in Greek, Etruscan, Latin and all modern languages. 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. Its name in English is en.

presidential elections. N is the fourteenth letter of the modern Latin alphabet. (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. In weather forecasting and geography, N stands for north, one of the 4 cardinal directions. 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. In Microsoft Windows, Ctrl-N, and Mac OS, Command-N, creates a new document, a new window or a new folder. 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. N is also the name of a Macromedia Flash game.

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. In video games, N is the abbreviation for Nintendo. Les Perkins did the voice of Mickey in the TV special Down and Out with Donald Duck released in 1987. In statistics, n is the size of a sample. Allwine is, incidentally, married to Russi Taylor, the current voice of Minnie Mouse. Navy radio stations, as well as civilian aircraft. 1983's Mickey's Christmas Carol marked the debut of Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse, who is the current voice actor. Call signs beginning with N are generally used by U.S.

(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. In radio communication, N is one of the ITU prefixes allocated to the United States. (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. In the United Kingdom, N stands for North London. 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. In Canada, N stands for Western Ontario. A large part of Mickey's screen persona is his famously shy, falsetto voice. As the first letter of a postal code,

    .

    He remains playable until he revives Sora, as a boss fight cannot be finished with Mickey. N is the recommended symbol for: number of molecules (molecular physics), number of turns (electricity and magnetism), neutron number (atomic and nuclear physics), quantum number of total angular momentum (molecular spectroscopy). In Kingdom Hearts II, Mickey becomes playable in certain boss battles, after Sora is defeated. n is the recommended symbol for: refractive index (optics), principal quantum number (atomic and nuclear physics), order of reflexion, electron number density (solid state physics), amount of substance (chemical physics). 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 physics,

      . 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. N is the symbol for a nucleon.

      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). n is the symbol for a neutron. Donald Duck is his Court Wizard, while Goofy is the head of the King's royal guard. In particle physics,

        . In Disney Interactive and Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts video game series, King Mickey Mouse presided over Disney Castle alongside Queen Minnie Mouse. n, nano, is the SI prefix meaning 10-9. Other video games released in this period were Disney's Magical Mirror and Disney's Hide & Sneak for Nintendo Gamecube. N is the symbol for the newton, the SI derived unit for force (physics).

        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. In the metric system,

          . 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. Some older mathematical papers use these N numbers. Mickey was the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day 2005. In the 1995 Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (a printed predecessor to the OEIS) sequences were numbered by lexicographic order prefixed by the letter N. 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). blackboard bold represents the set of all natural numbers.

          He has yet to appear in an original Disney film that wasn't based on classical works. n can denote "number of" in algebraic equations. 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. In mathematics

            . 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. In South Africa, standing for a national road. Warner and Disney signed an agreement stating that each character had exactly the same amount of screen time, right down to the semi-second. In the Republic of Ireland, standing for a national route.

            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. In route numbering, N may be used as a prefix,

              . Throughout the decades, Mickey Mouse competed with Warner Bros.' Bugs Bunny for animated popularity. In international licence plate codes, N stands for Norway. The star is located on 6925 Hollywood Blvd. ticker symbol for Inco Limited. 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. In finance, N is the U.S.

              For many years, Mickey Mouse has served as the mascot for The Walt Disney Company, alongside Jiminy Cricket and Tinkerbell. In electronics, N stands for a type of RF connector. 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). In driving a motor vehicle, N designates the neutral gear of a transmission. 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). in chess, N is a notation symbol for the knight piece, as the letter K is used for the king. 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). In computer science and set theory, n is frequently used as a generic counting number.

              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). n can be used to denote number of moles. Mickey's most well known supporting characters are his girlfriend, Minnie Mouse; his dog, Pluto; and his best friends, Goofy and Donald Duck. So a substance of purity 3N is 0.999 pure, while a substance of purity 6N is 0.999999 pure. 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. N can denote a measure of purity, referring to the number of nines after the comma. 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. N is the symbol for Nitrogen.

              Mickey would not return to theatres until 1983, with the release of "Mickey's Christmas Carol". In chemistry,

                . Throughout the 40s, Mickey made fewer and fewer films, until his last film "The Simple Things" in 1953. In calendars, N is often an abbreviation for the month November. Probably his best film appearance was the popular segment "The Sorcerer's Apprentence" in Disney's "Fantasia" (1940). In biochemistry, N is the symbol for asparagine. "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.

                Once in a while, the Disney Studio would find a perfect vehicle for Mickey. The studio realized that while Mickey Mouse is a very appealing character, he is not all that funny. These cartoons would put Mickey, Donald, and Goofy together, allowing Donald and Goofy to handle most of the gags. "Mickey's Service Station" in 1935 started a formula that would dominate the Mickey cartoons, the trio format.

                The Disney studio had a hard time coming up with stories for Mickey. "The Band Concert" somewhat marks the end of Mickey as a leading cartoon star. 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. 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").

                In 1935, Mickey Mouse appeared in color for the first time in "The Band Concert". 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 his earliest cartoons Mickey was often mischievous and the cartoons sometimes used outhouse humor. This adventurous version of Mickey would continue to appear in comic strips and later comic books throughout the 20th and into the 21st century.

                While Disney and his cartoon shorts would continue to focus on comedy, the comic strip effectively combined comedy and adventure. Starting with these two early comic strip stories, Mickey's versions in animation and comics are considered to have diverged from each other. 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. The story was followed by Mr.

                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. This early adventure contributed to the extension of the comic strip cast which by this point only included Mickey and Minnie. The storyline was completed on September 20, 1930 and was later reprinted in comic book form as Mickey Mouse in Death Valley. Floyd at first had to work on the continuation of a storyline which his predecessors had started on April 1, 1930.

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

                Walt proceeded to search for a replacement to Smith among the remaining staff of the Studio. 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. This became evident by his sudden resignation. Win Smith was apparently discontent at having to script, draw, and ink a series by himself.

                However, Walt's focus had always been in animation and Smith was soon assigned with the scripting as well. At first Walt was content to continue scripting it and assigning the art to Win Smith. But back in early 1930, Walt had another matter to attend to: the creation of the comic strip after Iwerks' departure. Mickey continued to appear regularly in animated shorts until 1943 and again from 1946 to 1953.

                In any case, Walt and his remaining staff continued the production of the Mickey series. Later Disney Company reissues of the early cartoons tend to credit Walt Disney alone. It has been pointed that advertising for the early Mickey Mouse cartoons credit them as "A Walt Disney Comic, drawn by Ub Iwerks". Consequently some animation historians have suggested that Iwerks should be considered the actual creator of Mickey Mouse.

                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 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. The former lost the man who served as his closest colleague and confidant since 1919. His departure is considered to mark a turning point to the careers of both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.

                The result of his early efforts was the Flip the Frog series. 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. This is considered to be his last non-anthropomorphic appearance.

                The rhea of the original short was replaced by Horace Horsecollar. This would become a recurring feature of the character. For the first time in a Mickey short, Pete was depicted as having a peg-leg. The rival suitor to Mickey is again Pete though using the alias Peg-Leg Pedro.

                The latter is again Minnie. Mickey was again cast as a lonely traveler who walks into the local tavern and starts flirting with its dancer. But it is considered to be more or less a remake of The Gallopin' Gaucho set in Mexico instead of Argentina. As the title implies the short was intended as a Western movie parody.

                They were followed by Cactus Kid, first released on April 11, 1930. 2. 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. Both titles give an accurate enough description of the short which has Mickey performing a violin solo.

                The second was originally released on March 14, 1930 under the title Fiddlin' Around but has since been renamed to Just Mickey. 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 only recurring characters among its members were Clarabelle as a flutist and Horace as a drummer. It featured Mickey conducting an orchestra.

                The first of them was The Barnyard Concert, first released on March 3, 1930. Meanwhile in animation, two more Mickey shorts had been released. 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". Minnie soon became the first addition to the cast.

                The first week or so of the strip featured a loose adaptation of Plane Crazy. The comical plot was credited to Walt Disney himself, art to Ub Iwerks and inking to Win Smith. Walt accepted and Mickey made his first comic strip appearance on January 13, 1930. 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.

                By this point Mickey had appeared in fifteen commercially successful animated shorts and was easily recognized by the public. The tunes vary from the previously mentioned "Yankee Doodle" and "Turkey in the Straw" to "Auld Lang Syne", "The Blue Danube", and Aloha `Oe. During the rest of the short, various jungle animals dance to Mickey's tunes. Mickey proceeds to play music to calm them down.

                But the later proves to be problematic soon after Mickey finds himself standing in between of a lion and a bear. He rides on an elephant and is armed with a shotgun. Mickey is seen in a safari somewhere in Africa. The twelfth and last Mickey short released during the year was Jungle Rhythm, first released on November 15, 1929.

                Otherwise it is only notable as the first of Mickey's adventures at sea. Mickey was depicted acting much like a lifeguard during the short. Minnie cheers up and the short ends. Soon seals, walruses, penguins, pelicans, and other water birds start dancing to Mickey's tune.

                Mickey starts singing the tune of Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep in an apparent effort to cheer her up. He manages to rescue her and return her to the shore but Minnie is still visibly shaken from the experience. Mickey proceeds to place it into the water and then rows the boat forward until he reaches Minnie. He lifts it to discover an amorous couple who were using the boat as their cover from prying eyes.

                Mickey discovers a rowboat placed upside-down on the beach. She panicks and seems to start drowning. They are at first singing and dancing at the shore but at some point Minnie is swept by a wave into the sea. Mickey and Minnie are featured spending a day at the beach.

                Another Mickey short was released in between them: Wild Waves, first released on August 15, 1929. Consequently both shorts have been considered among the highlights of their respective series and animated classics. The result is often described as surreal and at points impressive. A series of creative and rather morbid gags provide comedic elements.

                Both feature elements generally found in horror fiction and particularly in horror films effectively combined with music and dance. 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. The finale has a terrified Mickey crashing through a window to escape. At some point, Mickey attempts to escape but any room he attempts to enter contains more skeletons.

                Skeletons are seen dancing to Mickey's tune. Mickey is surprised but clearly too scared to argue with it. The figure of the Grim Reaper orders him to play music to entertain them. Mickey has entered a haunted house.

                At this point, Mickey finds out that the house is indeed inhabited — by ghosts in skeleton form. Mickey is somewhat unnerved and his encounters with bats and large spiders only increase his growing fear. The door suddenly shuts behind him and seems to be locked. He soon discovers an apparently deserted house and proceeds to enter it.

                Mickey is naturally seeking a refuge for himself. Mickey is seen caught up in a storm with an umbrella serving as his only protection from the rain. The short begins at night time. This was not the case however with the next Mickey short to be released: Haunted House, first released on August 1, 1929.

                Many of the following ones can better be described as animated song and dance shows with little to no plot. The preceding shorts already featured their share of song and dance numbers as part of their comedic plots. This short is considered to be representative of a change of focus early in the series. The soundtrack of the film reportedly contained elements of both ragtime and Dixieland jazz.

                The former plays the piano and the later the xylophone. 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". This film followed the originals in having minimal plot and focusing on musical performances. Both musical films featured Al Jolson as their star and had proved commercially successful.

                The title was probably intended to be reminiscent of both The Jazz Singer, and also The Singing Fool, first released on September 19, 1928. The ninth Mickey short to be released that year was The Jazz Fool, first released on July 5, 1929. Finally, animation historians have pointed that it seems to be the first song with original lyrics created by Walt's studio. The music to the song was written by Carl Stalling and the lyrics by Walt Disney.

                For another this would serve as the new theme song for the series. 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". This humorous little song is considered to have a historical importance of its own. It has Mickey singing Minnie's Yoo Hoo for the first time.

                But the short is more notable for Mickey's main act. She would be a recurring character early in Mickey's comic strip series. A female pig singing opera is considered to be Patricia Pig making her only animated appearance. The short featured a barnyard show including various numbers.

                It was soon followed by Mickey's Follies, first released on June 26, 1929. Clarabelle has another brief appearance as a cow running out of its way. At some point Mickey loses control of the locomotive. His only passenger seems to be Minnie, cast as a fiddle player for this short.

                As the title implies, Mickey is depicted as the engineer in charge of an unusually anthropomorphic locomotive. This following Mickey short to be released was Mickey's Choo Choo, first released on June 20, 1929. This marks the finale of the short. 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.

                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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