1. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse after he lost the rights to his very popular cartoon character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, to Universal Pictures.
2. Originally Mickey was going to be named Mortimer.
But, Walt’s wife, Lillian, nixed the idea saying that it sounded pretentious, and instead suggested the name Mickey.
Eventually a mouse named Mortimer did appear, but as Mickey’s enemy in the short Mickey’s Rival.
3. Plane Crazy (not Steamboat Willie) was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon ever created.
However, Plane Crazy failed to find distribution so it wasn’t initially released publicly.
4. Steamboat Willie was the first publicly released Mickey cartoon and it was an instant hit.
The short was also the first cartoon to have synchronized sound.
5. Mickey’s official birthday is Nov. 18, 1928.
It is the day that Steamboat Willie premiered at Colony Theatre in New York City.
6. Steamboat Willie and Plane Crazy cost $2,500 a piece to make.
Calculated for inflation, that’s roughly $35,000.
7. The Opry House (1929) is the first cartoon where Mickey is shown wearing his trademark white gloves.
8. The first words Mickey ever spoke were “Hot dogs!”
He delivered this dialogue in the 1929 short, The Karnival Kid.
9. Walt was the voice of Mickey from 1928-1946.
He allegedly had to stop voicing the character after he damaged his voice due to his smoking habit.
Since then, only four other people have gone on to voice Mickey: first Jim MacDonald, followed by Wayne Allwine, and currently by both Bret Iwan and Chris Diamantopoulos.
10. The first officially licensed Mickey Mouse product was a writing tablet, which was introduced in 1930.
11. Mickey has two nephews named Morty and Ferdy.
They only appeared in the 1934 short, Mickey’s Steam Roller.
12. Mickey also has a sister named Amelia Fieldmouse.
Amelia is the mother to Morty and Ferdie and has only appeared in the comics.
13. In one really bizarre 1930 comic book storyline, Mickey tries to commit suicide in various ways, after he suspects Minnie of cheating on him!
Needless to say, he does not succeed.
14. Mickey and Minnie are married according to Walt.
According to the Sept. 30, 1933 issue of Film Pictorial magazine, Walt said:
“In private life, Mickey is married to Minnie. A lot of people have written to him asking this question, because sometimes he appears to be married to her in his films and other times still courting her. What it really amounts to is that Minnie is, for screen purposes, his leading lady. If the story calls for a romantic courtship, then Minnie is the girl; but when the story requires a married couple, then they appear as man and wife. In the studio we have decided that they are married already.”
15. The Band Concert (1935) was the first short in which Mickey appeared in color.
16. In a 1936 Japanese animated propaganda film, Mickey Mouse’s image was used to represent the West invading Japan.
17. Mickey’s iconic role as the apprentice in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” in Fantasia, almost went to Dopey Dwarf.
18. The 1939 short, The Pointer, was the first cartoon to feature the current look most closely associated with Mickey.
19. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He received the star in honor of his 50th birthday.
20. Despite his popularity, Mickey took a 30-year hiatus between films. His last cartoon, The Simple Things, premiered in 1953. He would not appear in another cartoon until 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
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