He is one of the most well-known and beloved characters around the globe, surely surpassing the Easter bunny and Santa Clause and today we celebrate his 86th birthday! Mickey Mouse alongside Minnie Mouse made their official debut in “Steamboat Willie”.
Mickey Mouse Turns 86 today and there is not one grey hair on him, sure he has been wearing the same outfit for decades and his falsetto voice has not changed over the years, but I am sure the audience would be surprised to know that Mickey first started out as a rabbit. Yes a Rabbit, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created by Walt Disney for film producer Charles Mintz. The resemblance is striking; although his ears were long like a rabbit and his feet were shoeless it is unmistakable that Mickey’s iconic look derived from Oswald. Being that Universal legally owned Oswald, Mintz refused to give Disney Brothers Studios more money and took ownership of the character. Adamant about not blundering again, Walt never again gave up the rights to any of his creations. Many do say it might have been a “blessing in disguise” because soon after returning to the drawing board Mickey was created. A few shorts were produced that did not get much recognition but once Steamboat Willie premiered in 1928 all that changed.
Steamboat Willie, named after Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, and inspired by the first “talkie” The Jazz Singer, was the first cartoon with synchronized sound. This was the beginning of a fad that has not ended and has also made its way into history books. Mickey did not say his first words which were “Hot dogs! Hot Dogs!” until he was 1, in 1929’s The Carnival Kid. January of 1930 the legendary “Mickey Mouse Club” was created and within a few months 60 theaters were hosting clubs across America. Two years later there were over two million members. Some Famous members include; Annette Funicell, Keri Russel, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
Mickey quickly became a star; merchandise with his face on it was sold everywhere. He was a comforting character to have at home, surely the only comforting mouse in many households. In 1932 Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar for creating Mickey, he won three more honorary awards including 22 competitive “typical” Oscars which makes Walt Disney a record holder for the one person whom hold the most nominations and wins, ever.
To this day, we continue to invite Mickey Mouse into our home; the lovable cartoon rodent has had an impressive career ranging from TV, movies, books, theme parks and even video games. His biggest success is being able to warm the hearts of children ranging from all ages; even a fellow 86 year old who may be celebrating his/her birthday with Mickey today.
Here at The Dina Collection we are fortunate to have original Drawings of Mickey Mouse and many other well known Disney Characters!