The history of a Walt Disney Icon: Mickey Mouse

The animated character, Mickey Mouse, is well-known and loved all over the world. Created in 1928 by Ub lwerks and Walt Disney, Mickey is the most famous of Disney's characters and serves as the mascot for the company. It has been estimated that Mickey weighs 23 pounds and stands at 2 foot, 3 inches and he's recognized overseas more than other icon in America other than the United States flag. Mickey signifies laughter, fun, goodwill, and everything else the Walt Disney Company stands for. Mr. Disney's wife has even said that Walt and Mickey mirrored each other's personalities. Starting off as cheeky and mischievous, they both grew and stepped out of the spotlight, just to watch as others worked their magic. When you look at Mickey Mouse, it's easy to simply see happiness. He symbolized goodwill, surpassing every culture and language. He and his girlfriend, Minnie Mouse, also share a birthday. He can easily be recognized by the red shorts that often have either buttons of white, yellow, or golden on them, big yellow shoes, white gloves, and large round ears. He is extremely imaginative, forgetful, and his mischievousness often gets him into trouble as he chooses adventure and fun over working.

Originally, Mickey was created to replace the Lucky Rabbit, Oswald, who was a character created by Disney Studios earlier. In earlier appearances, Oswald and Mickey resembled each other quite a bit. In the beginning, Walt wanted to name Mickey, Mortimer Mouse, but his wife did not agree and suggested the name be Mickey. Mortimer was still used as a name for a character in one of Mickey's cartoons, who was one of Mickey's new rivals. Plane Crazy, a cartoon short released in 1928, would be Minnie and Mickey's debut. The next short was called The Gallopin' Gaucho but the third short, Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon with sound, is what helped Mickey Mouse take off. The last Mickey short, number twelve, was called Jungle Rhythm and was released in 1929. Mickey and his friends eventually would be introduced to Technicolor and profits and feedback sky-rocketed so black and white was never used again.

Mickey was given a new look, and a pear-shaped looking body replaced the round one. Mickey's head also changed which placed his nose much closer to the body. His ears were now oval instead of round and there were more details in his eyes which included smaller pupils and outlining of the eye itself. In the original series, 56 more color cartoons would follow. During World War II, the characters also fought in the war and the main characters starred at least once in their own war-related cartoon, except for Mickey.

Mickey resurfaced after the war and was starring, once again, in his own cartoons and reunited with his pals, Goofy and Donald, for the first time in years. This would lead the way to the more modern animation style used during the 1950s and 1960s. As Mickey's series grew in popularity, Mickey also grew from being mischievous and the mischief was left for other characters in the cartoons. Minnie and Mickey's popularity also grew and new characters for a supporting cast were being created. The characters would also grow to become icons. These characters include Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy. These characters would star in short cartoons with Mickey such as Mickey's Trailer, Clock Cleaners, and Lonesome Ghosts.

Mickey Mouse has starred in Disney movies such as Fantasia, Mickey and the Beanstalk, and The Prince and the Pauper, to name a few. He would also make cameo appearances in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Lion King 1 ½, and A Goofy Movie. Mickey Mouse has appeared on television programs centered around him including House of Mouse and Mickey Mouse Works. He can also be seen in various video games including Super Nintendo's Magical Quest trilogy, Sega Genesis' Castle of Illusion, and Nintendo's Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse. For the fans of the cartoons and characters, the Mickey Mouse Club was created in 1929. This would be the basis of the television show that became popular in the 1950's and many of today's stars started here including Brittany Spears, Justin Timberlake, Keri Russell, Christina Aguilera, Tony Lucca, Annette Funicello, and more. Disney is recognized all over the world with a cruise line and theme parks in Florida, California, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Paris. Mickey Mouse is a staple in American culture and has won the hearts almost everyone.

The following resources provide more information on everything you want to know about the world's most famous cartoon character, Mickey Mouse: