Mickey Mouse is an animated anthropomorphic mouse created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in the year 1928. Mickey is, by far, The Walt Disney Company's most famous character and serves as the company's mascot. Estimated as standing 2 ft. 3 in. (69 cm) and weighing 23 pounds (10 kg), Mickey rapidly rose to the pinnacle of American culture, becoming the most popular cartoon character in the world and the prime influence of following cartoons.
For over 86 years, he has signified The Walt Disney Company, animation, goodwill, fun, laughter, and most of all 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 and cheeky, 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".
Mickey's 3-circle silhouette serves as the logo for most of Disney's subsidiaries, save for the ones that don't carry the 'Disney' or 'Walt Disney' label. Andy Warhol's portrait from The Art of Mickey Mouse used Warhol's famous pop art techniques on the classic mouse. Mickey is often cited as the world's most famous cartoon character of all time.
Mickey is easily recognized by his red shorts with white buttons, white gloves and large yellow shoes as well as his round mouse ears. He often gets himself into trouble that varies in seriousness as a result of his mischief and the fact that he can be forgetful, but extremely imaginative. Even so, he can often think quickly enough to get himself out of a predicament before things get too out of hand, mostly because of his incredible imagination, persistence, and valiant ways.
Mickey sometimes chooses fun and adventure over working, a trait disliked by Minnie Mouse. While usually always having the better amount of luck, when teamed with his pals Donald and Goofy, he and his friends often end their day in failure and all three are the faults. Even so, Mickey has, on many occasions, proven to be the most reliable of the three being that, he has far better control over his temper than Donald , and more common sense than Goofy. Even so, Mickey has a notable temper that, when necessary, can be unleashed. And like Goofy, he can be clumsy every now and again. Still, these traits are less powerful for Mickey than they are for Donald and Goofy, making him the brains, and leader, of the trio and proves that he is, overall, more reliable and competent.
Mickey stands as a father figure for Pluto and has grounded him on many occasions as if he is a young boy. He also counts Pluto as his best pal and usually puts him before nearly everything else. Mickey describes himself as a good sport but on occasion has lost his temper on both enemies and friends. He is usually dumbstruck by the mere sight of Minnie Mouse, giving her many titles such as "his best girl" and constantly goes out of his way to impress her. Mickey loves her with all his heart and Minnie loves him in return (although she often kicks Mickey out of her house and says she never wants to see Mickey again, but she always wants Mickey back). From experience, Mickey believes there is at least a small dose of kindness in everyone's heart, resulting in him being quite forgiving. He is also understanding and sympathetic.
Mickey is also incredibly brave, as showcased in just about all of his many reincarnations. Many of the classic cartoons begins with Mickey and Minnie enjoying each other's company until a villain (usually his primary nemesis Pete) kidnaps her and the takes her away, resulting in Mickey battling the villain, rescuing Minnie, and proclaiming his love. Mickey can also be very competitive, stubborn, and never backs down from a challenge, even when his opponent is twice his size. In many situations, Mickey has shown to be a trickster and enjoys pranking his enemies to get the better of them. This can notably be seen in the Mickey Mouse Works shorts Mickey's April Fools, Mickey's Mountain, and Mickey's Cabin.
Despite being very heroic, Mickey prefers to be laid back and enjoys the serene moments of life above all. He is optimistic and hardworking during harsh times and often encourages his friends to keep going, but on rare events, has given up hope and even doubted himself. It's times like these when Mickey's friends, such as Donald and Goofy, are optimistic and encourage him in return.
Mickey is also incredibly noble and generally puts the people he loves in front of his own well being. He has even been able to set aside differences with his foes when necessary, usually when it'll benefit the greater good. Several stories have portrayed Mickey going through great lengths (usually in a comedic manner) for the happiness of his friends, or in order to complete a simple favor, such as the shorts Hickory Dickory Mickey and Goofy's Grandma.
In spite of being an anthropomorphic mouse, Mickey has the tendencies to act with his animal nature, including the fact that, being a mouse, he loves cheese. In the television series House of Mouse, Mickey, being a mouse, is made fun of when he is shown to exercise on a hamster wheel and drink from a rodent drinking bottle (like the ones found in a hamster cage). These particular facts seem to only exist in the House of Mouse and haven't been shown again, proving to have been used for brief gags only.
A large part of Mickey's screen persona is his famously shy falsetto voice.
Since 1928, Mickey was voiced by Walt Disney himself, a task in which Disney took great personal pride. However, by 1947, Disney was becoming too busy with running the studio to do regular voice work which meant he could not do Mickey's voice anymore (and as 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 sound effects artist and voice actor James 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-1970's, although Walt would still reprise Mickey's voice on rare occasions, such as in the introductions to the original 1954—1959 run of The Mickey Mouse Club TV series and "The Fourth Anniversary Show" episode of the Disneyland TV series.
Clarence Nash voiced Mickey in the 1934 short The Dognapper, which would also be the only time that Nash voiced him. Walt was traveling in Europe at the time and was unavailable to record his lines for Mickey.
Alan Young voiced Mickey in An Adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Performed by The Walt Disney Players in 1974, which would be the first and only time that Alan Young voiced him.
1983's Mickey's Christmas Carol marked the theatrical debut of Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse. Allwine, who would serve as Mickey's official voice actor from 1977 until his death in 2009, once recounted something MacDonald had told him about voicing the character: "The main piece of advice that Jim gave me about Mickey helped me keep things in perspective. He said, 'Just remember kid, you’re only filling in for the boss.' And that’s the way he treated doing Mickey for years and years. From Walt, and now from Jimmy." Allwine was, incidentally, married to Russi Taylor, the current voice of Minnie Mouse.
Bret Iwan, a former Hallmark greeting card artist, is the current voice of Mickey, having taken over the role after Wayne Allwine's passing. His earliest recordings in 2009 included work for the Disney Cruise Line, various Mickey toys, the Disney Parks, Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate! and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
Creation and debut
Mickey was originally created as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an earlier star in the 20s and 30s created by the Disney studio. Oswald had been created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks for Charles Mintz of Universal Studios. In fact, Mickey closely resembled Oswald in his early appearances. However, Disney received an unpleasant lesson when he asked Mintz for a larger budget for his popular Oswald series: in reply, Mintz fired Disney and Iwerks and taken all of Disney's artists to draw Oswald , to which Mintz and Universal owned the rights. From that point on, Disney made sure that he owned all rights to the characters produced by his company. Oswald would eventually return to the Disney fold in 2006 as part of a trade between NBC Universal and Disney, with NBC getting the contract of sports announcer Al Michaels as compensation.
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, whom he loved dearly. 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 she suggested he change it to Mickey Mouse, which he did. (The name Mortimer would later be used for a character who became a new rival for Mickey in one 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.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse (Mickey's flapper 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. Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising were credited for assisting him; 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 Caroline Cow making her debut.
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. It would not be until Mickey's third, probably most famous, and first sound cartoon Steamboat Willie, that Mickey began to gain the popularity that he has today. The short's original release date - November 18, 1928 - was later declared to be Mickey's official birthday in the early 1970's.
Mouse in Transition
Mickey Mouse entering Depression Era
The twelfth and final 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 latter 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 Robert Burns' "Auld Lang Syne" (1788), Johann Strauss' "The Blue Danube" (An der schönen, blauen Donau - 1867) and Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii's "Aloha `Oe" - 1878. This was the first Mickey short to be released during the Great Depression. Mickey's efforts as an entertainer to the jungle can be seen as a representative of a function often credited to him, also to provide relatively cheap but much needed entertainment to the audiences of the period of Jimmy Durante.
In this era of short cartoons, Mickey was portrayed as a rascally mouse living in a barn-like environment, accompanied by his aforementioned girlfriend Minnie Mouse, as well as his friends Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar among others. He was also regularly faced against the monstrous Peg-Leg Pete, who made his Mickey Mouse debut in Gallopin' Gaucho and would go on to become a recurring antagonist for Mickey, commonly and iconically featured as his arch-nemesis.
Mickey's World of Color
During this time period, Mickey and the gang were introduced to Technicolor, something that Walt had taken a gamble on for the Silly Symphonies in 1932. Walt didn't want to take a gamble on his most famous creation, the Mickey Mouse series. In 1935, however, Walt felt that Mickey was ready for color. The first of the cartoons being The Band Concert, a short centering Mickey's frustration through a public band concert, with such nuisances such as Donald Duck and a sudden tornado causing havoc throughout the performance, with Mickey trying to maintain composure the entire time. The feedback and profits rocketed so Walt never used Black and White again, not even for his television series (which were filmed in color).
During this time, Mickey's body structure was changed and was given a new look. His round body was replaced by a pear-shaped looking one and his head was changed so his nose was closer to his body. His ears were turned from round to oval and his eyes became more detailed (the pupils smaller, the eye itself outlined instead of partially open). There were 56 more color cartoons in the original Mickey Mouse theatrical series.
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.
As Mickey and Minnie's popularity grew, new characters were created as supporting players. These new characters would later go on to become icons alongside Mickey and Minnie, including Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Daisy Duck. Around this time, Mickey began to star in a series of short cartoons alongside Donald and Goofy. Some of the most well-known shorts featuring Mickey, Donald and Goofy together as a trio include Lonesome Ghosts, Clock Cleaners and Mickey's Trailer.
During these years, Mickey became a character that audiences could sympathize with. During that time, many mothers were upset at how Mickey's constant rudeness and bullying was starting to rub off on their own children. Walt then turned Mickey into a kinder, hero-type character as opposed to the more anti-hero character that he was in the early years. He became an everyman who could do anything (and usually did). He was turned into a character that people could laugh with, rather than laugh at.
Later Mickey history
During this time period, World War II was taking place and the Disney characters went off to fight in that war. All of the main characters were given their own war-related cartoons at least once, with the strange exception of Mickey. While all of the other characters went off to war, Walt refused to draft Mickey.
After the war was over, Mickey made a comeback. He began to star in his own cartoons again and paired up with Donald and Goofy for the first time in years. (This era also shows a great advancement in the animation style. This is probably due to the fact that many of the old animators had died overseas and Disney had to find new ones. These cartoons led the way to the "modernized" style of animation that Disney used from the mid-1950's to the later 1960's.)
In his final theatrical years in the 50's, Mickey was given eyebrows. Eyebrows will continue to be seen on Mickey's face until the late 1980's and rarely in the early 1990's. In his most recent appearances, Mickey's eyebrows have been removed.
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 debuting in 1977 and 1989).
Mickey starred in the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of the feature film Fun and Fancy Free (1947). He has also starred in two half-hour theatrical featurettes: Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983, screened in front of that year's re-issue of The Rescuers) and The Prince and the Pauper (1990, screened in front of The Rescuers Down Under).
In 1995, Mickey starred in a new theatrical cartoon short titled Runaway Brain, where Mickey's brain and body get switched with that of a monster who falls in love with Minnie named Julius. This short was originally screened in front of A Kid in King Arthur's Court.
Mickey Mouse has received ten nominations for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. These are Mickey's Orphans (1931), Building a Building (1933), Brave Little Tailor (1938), The Pointer (1939), Lend a Paw (1941), Squatter's Rights (1946), Mickey and the Seal (1948), Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), Runaway Brain (1995) and Get a Horse! (2013). Among these, Lend a Paw was the only film to actually win the award. Additionally, in 1932, Walt Disney received an honorary Academy Award in recognition of Mickey's creation and popularity.
In 1994, four of Mickey's cartoons were included in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons, which listed the greatest cartoons of all time as voted by members of the animation field. The films were The Band Concert (#3), Steamboat Willie (#13), Brave Little Tailor (#26) and Clock Cleaners (#27).
Mickey served as the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day of 2005 as part of the kickoff of the "Happiest Homecoming on Earth", celebrating Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. In 2009, Mickey has reappeared in balloon form in the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, dressed as the captain in Tugboat Mickey. That same year, Disney Channel premiered a short-series known as Have a Laugh!, which is a collection of remastered classic shorts starring Mickey and friends.
In 2009, Disney began to rebrand the Mickey Mouse character again by putting less emphasis on his pleasant, cheerful side and reintroducing the more mischievous and adventurous sides of his personality, beginning with the video game Epic Mickey.
In 2010, three dozen Mickey statues were used to promote the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which was played in Anaheim, California, adorned with insignias of the teams.
In 2011, Mickey and Minnie were given the honors as Grand Marshals of the 20th Annual Festival of Lights Parade in Chicago.
On November 27th, 2013, an all-new short starring Mickey and the gang titled Get A Horse! was shown in theaters in front of Frozen. The short featured archival recordings of Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey and provided the latter with his tenth Academy-Award nomination.
- Main article: Sorcerer Mickey
Mickey's most famous role (alongside Steamboat Willie) is in the 1940 film Fantasia. In the film Mickey appears in a segment called The Sorcerer's Apprentice. After the segment, he and Leopold Stokowski share a live-action/animation handshake, congratulating each other.
In this role, Mickey is the apprentice of a powerful sorcerer known as Yen Sid. Whilst the sorcerer spends his time conjuring spells and working with his abilities, Mickey merely works more as a servant, carrying buckets up a massive staircase to a well full of water, then carrying them back down to another. One night, however, after Yen Sid retires to slumber, Mickey sneaks on the sorcerer's hat, which appears to be the main source of his magic. Having enough of the physical labor, Mickey brings a broomstick to life with his new found magic and orders it to carry on his duties. It's a success, and the little mouse soon falls asleep, dreaming he is the world's strongest sorcerer. At first, he does not realize the broom continues to bring water to the well. So much, that the tower becomes flooded. Mickey tries to stop the broom, but it's no use, and the mouse is forced to kill it by cutting it to pieces with an ax. After the deed is done, Mickey begins to rest again, but the tiny pieces of sliced wood magically becomes hundreds of living brooms, and the army continues on with the duty of filling the overflown well with water, soon flooding the entire tower until Yen Sid arrives and puts an end to the chaos. After all seems well, Mickey silently apologizes and is ordered to return to his duties as punishment.
Mickey, Donald and Goofy live in a once peaceful village called Happy Valley, that became a wasteland after the beautiful singing Golden Harp was kidnapped by a mysterious giant. The friends nearly die of starvation, but Mickey went off to sell their prized cow for food. Instead of a meal, Mickey bought three magic beans from a peddler, much to Donald's upset, and with the beans grew a beanstalk. The beanstalk led to the castle of Willie the Giant who is the kidnapper. The three battle the giant to save the harp and restore the peace in their village. They rushed down the beanstalk with the harp, chopped it down once on the ground, and escaped safely. Mickey, Donald and Goofy became heroes and peace is restored.
In this film, Mickey is lacking in money, preventing him from easily purchasing a chain for Minnie's watch as a Christmas gift. To gain money faster, he and Pluto work extra hard at their job at "Crazy Pete's Tree Lot". However, after ruining Pete's scheme to sell an overpriced tree to a struggling family, Mickey's tip money is stolen by Pete, and the mouse is fired.
With no money, Mickey and Pluto think of a way to make more money, whilst Mickey plays his beloved harmonica. The beauty of Mickey's harmonica playing catches the attention of the Chief of Police who is having a toy drive. However, the band for the drive was unable to perform at the time. The Chief asks Mickey to play at the drive, but Mickey tries to explain that he has no time. Upon seeing the sad face of a child who donates a toy, Mickey decides to play.
Even after his stellar performance, Mickey still has no way to get Minnie her gift. Before Mickey departs, the Chief congratulates Mickey on his performance and tells him that he and his harmonica are something special. This gives Mickey the idea to trade in his harmonica for Minnie's chain. The store owner doesn't accept the offer however, until he hears Mickey's harmonica playing. Feeling sympathy for the mouse, the store owner goes through with the trade.
At Minnie's, the couple exchange the gifts and it turns out that Minnie traded her watch for a case for Mickey's harmonica. The couple then realize that each other are all the gifts they'll ever need. In the finale, Mickey and Minnie join the other characters for Christmas carols.
When Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto were children, they were street urchins who were attacked by the nefarious Beagle Boys. Suddenly, three heroic musketeers came to the rescue. One musketeer even gave Mickey his hat as a gift. From that day on, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy dreamed of becoming musketeers, but even as they became adults, they were still just as far from their dream as ever. Now, they serve as janitors for real musketeers, but still keep the dream alive by daydreaming of how great the musketeer life would be.
However, Captain Pete constantly bashes the trio by telling them they'll never be musketeers because: Mickey is too small, Donald is a coward, and Goofy's too dumb. Unbeknownst to the trio, Pete is actually plotting to kidnap Princess Minnie Mouse, and take over France as king. To do so, he hires the Beagle Boys to kidnap the princess, but they fail. Out of fear, Minnie demands musketeer bodyguards and Pete hires Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, believing they'll do a terrible job. On their first day, the trio rescues Minnie and her lady-in-waiting Daisy, from the Beagle Boys in yet another kidnap attempt.
After the rescue, Mickey and Minnie fall in love. Meanwhile, Pete plots to get rid of the trio after he realizes they're more trouble than usual. Goofy is lured away from Minnie's castle by Pete's lieutenant Clarabelle and Donald is kidnaped by the Beagles but he is able to escape. When he does, he heads back to the palace to warn Mickey. Mickey attempts to have Donald help him take down Pete, but the duck is too afraid. Donald quits and leaves France, while Pete kidnaps Mickey.
He takes Mickey to Mount St. Michael. There, he is imprisoned in a chamber that will flood with high tide, drowning Mickey. Fortunately, Goofy is freed by the reformed Clarabelle, and Donald decides to rejoin the force. Donald, Goofy, and Pluto head off to rescue Mickey, which they do just in time. Mickey and the gang head to the opera theater where Pete has already managed to take control. A battle follows and Pete is defeated. Mickey and Minnie then proclaim their love, and the trio are dubbed royal musketeers.
In the sequel to Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, Mickey is first seen attending Minnie and Daisy's ice skating tournament with Donald. Later on, Mickey is planning a big Christmas party for everyone to enjoy. Although Minnie would rather have him do something simple, Mickey goes ahead and decorates excessively with an animatronic Santa Claus, a moving train set around the Christmas tree, and much more. While on the phone with Minnie, Pluto accidentally ruins the decorations. With all the decorations destroyed, Mickey has no choice but to go out and get new decorations. Before he leaves, he grounds Pluto and sends him to his dog house. After Mickey departs, Pluto runs away and finds himself at the North Pole, where he's adopted by Santa's reindeer.
Meanwhile, Mickey has returned to redecorate the house. Unlike the previous decorations, these are simpler. After the finishing touches were complete, Mickey went to the dog house to apologize to Pluto for his anger, wanting Pluto to place the star on the tree. Instead of Pluto, Mickey finds his discarded collar, and spots paw prints on the snow, heavily indicating that Pluto has run away. In panic, Mickey calls Minnie for help, and heads out to find his pal. He spends the entire day hanging up posters around the city. During the night, Mickey visits Santa Claus, who is having a meet-and-greet session, and tells him that all he wants for Christmas is Pluto back. But this is no ordinary department store Santa, this is the real deal.
Mickey returns home, with all hope lost. Suddenly, Pluto pops up on the roof of the house and rushes down to Mickey's arms. Just as the two begin to reunite, a snow plow truck that nearly ran into Mickey earlier, rushes into the front yard of Mickey's house. The driver turns out to be Goofy, accompanied by Max, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Minnie explains that Scrooge purchased a snow plow company to help find Pluto. Overjoyed with his friends being there, Mickey invites them in, and they all sing Christmas carols to celebrate.
Cameos in other movies
Mickey would make a cameo in the film alongside other cartoon characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He makes a notable appearance skydiving with Bugs Bunny and later at the end leading the other toons into the human world to Roger Rabbit.
In The Little Mermaid, Mickey made a cameo with Donald and Goofy at the beginning of the film, in the crowd of merpeople who were waiting for the concert of Ariel and her sisters. They can be briefly spotted before King Triton illuminates the coral chandelier.
Mickey made a cameo appearance in A Goofy Movie, hitchhiking with Donald Duck during the song "On the Open Road". A Mickey Mouse phone was also seen in Max's room in the film's opening. At the end of the film, Mickey was seen in the crowd at the Power Line concert. Mickey is also mentioned during the climatic events of An Extremely Goofy Movie.
In The Lion King 1½, Mickey makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the form of a silhouette during the film's finale, joining a cast of various other Disney characters as they prepare to watch the movie all over again.
In Saving Mr. Banks, Mickey is commonly mentioned and alluded to by Walt Disney, significantly during a scene where Walt confesses he was once offered a large payment in exchange for Mickey's rights, and although he had no money to his name, his love for the mouse prevented him from taking the offer stating:
- "I've fought this battle from her side. Pat Powers, he wanted the mouse and I didn't have a bean back then. He was this big terrifying New York producer and I was just a kid from Missouri with a sketch of Mickey, but it would've killed me to give him up. Honest to God, killed me. That mouse, he's family."
Mickey was regularly featured in the series, portrayed as a good friend and partner of the show's host, Walt Disney himself, as well as an acclaimed actor for the company.
Mickey was commonly the primary focus of a few episodes, but was also heavily featured in episodes centering Donald (much to the duck's dismay), Goofy, Jiminy Cricket, and others. Some of these episodes include On Vacation with Mickey Mouse and Friends, A Ranger's Guide to Nature, Four Tales on a Mouse, The Donald Duck Story, From All of Us to All of You, The Goofy Success Story, and many others.
Throughout the years, various specials celebrating Mickey's success and history also aired, mostly centered around the mouse's birthday, including Mickey's 50 and most notably Mickey's 60th Birthday, where the story revolved around Mickey Mouse mysteriously disappearing during the anniversary of his debut, resulting in worldwide catastrophe and despair.
Mickey was the mascot for the show and scene in the opening theme song with him as the club's leader. Mickey was dressed in a marching band outfit.
Mickey made recurring appearances in the live-action wrap-around skits alongside the other costumed characters and celebrity guests.
Mickey was the star of the series similar to his classic cartoons. Mickey usually got into problems out of his own mischievous attitude. Mickey had his own 90-second cartoon segments entitled "Mickey to the Rescue" in which he would break into Pete's trap-laden hideout to rescue Minnie.
In some episodes, Mickey would be involved in the Ajax business with Donald and Goofy having various jobs often ending in complete failure while in other cartoons might involve him in trying to impress Minnie by going over the top and modern. Some episodes involved Mickey competing with his much hated rival Mortimer Mouse.
Hearkening back to his roots, Mickey was shown to be a trickster in the show, in such shorts as Mickey's Mountain and Mickey's Cabin, usually having Mickey outwit his nemesis Pete as they battle each other. Mickey was able to trick the dim-witted Pete on many occasions.
In Disney's House of Mouse, Mickey is the owner of the eponymous popular night club in downtown Main Street. Mickey strives to keep the club profitable to keep safe from the landlord, Pete, while making sure himself is entertaining. Like his previous series, Mickey is mischievous and often gets the club in hot water because of that, such as in the episode "Rent Day", where he spent the club's rent on a large order of cheese.
In Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, Mickey and the guests are trapped inside the club on Christmas Eve. Mickey suggests they throw a Christmas party at the club. While the guests enjoy themselves by watching cartoons and socializing, Mickey and the employees try to get Donald into the Christmas spirit. With the guidance of Jiminy Cricket, Mickey is able to shed light on Donald, making it a merry Christmas for everyone.
In Mickey's House of Villains, Mickey tries to give his guests a good-spirited spooky Halloween. However, things take a turn for the worst when Jafar rallies the villains together at midnight and kicks him out along with the rest of the staff (trapping non-evil guests in the kitchen) and rename the club the "House of Villains". Mickey tries reasoning with Jafar to get the club back to normal, but to no avail. This forces Mickey to sneak backstage and don his sorcerer robes and hat from his time as Yen Sid's apprentice and take Jafar on in a magical duel. However, he soon loses his hat and becomes disadvantaged as the villains gang up on him, but Aladdin provides a lamp to imprison Jafar, scaring the other villains away and returning the House to normal.
Mickey is the host of the computer-animated series in which he uses brains and teamwork to solve problems. Mickey is the leader of the clubhouse gang and often going on various adventures to help and/or save his friends.
In the show, Mickey and the clubhouse gang solve various problems using the viewers help. Aside from leaving on adventures and solving puzzles, Mickey and his friends also go through other problems such as stopping Goofy's Goofbot and Mickey and Pluto spending the day trying to return to solid ground after being trapped in a bubble. Mickey is also the host of the spin-off television series: Mickey Mousekersize. In these shorts, Mickey, accompanied by Toodles, help his friends stay in shape by using exercises to solve their daily problems.
Mickey also made a recent debut in the Christmas themed episode of Minnie's Bow-Toons, joining Goofy, Donald, Clarabelle, Millie, Melody and Minnie's feathered friend Cuckoo Loca for Christmas carols. Mickey also appeared in the Halloween themed episode and the Thanksgiving themed episode of this TV Short.
In the animated mini-series, Mickey and his friends are shown having numerous adventures in exotic places around the world, including Paris, Tokyo, New York City and more. In the series, Mickey retains his rascally persona most prominently featured in the shorts of the 1920's and 30's. Many of his cartoons revolve around impressing Minnie in one way or another, though the true focus of the episodes revolves around Mickey figuring out comical ways to achieve whatever task is at hand while keeping his lovable nature.
Many episodes focus on Mickey attempting over-the-top methods of wooing Minnie, dealing with Goofy's antics and clashing with Donald's fiery temper and selfishness.
This incarnation features Mickey living either in an apartment in a city or in a suburban home, with an occasional goldfish named Gubbles and Pluto. When shorts are focused in these settings, Mickey tends to take a more down-to-earth approach with things, such as trying to cure Donald of an illness, win a dog show, escape the summer heat or save his goldfish from a hungry cat. At times, though, his adventures can still escalade in his default home, such as the night he ran through the dangerous city streets to save a sleep-walking Goofy, the night he accidentally lost his ears or the time he challenged Pete to a wrestling match, albeit accidentally.
Notably, some cartoons portray him in various roles set around the globe. For example, in "Yodelberg", Mickey is a Swiss mouse who wishes to visit Minnie atop the Matterhorn, but the treacherous terrain may cause such a plan to be difficult. "Tokyo Go" stars Mickey as a Japanese mouse going on an adventure aboard the Tokyo bullet train system. In "O Sole Minnie", Mickey is an Italian mouse struggling to win Minnie's heart.
Mickey is set to appear in an upcoming 2017 Disney Junior show, an all-new show, based on the success of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which will take Mickey and friends on thrilling trips around the globe and their hometown of Hot Dog Hills. At the same time, the new series will be value-based and will impart social and emotional lessons to the intended preschool audience, including friendship, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Other television shows
While not having his own starring series in the line-up, Mickey was featured in the opening and closing sequences of The Disney Afternoon block.
Mickey is mentioned in the Darkwing Duck episode "Comic Book Capers", where Launchpad talks about how Darkwing is starring in his own comic book like Mickey. (Ironically, Mickey's current comic book got cancelled right around the time the episode aired.)
Mickey was given a guest spot on Bonkers in "I Oughta Be in Toons". Mickey was kidnapped and was rescued by Bonkers and Lucky Piquel. Throughout the episode, Mickey was never actually seen (except as a silhouette in the first scene of the episode) and only referred to as "The Mouse".
In 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Mickey makes numerous appearances. When the Pups are riding on top of a Subway Train in the first episode; "Home is Where the Bark Is", Mickey's silhouette can be seen as one of the passengers. In "Roll Out the Pork Barrel"; Rolly has a stuffed animal of Mickey Mouse. And in "On The Lamb", one of the trees in the Gruteley Nursery is in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head.
A Mickey Mouse plush can be seen in Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice.
Comics and other printed material
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. With the inclusion of comic stories added to Mickey's career, a cast of new characters were created, including the Phantom Blot, Chief O'Hara, Eega Beeva and Mickey's nephews Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse. Some of these additional characters would go on to make animated appearances in Mickey Mouse media, such as television and a few of the classic shorts.
Mickey has yet to make an appearance in the Kingdom Keepers books, but it's known he is the leader of the Disney characters and is mentioned by Minnie and Ariel in the fourth book, Power Play. Here, they say Mickey disappeared since an event called the night, when strange noises and some kind of struggle were heard from his house at Mickey's Toontown Fair (this is the "reason" why they closed the land). They also say, there's the possibility that he is in hiding, but the most possible thing is that he has been taken by The Overtakers .
- Main article: Mickey Mouse in video games
Mickey has starred in many video games, including Mickey Mousecapade on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse and the Magical Quest trilogy on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse on the Sega Genesis, and many others. Mickey made his sixth generation era debut in Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse, a Nintendo GameCube title aimed at younger audiences. A costume of Mickey is playable in the video game Disney Universe, released in 2011. In Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Mickey is one of the many characters available for meet-and-greets and gives several tasks to the player(s).
Mickey is also a major character in the Kingdom Hearts series, taking the role of a king of his world. However, he is not the protagonist. The Japanese versions are some of his Japanese voice actor's most notable work on voicing Mickey.
The first game in the Epic Mickey series, featuring a darker version of the Disney universe, was released in 2010 for the Wii. It centers around Mickey's adventures in Wasteland, a world where forgotten and rejected Disney elements and characters reside, including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Disney's first character. A sequel, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, was released in 2012.
Mickey Mouse appears in his Sorcerer Mickey form at the beginning of Disney INFINITY in the introduction. He is also available as a playable character. He is available in his normal form in the third game, alongside Minnie. The "classic" version has boxing abilities and throwing items, and can summon Goofy, Donald, Pluto, and Oswald. He also has a costume change to turn into King Mickey from Kingdom Hearts.
Ever since Disneyland first opened in 1955, Mickey and the gang have been an important part of the Disney theme park experience. Today, they can be seen everyday in shows, parades and meet-and-greet opportunities at every Disney theme park, resort and cruise ship worldwide. Usually dressed in a tuxedo jacket, a yellow bow, long red pants, and black shoes, Mickey is the most requested character in the parks. Classic cartoons staring the beloved characters are also screened in the Main Street Cinema at Disneyland and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. In Disneyland's now-defunct Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction, most of the water molecules were shaped around Mickey heads.
A talking articulated version of the Mickey Mouse costumed character has been tested at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom and the D23 Expo with great success--this allows Mickey to have real-time one-on-one conversations with park guests. The Magic Kingdom began offering the talking Mickey for meet-and-greets on a regular basis in the Town Square Theater in October 2013. There are two versions of the character - one with pre-recorded dialogue and another with real, actual dialogue.
At Disneyland Park, Mickey can often be found in Town Square on Main Street USA, as well as in his Movie Barn at Mickey's Toontown. For entertainment, Mickey is seen in almost all of the park's parades as well as in the popular nighttime spectacular Fantasmic!. Mickey often performs with the Disneyland Band as well. He is also the star of the live stage show Mickey and the Magical Map.
Over at Disney California Adventure, Mickey can be found on Buena Vista Street for meet-and-greets. Mickey, in his sorcerer outfit, can be seen at the end of the nighttime spectacular World of Color. In the 2015 rendition of the show, as part of the Disneyland Resort: Diamond Celebration, Mickey serves as a co-host, alongside Neil Patrick Harris. An early segment of the show additionally centers the mouse and his career in animated shorts.
At the Magic Kingdom, Mickey greets guests inside the Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A. Mickey can also be seen in Mickey's PhilharMagic, Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire, the Festival of Fantasy Parade, the Main Street Electrical Parade and other entertainment offerings. In Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Mickey has two spell cards--"Apprentice Mickey's Broomsticks" and "Mickey's Magic Beans".
Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Mickey stars in that park's version of Fantasmic!. Rizzo the Rat and Waldo C. Graphic impersonate Mickey in Muppet*Vision 3D. Mickey also greets guests in his sorcerer outfit at Streets of America.
Mickey also appears at several character dining experiences throughout the property, including Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort, Garden Grill in The Land pavilion at Epcot, Mickey's Backyard Barbecue at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and Tusker House Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
In Disneyland Park (Paris), Mickey is seen in "Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade", "Disney's Fantillusion Parade", Mickey and his Magic Halloween Night and more. For meet-and-greets, Mickey can be found on Main Street or at the "Meet Mickey Mouse" greeting spot in Fantasyland. A silhouette of Mickey can be seen in the nighttime spectacular Disney Dreams!.
In Tokyo Disneyland, Mickey can be found for meet-and-greets at World Bazaar, Toontown and Westernland. Mickey also stars in this park's version of Mickey's PhilharMagic. For entertainment, Mickey is featured in Minnie Oh! Minnie!, One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On! and all the parades.
In Tokyo DisneySea, Mickey can be found for meet-and-greets at several locations, including Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront and Lost River Delta. For entertainment, Mickey is featured in Fantasmic!, My Friend Duffy, The Legend of Mythica and Big Band Beat.
In the park, Mickey appears at the Fantasy Gardens for meet-and-greets, as well as starring in Mickey's PhilharMagic. For entertainment, Mickey appears in the Flights of Fantasy Parade and The Golden Mickeys.
Mickey frequently makes appearances for meet-and-greets onboard the Disney Cruise Line ships.
Mickey is also apart of the Oceaneer Lab with the younger children on board. Mickey is also featured in many of the live stage shows performed on the ships, including "The Golden Mickeys", "Disney Dreams" and "Believe". Mickey also joins in on the Sail Away Parties when the ships are sailing away from their ports.
Mickey also stars in the Pirates in the Caribbean nighttime show, where Mickey and friends host a pirate-themed party, only to be attacked by Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, and his crew.
On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, Mickey is featured in the interactive attraction "Midship Detective Agency". Mickey, along with Donald and Goofy, team up with different Disney characters to help solve a case. In one of them based around The Muppets, Mickey is on a lunch break, so he allows Pepe the King Prawn to handle cases for him. He later makes a vocal cameo at the end, and his silohete can be seen through the door. On the same two ships, Mickey can be seen flying Minnie around in their plane in the magical portholes in some of the guest staterooms.
Relationships with other characters
- Main article: Mickey Mouse/Relationships
- Main article: Mickey Mouse's Filmography
Names in other Languages
See this web page
- Walt created Mickey but it was his wife, Lilian Disney, that gave the character his name "Mickey". Walt initially named him "Mortimer Mouse" until Lillian proposed otherwise. The former name however was eventually given to another character, Mickey's rival.
- Mickey's ears always face the same way, no matter which direction he is facing.
- Mickey's size is somewhat inconsistent. The Walt Disney Company's official position is that he is roughly 2 feet and 3 inches tall, as mentioned in this article. However, he is also shown to be the same size as Donald Duck, who, per Carl Barks, is three feet tall.
- Depsite being the most famous cartoon character in the world, Mickey does not yet have his own theatrical film.
- Hidden Mickeys are Mickey Mouse's head or full body that can be found in feature films or park attractions. One of the first Hidden Mickeys was three bubbles that made up Mickey's head in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- Mickey's full name was said to be Michael Mouse in the cartoon Symphony Hour, and again in the House of Mouse episode "Mickey and the Culture Clash". In the French Disney comic La planète des cerveaux Mickey's full name was revealed to be Michael Theodore Mouse.
- Mickey Mouse was listed #50 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters; a list for characters from animated features. The low listing was due to Mickey's lack of critically acclaimed theatrical feature films with the exception of Fantasia. However, the list refers to Mickey as "the world's most famous cartoon character of all time" to make up.
- Many variations of Mickey's silhouette logo have been made such as the Disney Channel, Toon Disney and Playhouse Disney logos and more.
- According to Walt Disney, Mickey and Minnie Mouse have never been married on screen. But, in 1933, during an interview with Film Pictorial, Walt said, “In private life, Mickey is married to Minnie... What it really amounts to is that Minnie is, for screen purposes, his leading lady.”
- Mickey's voice actor from the late 80s to 2009, Wayne Allwine, was married to Minnie's voice actress, Russi Taylor.
- Mickey was used along with Minnie in a 1930 Aesop's Fables cartoon called "The Office Boy" after Walt Disney admitted influence from this cartoon series which had been around even before Mickey was even created. But Walt sued its creator Paul Terry for "plagiarizing" his character which lead to Aesop's Fables ending in 1933.
- Wayne Allwine's final performance of Mickey Mouse before his death was in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Because of this, there is a dedication to him in the credits of the English version of the game.
- Steamboat Willie's Mickey makes a cameo appearance as a transformation of Genie's in Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
- Although Mickey is usually shown to have magic powers with the Sorcerer Hat of Yen Sid, it is shown that Mickey can control magic without aid.
- Mickey's first-ever spoken line was "Hot dogs!" in The Karnival Kid (1929). This is a very similar line to one of his catchphrases, "Hot dog!"
- In the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Mickey is often referred to by the Cast Members as the boss or Mr. Mouse.
- In the 2011 Disney/Pixar film Cars 2, two characters named Mama Topolino and Uncle Topolino are tributes to Mickey, as Topolino (meaning "little mouse") is Mickey's name in Italian.
- In 1933, Mickey Mouse received 800,000 pieces of fan mail.
- In Aladdin, Rajah's face turned into Mickey's for a split second when he transformed from a kitten to a tiger again.
- In the anime series Stitch!, Hidden Mickeys are a common running gag being seen in many episodes.
- The original Epic Mickey game showcases Mickey having a certain degree of super human strength, being able to break out of metal restrictions.
- In the Pucca episode "Tame That Toon", the classic cartoon version of Garu strongly resembles Mickey Mouse.
- In the popular ABC television series Once Upon a Time, several figurines of Mickey and Minnie can be seen, most notably in Mr. Gold's pawn shop.
- Mickey is the only member of the Sensational Six whose parents were both never shown in a comic or cartoon.
- In 1945, the producers of the MGM musical Anchors Aweigh wanted Mickey to do a dance number with Gene Kelly and for Walt Disney to animate it. However, the role and dance number instead ended up going to Jerry Mouse of Tom & Jerry fame and was animated by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, who were still making Tom & Jerry cartoons at the time.
- There seems to be a dispute between fans of Mickey that he was named after the late actor Mickey Rooney himself by Walt Disney through his wife Lillian's suggestion. The only reason people say he wasn't is because Rooney didn't mention it until an interview 50 years or so later, seeming he wasn't telling the truth.
- In The Wiggles: Live at Disneyland, Mickey as a mascot discovered Australia's children performers The Wiggles who were in a Toontown cable car.
- In the late 1960s, due to the increasing demand for color cartoons on the airwaves, the 1928-1935 black-and-white Mickey Mouse cartoons, much like many other black-and-white cartoons from other studios, were shipped over to South Korea where artists retraced them frame-by-frame in color, causing the degradation in their animation quality and timing. In the early 1990s, The Walt Disney Company created computer-colorized versions of these B&W Mickey Mouse cartoons, which helped preserved the original animation. These digitally-colorized Mickey shorts had aired on anthology shows such as Mickey's Mouse Tracks, Mickey Mouse & Friends, and Donald's Quack Attack on the Disney Channel (and later its sister channel Toon Disney).
- Mickey has over 290 outfits.
- Darkwing Duck comic book writer Aaron Sparrow has noted that he wanted to do a story for the comic that would've had Mickey teaming up with Darkwing to battle the Phantom Blot.
- ↑ http://www.intanibase.com/shorts.aspx?shortID=214&studioID=1
- ↑ http://www.disneyshorts.org/shorts.aspx?shortID=214
- ↑ http://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/spin-special-stan-freberg-records/
- ↑ http://www.mousevinyl.com/content/dickens-christmas-carol-disneyland-records
- ↑ http://disneylandrecords.com/disney-christmas-records/3811/index.html
- ↑ http://voicechasers.com/database/showprod.php?prodid=3382
- ↑ http://bjbear71.com/Disney/DR6b.html
- ↑ http://www.mousevinyl.com/content/dickens-christmas-carol-disneyland-records
- ↑ http://disneylandrecords.com/disney-christmas-records/3811/index.html
- ↑ A Disney Discography
- ↑ Character Records by Steve Burns - StartedByAMouse.com Features Section
- ↑ http://childrensrecordsandmore.blogspot.com/2008/06/talking-mickey-mouse-readalong-books.html
- ↑ http://voicechasers.com/database/showprod.php?prodid=3382
- ↑ Welcome Mickey and Minnie
- ↑ http://www.grandtimes.com/rooney.html
- ↑ http://www.mouseplanet.com/9587/The_Mickey_RooneyMickey_Mouse_Myth
- ↑ "Comic Q&A: Ask The Professionals", The Old Haunt: A Darkwing Duck forum
- Mickey Mouse on Wikipedia
- Disney's Mickey Mouse character page (Japanese 日本)
- Disney's Mickey and Friends character page (Japanese 日本)
- Mickey Mouse at the INDUCKS
- Disney's HooZoo - Mickey Mouse
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