- “Ha-cha-cha, ladies' night! Where ladies get everything they want! And what they want, is to adore me.”
Mortimer Mouse is Mickey Mouse's rival and 2nd arch-nemesis, after Pete. He is a sleazy, criminal minded, obnoxious rat who openly berates Mickey, constantly antagonizing him for years. Mortimer first appeared in the Mickey short Mickey's Rival and ever since he has been battling Mickey for Minnie's affections.
Mortimer's name was originally meant for Mickey Mouse but Walt Disney's wife Lillian thought the name made Mickey seem pompous. Years later, the name would be used for a new character created to be a rival for Mickey. Mortimer only appeared in the cartoon "Mickey's Rival" and was never seen in animation again until 2000, when his popularity skyrocketed and landed him roles in several Mickey Mouse related material.
Since then, in all animated appearances, Mortimer's voice has been provided by Maurice LaMarche, which is said to be an exaggerated impression of comedian Jon Lovitz.
Mortimer is essentially a taller version of Mickey Mouse, and seems a bit more human-like. Unlike his rival, Mortimer has whiskers, perhaps referencing how he has a ratlike persona. He has feet the size of Goofy's. Unlike most of the other mouse characters, however, you can see two large teeth close together, like a rat. He is usually wearing jeans and a shirt, but sometimes he also wears a hat.
He is said to be Minnie's ex-boyfriend and she possibly left him due to his nature. He is very arrogant and rude, the total opposite of his rival. While he claims he loves Minnie very much, he shows to be incredibly selfish as seen in the cartoon "Mickey's Rival" where he leaves Minnie to be attacked by a bull that he provoked. Not only that, he attempts to flirt with any female character on screen which might also indicate the reason the relationship between him and Minnie was abolished. Also, Mortimer can be rather sexist as seen in "Mickey's Rival Returns" where he feels that Minnie is only a prize to be won. When he's not tiring to get Minnie affections he tries to flirt with other female characters in "House of Mouse".
Interestingly, a different side of Mortimer was showcased in the cartoon Mickey's Mix-Up, where Mickey accidentally sent a heartwarming FAQs to Mortimer (which was actually meant for Minnie) having the rat believe Mickey wanted to make amends, which he immediately agreed to. This shows that, perhaps, Mortimer does hold a softer side, and wouldn't mind becoming friends with Mickey if the latter also wanted to let bygones be bygones. However, this softer side was never revealed again, due to either Mickey revealing the truth about the mix up, infuriating Mortimer, or more likely because the entire thing was used as a comical gag.
Mortimer makes a brief appearance in the direct-to-video film Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. Here, Mortimer is the snooty, profound and wealthy owner of Mortimer's Department Store, and he speaks with a profound tone. Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck are notable employees of the store, and judging by Minnie's low-budget lifestyle, he does not pay well. In his scene, Minnie hopes to earn the Christmas bonus for her extra hard work, so that she may pay for a wonderful present for Mickey. However, Mortimer only gives her a fruitcake, leaving Minnie without money to buy the gift.
In this series, Mortimer is once again the main antagonist along with Pete. Here, Mortimer is Mickey's neighbor and is still competing with Mickey to win Minnie Mouse's heart. In the series, Mortimer is apparently wealthy having far more advanced technology than his rival. One of Mortimer's most villainous roles was in the cartoon Big House Mickey where he accused Mickey of robbing his house having Mickey sent to prison. Mortimer made a guest appearance in the Pluto segment; Pluto Gets the Paper.
Mortimer's first appearance in the series was the cartoon Mickey's Rival Returns. In this cartoon, Mortimer and Mickey compete with each other in volleyball. The winner gets to ask Minnie on a date. Originally, Mickey refused the idea being that it would be using Minnie as "some kind of trophy", but Mortimer's arrogance angers Mickey into competing. Mickey wins, but Mortimer reveals the competition prize to Minnie having her believe Mickey thought of her as a prize. Minnie instead leaves with Mortimer but at the date, he begins to harass her for a kiss. Fortunately, she is saved by Mickey who she forgives and has a beach dinner with.
In the television series House of Mouse, Mortimer gets a role as a recurring character. Mortimer appears many times as a guest and tries to trick Mickey or Minnie into breaking up. In the series' pilot episode, Mortimer appears briefly, but is seen flirting with Donald Duck's girlfriend Daisy Duck instead. He would also go on go do this in several other episodes. Mortimer proves to be hated by mostly all of the guests at the club ranging from heroes, to princesses, to even villains such as Ursula and Gaston, despite being one himself. It is even indicated in the episode "Pete's Christmas Caper" that the cruel Pete might even have a disliking towards him.
Arguably, Mortimer's most notable appearance in the series is "The Mouse Who Came to Dinner", in which he tricked Mickey and friends into believing he was a restaurant critic, and he forced them to treat him like a prince or he'd give them a negative review which could close the club. Mortimer is foiled when Lumière is revealed to be the actual critic.
Mortimer's most recent appearance is in the CG animated series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He has a non-speaking role in "Minnie's Birthday" seen sitting beneath a tree, playing a guitar. In this appearance, Mortimer wears the orange shirt from Mouse Works with yellow polka dots, blue pants and yellow shoes. He was also seen sleeping and sunbathing on the ground.
Mortimer makes his first proper appearance on the series in the special "Super Adventure" as the Main Antagonist. Here, he has a supervillain ego named Megamort, who plots to take control over the Clubhouse World by shrinking all the landmarks and storing them within his zeppelin lair. During some time of the plotting, Mortimer forced the humble Pete to act as his minion, ordering him to go around to proceed with his bidding. When the problem reaches Mickey and friends' attention, Ludwig Von Drake creates a machine that transforms the clubhouse gang into a team of superheroes.
Together, they head out and are able to defeat Pete. However, Pete reveals he was forced to fulfill such evil deeds, under the control of "the big boss", who threatened to shrink Pete should he refuse to follow orders. Just then, Megamort arrives and does just that, due to Pete's failure. And with Pete no longer serving him, Megamort goes ahead and wrecks havoc amongst the world himself, leading to everything, including Mickey himself being shrinked and imprisoned. Under their hero egos, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Daisy, and Pluto travel to Megamort's zeppelin where a battle ensues.
Successfully, they retrieve the shrunken landmarks, but causes Megamort's blimp to go haywire in the process, putting Megamort in great peril. Mickey concocts a plan to successfully save the villainous rat, and Megamort, being eternally grateful, apologizes and redeems himself, revealing that his true name is Mortimer Mouse, and that he's the Clubhouse' newest neighbor. With his villainy in the past, Mortimer restores the peace in the Clubhouse world and is welcomed by Mickey and the gang into their circle of friends.
Strangely, Mortimer's appearance in "Minnie's Birthday" seems to have been forgotten here, as he was showcased in "Super Adventure" as the Clubhouse's new neighbor, as if Mickey and the gang had never known him prior to those events.
In other media
Mortimer was called Montmorency Rodent in many comics. In his first incarnation he was called "Mr. Slicker" and appeared in the comic serial Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers. When Minnie Mouse's father, Marcus is in danger of losing his ranch eggs, Mr. Slicker offers aid financial return for Minnie's hand in marriage, and Mickey suspects him. In the end, Mickey proves it was Slicker who was behind the thefts. Mortimer sometimes teamed up with Pete the Bad and Sylvester Shyster, who, like Mortimer, also wants to win the love of Minnie. In some of the Disney Comics both out of state and US it was shown that Mortimer is rich and lives in a mansion, and he can also fly a plane.
The cartoon short Mickey's Rival was also made into a comic book. In the comic book version, the story is different. Mickey goes over to Minnie's house to visit, only to be greeted by Mortimer, who is also visiting Minnie. After Minnie introduces him to Mickey, Mortimer proceeds to make Mickey look like a fool in front of her. Each day, he keep pulling pranks on Mickey in hopes of getting rid of him. At the end, though, Mickey got the better of him and Minnie kicked Mortimer out.
Mortimer appeared in the GameCube game Disney Sports Soccer, Football and Basketball. He is also in Disney's Golf as a secret character.
Mortimer has not yet made any live appearances in the Disney theme parks. However, a mural with several classic Disney characters during the Disney California Adventure expansion was seen with Mortimer being one of the characters featured. Also at the park, Mortimer's namesake is featured in the shop Mortimer's Market which is located on Buena Vista Street.
Mortimer has one catchphrase which is "Ha-Cha-Cha". Which he says in Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse. In some of the comics he says it different "Hot-Cha-Cha".
- Walt was originally going to name Mickey Mortimer, but his wife insisted on a new name. Mrs. Disney felt that the name was not good enough and suggested a name which was more suitable with Walt’s home in Midwestern: Mickey.
- The name itself derives from the name of Disney's former pet mouse, Mortimer.
- Although Mortimer hasn’t been used that much in the cartoons, he has been used a lot in the comics particularly the comics from overseas, the most popular ones being Brazil, Italy and France.
- Mortimer bears resemblance to an obscure character, Ruffhouse Rat, who is a cousin of Minnie's and Mickey had to help train in boxing in one of his earlier comics.
- In the Berke Breathed strip Bloom County, there is a Mortimer Mouse, who is a stubbly, surly mouse who wears the same outfit as Mickey's, but more disshevled. He is annoyed that he was drafted during the Second World War, during one battle he suffered an injury where a Panzer tank ran over his foot, while at the same time Mickey went on to fame and fortune. This parody was ended after Breathed was threatened with a lawsuit from Disney for unauthorized parody in 1988. Interestingly, Disney had better relations with Berke Breathed twenty years later when they based a film on his children's book Mars Needs Moms.
- Like Gaston and Chi-Fu, Mortimer has very negative opinions towards women and girls that border on misogynism.