Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mickey Mouse is 78 years old today...

Mickey in Steamboat Willie.

Michael "Mickey" Mouse is a comic animal cartoon character who has become a symbol for The Walt Disney Company. He was created in 1928 and voiced by Walt Disney. The Walt Disney Company celebrates his birth as November 18, 1928 upon the release of Steamboat Willie. The mouse has evolved from being simply a character in animated cartoons and comic strips to become one of the most recognizable symbols in the world.

Walt Disney voiced Mickey Mouse from 1928 until 1946, when sound effects man James G. MacDonald took over the role. Mickey is currently voiced by Wayne Allwine.

Disney said he got his inspiration from a rodent at his failed Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City, Missouri which he had nicknamed Mortimer Mouse.

The origins of Mickey Mouse actually lie in the early 1920s. Paul Terry developed the first mouse cartoon character in what would later be called the "Mickey Mouse" style in the early 1920s. These mice appeared in his Aesop's Fables cartoon series. Walt Disney admitted that his earliest ambitions was to produce cartoons of comparable quality to Paul Terry. Disney told interviewers later that he was inspired to create Mickey by a tame mouse at his desk at Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City, Missouri:

In 1928 Walt Disney had Ub Iwerks make some drawing for the new cartoon character. During a train trip to New York, Walt Disney showed the drawings to his wife Lillian Marie Bounds and said he was going to call it "Mortimer Mouse." She replied that the name sounded "too dark" and suggested Mickey instead.

Yet a further story, much publicized, has it that a six year old Mickey Rooney was filming the Mickey Maguire series when he was introduced to Walt Disney during a lunch break. Disney showed the Morty Mouse cartoon drawings to Rooney who introduced himself as Mickey Maguire. Rooney states that Disney might first have had the idea to name the character 'Mickey' at that meeting.

>>Even though Mickey is not my favorite animated character, he is a monster...the best-known icon for a monster corporation...I guess I have to appreciate his humble beginnings...not to mention that he was in the first sound cartoon...
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from Slick at Dissizit...

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