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When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it's because he's so human; and that is the secret of his popularity. I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.
Walt Disney[src]


Mickey Mouse is an animated character created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1928. He is an anthropomorphic mouse characterized as a cheerful optimist with an adventurous and mischievous streak. Estimated as standing 2' 3" (69 centimeters) and weighing 23 pounds (10 kilograms), Mickey is easily identified by his round ears, red shorts, falsetto voice, white gloves, and cartoonishly large yellow shoes.

For 90 years, Mickey has been the cornerstone of the Disney empire. His success paved the way for numerous breakthroughs in both the art of animation, and the entertainment industry as a whole.[18] Mickey's significance in pop culture came simultaneously with his public debut in Steamboat Willie, where he first wowed audiences with his cheerful smile and scampish personality.

From there, Mickey rapidly rose to the pinnacle of American culture, becoming the most popular and recognizable cartoon character in the world and the prime influence of following cartoons.[19] He's since appeared in over 130 films and has received a combined eleven honors from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1978, Mickey became the first fictional character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For all his acclaim, none have viewed Mickey more fondly than Walt Disney, himself. The two were widely regarded as "alter-egos" by peers and historians[20][1]; it was said by Lillian Disney that Mickey and Walt were so simpatico, they seemed almost like the same identity. Historians have often pointed out that Mickey's career mirrored that of Walt's; at the start, they were insignificant figures struggling to make an impact in the filmmaking industry, only to become international icons over the years.[21]

Today, Mickey is, by far, The Walt Disney Company's most famous character and serves as the company's mascot. His 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.

Background

Mickey comes from a stable, nuclear family. According to the Italian story Once Upon a Time... In America, Mickey's father has a wealthy background, which he built with the help of his future wife (and Mickey's mother). By his parents, Mickey has an older sister named Felicity Fieldmouse. He once stated that he has no brothers.[22] By Felicity, Mickey has twin nephews named Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse, whom he occasionally watches over. According to Symphony Hour, "Mickey and the Culture Clash" and "The Fancy Gentleman", Mickey's full name is Michel Mouse.

Mickey is normally depicted as living a modest life with his pet dog, Pluto. He has a longtime girlfriend named Minnie Mouse, whom he spends most of his free time with. According to Walt Disney, Mickey and Minnie are married in private life and are merely depicted as dating onscreen.[23] Despite their long-term relationship, Mickey has occasionally vied for Minnie’s affections against her ex-boyfriend, Mortimer Mouse.

Mickey's occupational status is dependent on the story, but he is usually portrayed as a jack-of-all-trades, working as anything from a steamboat deckhand to a sorcerer's apprentice. The most recurring employer of Mickey's is the Ajax Coporation, where he has worked alongside his best friends, Donald Duck and Goofy. Ajax consists of a variety of odd jobs (ghost exterminators, car washers, rollercoaster painters, etc.) and most of Mickey's assignments end up in failure due to his and his team's incompetence. In comic stories, Mickey has frequently been portrayed as a detective working closely with his friend Horace Horsecollar and the Chief of Police, Chief O'Hara.

Though not for pay, Mickey has been a regular contributor to his local orphanage—which houses hundreds of nameless mice children—for many years. With help from Minnie, Donald and other friends, Mickey has organized numerous benefits for the orphans such as picnic outings and theatre shows. In some cartoons, he and Pluto have even welcomed the orphans into their home.[24]

In some continuities such as that of Darkwing Duck, A Goofy Movie, and numerous meta Disney productions like House of Mouse, Mickey is portrayed as an A-list celebrity made famous by his theatrical cartoon shorts, which are said to be based on real events in his life.

Concerning his in-universe age, Mickey is depicted as being relatively young. The official character training video for Disneyland (recorded in the 1970s) describes him as "an average young boy of no particular age."[25]

Personality

Mickey's a little bit in your face. Mickey's like, 'Hey! I'm smart, I can do anything, I get into trouble, but I can get out of it... I'm sort of rebellious, you know. I live by my own rules.' He's an adolescent dream, is what he is. Rebelling and making it work, that's Mickey.
―Writer Ron Suskind during the American Experience: Walt Disney special on PBS

Mickey's most widely known traits are his wholesomeness and charisma. In contrast to this, Mickey is also rather mischievous; a scrappy, free-spirited rebel with a head full of curiosity, optimism and slight arrogance, Mickey has a habit of finding himself in a wide array of self-inflicted trouble—sometimes comical[26], sometimes highly consequential.[27] Nevertheless, he is also quick-thinking and crafty and is thus able to save himself from the varying danger, ending out on top in the end. Because of his small size and limited resources, Mickey often relies on his wit to overcome adversity. His craftiness is also put into good use when looking for ways to make life easier for himself, even if he knowingly has to break a few rules in the process, being somewhat of a schemer in this sense.[28][29]

While his success elevates his ego and drives him to act selfishly at times[30], Mickey is a devoted friend and cares deeply for his loved ones. This is most prominently displayed in his relationship with his longtime girlfriend, Minnie Mouse. The two are shown to be deeply in love with each other, and as such, Mickey has repeatedly gone to great lengths to both ensure Minnie's happiness, and to impress her (sometimes out of insecurity of losing her, as seen in "Mickey Tries to Cook"). In turn, Minnie is an avid supporter of Mickey and openly returns his sentiments. Though his habit of forgetting special occasions and other important matters annoy her[31][32], Minnie simultaneously serves as Mickey's better half, bringing out the best of him, even after his own flaws create significant mayhem.

Mickey is also a reliable leader and is well-respected amongst his peers because of this. When put in charge of a production, for example (such as a stage show or the House of Mouse nightclub theater) he tends to be rather professional and composed, even when hecklers and other inconveniences get in the way. Another great example of Mickey's reliability can be seen in various cartoons in which Mickey stars alongside his best friends, the ill-tempered Donald Duck and exceptionally clumsy Goofy. Mickey is able to handle issues fairly better than both Donald and Goofy, as his temper and clumsiness are not as distracting for himself as they are for his two comrades. Though whimsical and childlike in his own right, Mickey's maturity shines its brightest when paired with Donald and Goofy showing that, for all his foibles, he can act as a level-headed "voice of reason" when the situation calls for it. Mickey's selflessness is also highlighted when paired with the two. For example, as seen numerous times with Goofy, Mickey tends to act as a passive friend, as he cares a great deal for Goofy's happiness, and therefore puts up with a fair amount of nonsense for the latter's sake. At times, Mickey can be too caring towards others, which can drive him to disregard his own needs, though he has his limits.[33][34] Empathetic to a fault, Mickey will gladly come to someone's aid if they appear to be in need[35][36], though he sometimes allows his sympathetic heart to blind his better judgment.[37] In Epic Mickey, Mickey sacrificed his only chance of escaping the Wasteland to save Oswald and Gus, both of whom he had just met. This — among other feats — proved to Oswald that Mickey's nobility was genuine, and in turn, motivated him to work alongside the mouse as an ally.

While Mickey's temper is not out of his control, he can be rather explosive after being pushed to a certain limit.[38][39] When faced with his two most frequent adversaries, Pete and Mortimer Mouse for example, Mickey tends to act irritable and churlish. He is also somewhat relentless when it comes to getting back at them for their harassment.[40] In some cases, instead of outright giving his enemies satisfaction by losing his temper, Mickey would resort to sly pranks and trickery to best his foes—this being a way to one-up them, while also getting in a few laughs at the same time.[41][42] Because of his laid-back nature, however, Mickey is usually remorseful after letting his anger get the best of him, and does all that he can to remedy affected feelings, if any.[43]

Mickey evidently struggles with insecurity to some extent. In "Goofy for a Day", he panicked at the prospect of losing his hosting job at the House of Mouse, believing "show business" is the only profession he's actually good at. His popularity seems to act as a double-edged sword. While he typically enjoys the attention, Mickey also feels a sense of pressure from the public to always be at his very best. This is most notably seen when Mickey is tasked with hosting live entertainment in front of a large audience. In during which, he becomes short-fused, anxious, and intolerant towards any delays or disturbances.[44][10]

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.

Voice

Disneyland in CinemaScope!

Disneyland in CinemaScope!

An example of one of Walt's post-1947 performances as Mickey's voice.

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 after recording 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 Jimmy MacDonald. 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 19541959 run of The Mickey Mouse Club TV series and "The Fourth Anniversary Show" episode of the Disneyland TV series.

Carl Stalling voiced Mickey in The Karnival Kid in 1929. Clarence Nash voiced Mickey in the 1934 short The Dognapper, which would also be the only time that Nash voiced him.[45][46] Walt was traveling in Europe at the time and was unavailable to record his lines for Mickey. J. Donald Wilson, Joe Twerp, and John Hiestand provided the voice of Mickey in the 1938 broadcasts of The Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air.[47][48] Stan Freberg voiced Mickey in the 1954 Disney record album Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse's Birthday Party.[49] 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 Young voiced him.[50][51]

Les Perkins voiced Mickey in two TV specials in the mid-1980s: Down and Out with Donald Duck and DTV Valentine. Pete Renaday voiced Mickey in the 1980s Disney albums Mickey Mouse Splashdance and Yankee Doodle Mickey.[52][53] He also provided his voice for The Talking Mickey Mouse toy in 1986.[54][55]

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, who was the voice of Minnie Mouse. from 1986 until her death in 2019

Quinton Flynn briefly filled in for Allwine as the voice of Mickey in a few episodes of the first season of Mickey Mouse Works whenever he was unavailable to record.[47]

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 theme parks, Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate!, and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. However, despite Iwan being Mickey's official voice actor, the character's voice is provided by Chris Diamantopoulos in the Mickey Mouse series. Diamantopoulos reprised the role for Wonderful World of Animation in 2019, and later for the DuckTales episode "Moonvasion!" as a watermelon shaped like Mickey's head.

History

Creation; 1928-1930

He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when the business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb, and disaster seemed right around the corner
―Walt Disney in his 1948 essay, "What Mickey Means to Me"
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Mickey's evolution over the years from 1928 to the present.

On March 13, 1928, Walt Disney was riding a train back from Manhattan to Hollywood. He and his studio had been removed from the Universal Pictures-owned Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon series due to Disney having payment issues with the "middleman" producer Charles Mintz. In addition to this, Mintz had his assistant George Winkler successfully convince the majority of the animators at Disney's studio to work at Mintz's company, Winkler Pictures (the company served as the "middleman" between Disney and Universal). While on the train, Walt desperately brainstormed ideas for a new cartoon character. 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 thought the name was too pompous, 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.) Walt created a sketch to get the basic idea of the character, and later shared it with Ub Iwerks who refined it.

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Concept art of Mickey from early 1928; the sketches are the earliest known drawings of the character, from the collection of The Walt Disney Family Museum.

Since Disney was still contractually obligated to finish a few more Oswald cartoons, Disney and Iwerks produced the first two Mickey Mouse cartoons in secret. The first of them was Plane Crazy, and it was first screened for test audiences on May 15, 1928, the same month that Disney finished the Oswald cartoons he was obligated to finish. Plane Crazy (which introduced both Mickey and his flapper girlfriend Minnie Mouse) focused on Mickey's attempt to become an aviator in emulation of Charles Lindbergh. In this short Mickey was gloveless, shoeless, and portrayed as a rash and arrogant character, even going as far as to antagonize Minnie. Because of its relatively unimaginative production and unlikable lead character, Plane Crazy failed to impress audiences and struggled to find a distributor. The second-produced Mickey short, The Gallopin' Gaucho, was significant in giving Mickey shoes for the first time and introducing him to his arch-nemesis Pete, but also failed to make an impact. Once again, Disney was devoid of a distributor. Because neither had a distributor, neither shorts were released to the public.

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Mickey in his most famous cartoon, Steamboat Willie.

It was then that Walt decided to take an extremely ambitious step by breaking into "talkies". Sound had been in animated cartoons before, but never on a scale quite like Mickey's third-produced short, Steamboat Willie. A parody of Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr., Steamboat Willie reinvented Mickey's character by retaining some of his youthful mischiefs while giving him a more appealing design and relatable personality. Walt provided the vocal effects for the short's two main stars—Mickey and Minnie—and would continue to voice Mickey for decades to follow. Considered groundbreaking and innovative for both animation and film as a whole, Steamboat Willie—upon its release on November 18, 1928 at Universal's Colony Theater in New York City—was an enormous hit with both critics and audiences. Though it was the character's third short to be produced, it was the first to be officially released. As such, November 18th is recognized as the official birthday of Mickey Mouse, as declared by archivist Dave Smith in 1978. The success of Steamboat Willie later allowed for the official releases of both The Gallopin' Gaucho and Plane Crazy, remastered with sound.

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Mickey in The Karnival Kid, his first actual speaking role.

A slew of shorts would quickly follow, a majority of which portrayed Mickey as a rascally mouse living in a barn-like setting. As more cartoons were released, Mickey's character would continue to develop in significant ways. In The Karnival Kid, first released on May 23, 1929, Mickey spoke his first words, "Hot dog!". In The Opry House, Mickey was given his trademark gloves, which made him and other characters with black fur easier to animate. In The Plowboy, Mickey was given a friend in the form of Horace Horsecollar, who would regularly appear in Mickey's early shorts as his steed and sidekick. With Mickey's success all but assured, Disney was offered a deal—three hundred dollars in cash for the right to feature Mickey on a children's pencil tablet that was going to be produced. Walt accepted, and thus began Mickey Mouse's foray into merchandising.[56] Furthermore, Disney created the original Mickey Mouse Club in 1929 for fans of his character and cartoons. Though the club had its start in the United States, it would later expand to overseas markets such as Europe and Australia. The club had over one million members. In June 1929, J.V. Connelly of King Features Syndicate proposed the concept of a Mickey Mouse comic strip for newspapers.[57]

1930-1950

On January 30, 1930, the first of Mickey's printed adventures was distributed—as written by Walt Disney, and illustrated by Ub Iwerks. By the summer of 1930, the comic had appeared in up to forty newspapers across the world. By May of that year, the comics were taken over by Disney artist Floyd Gottfredson, who would become renowned for four decades worth of work on Mickey Mouse comic stories. Like Mickey's entry into merchandising, the first of Mickey's comic strips were credited to having attributed to ushering in Mickey's golden age and worldwide success.[58]

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Walt Disney's Honorary Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse (1933).

Some of Mickey's popularity was attributed to his role as an underdog hero. A recurring and popular trope involved Minnie being kidnapped at the hands of the imposing Peg-Leg Pete, forcing Mickey to spring into action by battling his nemesis, rescuing Minnie, and ending the day triumphantly. He was a character that audiences could root for, which was especially popular and welcomed throughout the late '20s and early 1930s, during the Great Depression. Some of Mickey's success also came from his ability to slip into virtually any role in any setting around the world; he could be shown having a date with Minnie in The Picnic, traverse through a jungle island in Castaway, or battle a gruesome giant in Giantland. During this period, regardless of the fact that he was a cartoon character, Mickey was regarded as a cultural celebrity among Hollywood's finest. At the 5th Academy Awards, Mickey received his first nomination for Mickey's Orphans. Walt was even awarded an Honorary Academy Award for the creation of Mickey in 1933. The Disney artists indulged in this by producing Mickey's Gala Premiere in 1933 (which paired Mickey with numerous A-list Hollywood stars). On June 1, 1934, Mickey briefly appeared in Hollywood Party opposite Jimmy Durante. That same year, Mickey made his debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as the third character from pop culture to have a licensed balloon.

Mickey's cast of memorable supporting characters would also grow during the early 1930s, joining the likes of Minnie, Horace and Clarabelle; Pluto first appeared as Mickey's pet dog and sidekick in 1931's The Moose Hunt; Mickey's klutzy friend Goofy followed shortly thereafter in 1932, as did Mickey's hot-tempered foil Donald Duck in 1934.

Mickey Band Concert

Mickey in The Band Concert, his first official cartoon in color.

Walt had taken a gamble on Technicolor for the Silly Symphonies cartoons in 1932. Disney's cartoon, Flowers and Trees, was the first to break this new ground and was a success. This motivated Disney to regularly use color from then on out, though it would take another few years for this to translate into Mickey's cartoons. Mickey's first appearance in color was in 1932's Parade of the Award Nominees, a short created for the 5th Academy Awards banquet. As a result, it was not released to the public. In his first animated appearance in color, Mickey donned green shorts, yellow gloves, and shoes. It wouldn't be until 1935's The Band Concert, that Mickey was given his first official cartoon in color. The short depicted Mickey as the struggling conductor of a public band concert, with such nuisances as Donald Duck and a sudden tornado causing havoc throughout the performance. Despite the breakthrough, two more Mickey cartoons released that year in black and white; the last of which was Mickey's Kangaroo. With the introduction of color, Mickey's body structure 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).

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Mickey in his Fred Moore redesign in The Pointer.

As time went on, Mickey steadily became more of a character that audiences could sympathize with—a role model—mainly to appease unhappy parents who disapproved of Mickey's more controversial and flawed behavior.[21] He was turned into a character that people could laugh with, rather than laugh at. As such, Mickey's mischief and tendency to fall into trouble would be given to characters such as Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto. These characters became more popular as a result, and they were eventually given their own series of cartoons to headline. This also lead to the famous series of comedy shorts pairing Mickey with Donald and Goofy, beginning with 1935's Mickey's Service Station. Unfortunately, this did not come without repercussions. With his mischievous personality having been reduced, stripping a great deal of his comedy and charm, Mickey's cartoons declined in popularity. To remedy this issue, Disney looked to rebrand his most famous character. Fred Moore would be brought on to redesign Mickey to allow a broader range of emotion in the character animation, breaking away from the restricted motion of the Ub Iwerks design. This new look first appeared in 1939's Mickey's Surprise Party, a commercial short. The Pointer—released five months later—is often credited as the true debut of Mickey's modern design, in part for Frank Thomas's animation and Walt Disney's live-action reference and vocal performance. The short even went on to receive an Academy Award nomination.

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Concept art of Mickey as the sorcerer's apprentice.

Furthermore, development began on an elaborate short titled The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Eventually, however, the short for would become attached to a larger project - a full-length feature film - titled Fantasia, which would become Disney's third animated film, following the critical successes of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 and Pinocchio in 1940. Mickey's role in the short, as the eponymous apprentice, would become one of the most recognizable of his career.

After Fantasia, World War II had taken hold of the studio, with many artists and animators being drafted, thus reducing company resources. The studio forcibly put focus on war-related, propaganda cartoons starring most of the headlining characters, with the exception of Mickey. At this time, Mickey would appear in fewer shorts compared to Donald and Goofy, as animators and storymen had an increasingly difficult time developing new and interesting stories for Mickey to star in. Mickey was even omitted from a number of the upcoming "Mickey, Donald, and Goofy" entries, beginning with the release of 1938's Polar Trappers. Some story ideas intended for Mickey would be given to the less-restricted Donald. In a 1978 interview, regular Donald Duck storyman Jack Hannah recalled, "I remember many stories were started with Mickey but as soon as they started to rough the mouse up, somebody would come up and say, 'Well, that's more of a Donald Duck story' so they'd turn around and make it a Donald Duck story."[21] In a 1949 interview, Walt stated, "Mickey's decline was due to his heroic nature. He grew into such a legend that we couldn't gag around with him. He acquired as many taboos as a Western hero—no smoking, no drinking, no violence."

Mickey Mouse did continue to appear in a number of shorts throughout the decade, however; one of which included Lend a Paw, which became the only Mickey Mouse cartoon to date to win an Academy Award, having won for Best Animated Short of 1941. In 1947, Mickey made his second appearance in the Disney animated features canon in Fun and Fancy Free, starring in the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment.

1950-2000

John Hench Mickey Mouse

John Hench's depiction of Mickey in 1953's 25th anniversary portrait.

In the final years of Mickey's original theatrical run, Disney's cartoon shorts were given a "modernized" style of animation that Disney used from the mid-1950s to the later 1960s. Mickey, himself, was given eyebrows in his redesign. Eyebrows would continue to be seen on Mickey's face until the late 1980s and rarely in the early 1990s, until being removed altogether. There were 56 more color cartoons in the original Mickey Mouse theatrical series. The last of which was The Simple Things in 1953, which focused on Mickey and Pluto's day at the beach. Afterward, Mickey's series would receive a thirty-year hiatus. Although he no longer appeared in theatrical cartoons, Mickey would maintain some degree of relevance by remaining the face of the Disney company, specifically in merchandising. In 1953, Disney commemorated Mickey's 25th anniversary with a portrait depicting the mouse by John Hench. This would be the first in a tradition in which the Disney company would commission and release a portrait to coincide with a major anniversary of Mickey's. Hench would paint the portraits for 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2003. Following Hench's death, Paul Felix designed the portrait for 2008, while veteran animator Mark Henn designed the portrait for 2018. The portraits are currently residing at the Walt Disney Archives.

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A 1950s stylized Mickey in the Mickey Mouse Club.

Perhaps most notably in the 1950's, Walt debuted the popular The Mickey Mouse Club television show (with follow-ups of the same name debuting in 1977 and 1989). In relation to Mickey, the show is perhaps most notable for introducing Jimmie Dodd's "Mickey Mouse March", which would go on to become Mickey's trademark theme song. It also marked the first appearance of the iconic Mouse Ear hats that would become staples in Disney theme parks, the first of which—Disneyland—opened the same year in 1995. Mickey was present for Disneyland's opening, and continues to serve as the park's "ambassador" to this day.

On November 18, 1978, in honor of his 50th anniversary, Mickey became the first animated character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star is located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd. That same year, Mickey would appear at the 50th Academy Awards ceremony to help announce the winner for Best Short Film (Animated). Mickey would later go on to appear at the Academy Awards ceremonies of 1988 and 2003.

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Title card artwork featuring Mickey as Bob Cratchit in Mickey's Christmas Carol.

In 1983, Mickey appeared in his first theatrical short since 1953's The Simple Things: Mickey's Christmas Carol, where he played the role of Bob Cratchit, opposite Scrooge McDuck's Ebenezer Scrooge. The short also marked the debut of Wayne Allwine, who would voice Mickey for three decades until his death.

As Mickey's 60th anniversary grew near in the late '80s, there was an initiative to bring classic Disney characters back into the spotlight via animated short productions. Several projects were planned, one of which included 1990's The Prince and the Pauper, which was screened in front of The Rescuers Down Under and featured Mickey starring in the (duo) lead role. Two additional Mickey projects were slated to release around this time, including the featurette Swabbies (1989), and a Christopher Columbus-inspired period piece titled Mickey Columbus (1992). Both cartoons were shelved, however.

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).

In 1995, Mickey starred in a new theatrical cartoon short titled Runaway Brain, where Mickey's brain and body gets switched with that of a monster who falls in love with Minnie. This short was originally screened in front of A Kid in King Arthur's Court.

2000-present

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Promotional artwork of Mickey and Minnie for Mickey Mouse Works.

Mickey and his friends received a major comeback with the premiere of the Mickey Mouse Works series of shorts in 1999, shepherd by Roy E. Disney (son of Roy O. Disney and nephew of Walt). Developed in the style of Disney's golden age of animation, the show was significant in solidifying the aesthetics and environment of the Mickey Mouse franchise; its setting, Disneyville (a city modeled after Mickey's Toontown in Disneyland), would be featured as the quintessential home of Mickey and his supporting cast in all forms of appearances including films, video games, television, and a wide array of marketing material.

When development began for what would become the 2002 video game, Kingdom Hearts, developer Squaresoft wanted Mickey to serve as the game's protagonist—contrast to Disney's request to use Donald Duck. Director Tetsuya Nomura remedied the issue by creating the character Sora, who was inspired by Mickey. Despite only having a brief appearance in the original game, Mickey's role was greatly expanded in later entries to serve as the most significant Disney character in the franchise.

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.

Mickey had appeared in computer animation prior to 2006, but the children's show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse served as his true foray into the art form. The series was incredibly popular amongst younger audiences, and aired new episodes until its conclusion in 2016, ten years later.

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Artwork of Mickey meeting his predecessor Oswald in the Epic Mickey video game series.

In 2009, Mickey reappeared in balloon form in the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, dressed as the captain in Tugboat Mickey. That same year, Disney sought to rebrand the Mickey Mouse character again by putting less emphasis on his pleasant, cheerful side and reintroducing the more mischievous and adventurous aspects of his personality, beginning with the video game Epic Mickey. Though the game received mixed reviews, it was significant as the first onscreen interaction of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

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.

In 2012, Mickey played a silent, supporting role to Minnie in the animated short Electric Holiday, a collaboration between Disney and the Barney's New York fashion industry.

Paul ruddish mickey and minnie

Paul Rudish's redesign of Mickey and Minnie for made-for-TV shorts.

In June 2013, Mickey and his friends were rebranded, once more, with the premiere of a new series of shorts (appropriately titled Mickey Mouse) headed by animator Paul Rudish. In the style of Mickey's earliest cartoons, the shorts highlight Mickey's more flawed personality traits while retaining his likability and wholesomeness. With millions of views on YouTube, the series has garnered major critical acclaim; it has earned numerous Emmy and Annie Awards for its writing, music, and animation. Paul Rudish's take on Mickey has since been featured significantly in different facets of the Disney company, including theme parks, merchandise and social media outlets. Rudish's Mickey also serves as the current mascot of Disney Television Animation.

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Mickey and Minnie in Get a Horse!

According to animation director Lauren MacMullan, there was a company-wide initiative to come up with ideas for classic Disney characters. MacMullan looked to the Ub Iwerks era of animation for ideas, and this would eventually become Get A Horse! (released on November 27, 2013). In the short, Mickey is knocked out of the 2D world by Pete, who has once again kidnapped Minnie. With help from Horace Horsecollar, Mickey battles Pete to rescue Minnie, all the while being trapped in the 3D world. Get a Horse! was screened theatrically in front of Frozen, and featured archival recordings of Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse. It also earned Mickey his tenth Academy Award nomination.

To celebrate his birthday in 2016, Mickey was sent to various locations around the world (such as Brazil, Peru, Italy and China) where he interacted with locals and the culture. An original song titled "What We Got" by Tony Ferrari was released to coincide with the tour. Similarly in 2017, Disney sought out some of Mickey's biggest fans of all ages from around the globe, interviewed them regarding their love for Mickey, then capped everything off with a surprise meet-and-greet with Mickey himself.

Mickey90 Art

Art depicting Mickey's 90th anniversary.

2018 marked Mickey's 90th anniversary; Disney launched a company-wide celebration dubbed "Mickey: The True Original", which highlighted Mickey's impact on pop-culture since his inception in Steamboat Willie. On November 4th, ABC aired Mickey's 90th Spectacular, a two hour long television special centering Mickey's career. The gala included tributes, musical numbers and celebrity guest stars. From November 8th to February 10, 2019, New York City hosted a pop-up art exhibit dedicated to Mickey. The exhibit consists of ten interactive rooms and displays artists' recreations of various Mickey moments from over the years, as well as archived Mickey material such as concept art and merchandise. Similar exhibits were opened in Seoul, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Dubai and South Africa. Exclusive Mickey-themed merchandise from major brands such as Beats by Dre, Pandora and Vans were also released. There was also a book released called Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History, a large 496 page encyclopedia of Mickey's history from 1928 to the present.

In 2020, Walt Disney World will debut the first Mickey Mouse-themed attraction in the parks' history with Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway—based on Paul Rudish's shorts.

Film appearances

Fantasia

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Mickey in his first feature film, Fantasia.

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/animated 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. 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 greatest 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 become 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.

Fun and Fancy Free

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Mickey in Mickey and the Beanstalk.

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, which Donald in a fit of anger threw out of the house. The beans then grew into a beanstalk that led to the castle of Willie the Giant who is the kidnapper of the Harp. 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.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas

Mickey in Once Upon a Christmas

Mickey in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas.

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 exchanges the gifts and it turns out that Minnie traded her watch for a case for Mickey's harmonica. The couple then realizes that each other are all the gifts they'll ever need. In the finale, Mickey and Minnie join the other characters for Christmas carols.

Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers

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Mickey in Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers.

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 kidnapped 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 is dubbed royal musketeers.

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas

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Mickey in Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas.

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 three animatronic Santa Claus figures, a moving train set around the Christmas tree, and much more. While on the phone with Minnie, Pluto accidentally ruins the decorations, especially knocking down the Christmas tree. 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 a 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.

Other films

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Mickey's cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

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 Oliver & Company, Fagin was shown to have a Mickey Mouse watch.

In The Little Mermaid, Mickey made a cameo with his friends, 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 three cameo appearances in A Goofy Movie, first seen in the audience of students at Max's high school's assembly, then hitchhiking with Donald Duck during the song "On the Open Road", and finally as a member of the crowd at the Powerline concert. A Mickey Mouse phone was also seen in Max's bedroom. Mickey is also mentioned during the climatic events of An Extremely Goofy Movie.

In Toy Story, a Mickey Mouse wall clock can be seen in Andy's bedroom.

Steamboat Willie's Mickey makes a cameo appearance as a transformation of Genie's in Aladdin and the King of Thieves.

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Mickey with James Levine in Fantasia 2000.

In Fantasia 2000, Mickey starred in the same short, as well as a brief live-action/animation scene with James Levine to introduce Donald and Daisy's segment, Pomp and Circumstance.

Mickey makes a cameo in the end credits of the Teacher's Pet film. He is shown posing with the Helperman family in a photo of a trip they took to Walt Disney World.

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 Chicken Little, Melvin was shown to have a three-eyed Mickey Mouse watch.

In Wreck-It Ralph, a billboard with artwork of Mickey can be seen in the background of Litwak's Arcade.

In Frozen, a Mickey plush can be seen in the stocks of Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna whilst Princess Anna is gathering her winter wear.

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."

In Zootopia, a plush of Mickey is seen in a stroller passing Nick Wilde and Finnick.

In Ralph Breaks the Internet, he appears with his sorcerer outfit at the top of the Disney Animation pavilion at the Oh My Disney website. A plush of Mickey is later seen in a shelf on a quiz-taking girl's bedroom.

Television shows

Walt Disney anthology series

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Mickey in Mickey's 60th Birthday.

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 around 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.

The Mickey Mouse Club

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Mickey in a Mickey Mouse Club opening segment.

Mickey was the mascot of the daily show and featured prominently in the opening theme song, donning a marching band outfit while being celebrated by a slew of his supporting cast—with the exception of an envious Donald Duck, who is instead trying to steal the spotlight.

Throughout the week, an animated segment featuring Mickey kicked off each episode by greeting the Mouseketeer audience and calling the cue to start the show, to the tune of classic Disney songs. On Monday and Tuesday, Mickey appeared as a concert pianist ("A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes") and a vaudevillian actor ("Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah"), respectively. On Wednesday and Thursday, he was the sorcerer's apprentice ("The Siamese Cat Song") and a trombone-playing band leader ("Following the Leader"). Finally, on Friday, he was a cowboy with a western drawl ("Pecos Bill"). Walt Disney reprised his role as Mickey for these animations, partially as a way to prove that he could still pull off the voice.

The Mouse Factory

Mickey made recurring appearances in the live-action wrap-around skits alongside the other costumed characters and celebrity guests.

Mickey Mouse Works

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Mickey with Pluto in Mickey Mouse Works.

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.

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. He was also reunited with his rival, Mortimer Mouse, for the first time in animation since "Mickey's Rival"; the two would regularly clash throughout the series, beginning in "Mickey's Rival Returns".

House of Mouse

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Mickey as the host of House of Mouse.

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 Mouse Clubhouse

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Mickey, as he appears in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

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 appeared in the Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving-themed episodes of Minnie's Bow-Toons.

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse Paul Ruddish

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 1920s and 1930s. 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 and the Roadster Racers

Mickey appears in the animated series, where he and his friends live in a town called Hot Dog Hills, which prides itself in its recurring racing tournaments. Mickey is the head of a local auto garage commanded by himself alongside Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, and Dale. Mickey's transforming roadster is known as the "Hot Diggity Hot Rod," which in daily driver mode, is the Clubhouse Toon Car from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Other 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 and Donald appear as statues in the sculptor's cart at one point in the Adventures of the Gummi Bears episode "The Sinister Sculptor".

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.

In the anime series Stitch!, Hidden Mickeys are a common running gag in many episodes. In "Stitch, Going to Tokyo Disneyland", Gantu mistook Mickey's likeness for Dr. Hamsterviel.

A Mickey Mouse plush can be seen in Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice.

In the 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 also inspired the apprentice character who was, at one point, turned into a mouse.

In the DuckTales episode Moonvasion! It as revealed that while Donald Duck was stranded on a deserted island, he shaped a watermelon into Mickey Mouse's head and would talk to it, ALA Wilson in the 2000 film Castaway. He even pretended it talked back to him when he talked to himself, doing a perfect Mickey Mouse impersonation.

Printed material

Comics

Mickey's first comic panel

Mickey in the very first panel of his newspaper comic strip.

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 was 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.

Kingdom Keepers

Although Mickey never made an appearance in the Kingdom Keepers books, 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). It is eventually learned that his original sketch was torn apart and scattered to keep the Overtakers from finding it, leading to him vanishing.

Video games

Main article: Mickey Mouse in video games
Mickey KHIII

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.

Mickey is also a major character in the Kingdom Hearts series, taking the role of a king of his world, Disney Castle. However, he is not the protagonist, though does assist the protagonists, being his fellow Keyblade bearers, from time to time.

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.

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.[59] 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. In 2.0 a crystal version of his Sorcerers's apprentice character was made.

Disney Parks

Mickey's New Look Disney 2016

Mickey, posing for a photo in Disneyland.

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.

A number of the Disney parks feature a "Partners" statue, which depicts Mickey and Walt Disney holding hands as the partners responsible for bringing Disneyland to life.

At the entrance to Disneyland, Magic Kingdom and a few other parks is the Floral Mickey structure, which is an homage to Mickey made entirely of flowers.

Disneyland

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.

Walt Disney World

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, 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 and Minnie's Runaway Railway, the first ever ride-through attraction based around Mickey Mouse, is set to open in 2019. The family-friendly dark ride is inspired by the Emmy-Award winning shorts seen on Disney Channel.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, Mickey hosts meet-and-greets alongside Minnie inside the Adventurers' Outpost on Discovery Island.

At Epcot, Mickey greets guests alongside Minnie, Goofy, and Baymax inside Epcot Character Spot at Innoventions.

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.

Disneyland Paris

In Disneyland Park (Paris) 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!. Mickey also stars in the Disney Illuminations fireworks show, which showcases Mickey traversing through various Disney films.

Tokyo Disney Resort

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 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.

Hong Kong Disneyland

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.

Shanghai Disneyland

The opening of Shanghai Disneyland in 2016 saw the unveiling of Mickey's new facial design, which has a more "animated" appearance. The costume was thusly incorporated into the Florida, Paris, and California parks, thereafter.

As far as appearances, Mickey can be seen in Mickey's Storybook Express, and also stars in the Ignite the Dream fireworks show, which showcases Mickey traversing through various Disney films.

Disney Cruise Line

Mickey frequently makes appearances for meet-and-greets onboard the Disney Cruise Line ships.

Mickey is also part 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 silhouette 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

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has an article focusing on the relationships of Mickey Mouse.

Filmography

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a listing of the appearances by Mickey Mouse.

Gallery

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The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Mickey Mouse.

Trivia

  • 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.
  • Mickey's ears are always round, no matter which direction he is facing.
    • This was the case in the original Kingdom Hearts as well, but was not carried over into future games.
    • In "Clarabelle's Big Secret", Mickey confessed that he regularly has his ears starched to keep them round.
  • 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. There have also been instances where Mickey is taller than Donald, as was the case in their first cartoon together, Orphan's Benefit.
  • During the 1930s, the Disney Studios had received numerous mail from fans asking to visit "where Mickey Mouse lived". This gave Walt the idea to build what was essentially described as Mickey's home—a small park across from the studio that would feature attractions and statues of Mickey and other Disney characters. The park was dubbed "Mickey Mouse Park". Though the original idea never came to be, the concept evolved into what would eventually become Disneyland.[60]
  • Also during the 1930s, 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." As of right now, the couple is childless, although Mickey's Nightmare depicts them having 21 children in Mickey's dream. A short clip from their wedding is also in Mickey's dream as well.
  • Hidden Mickeys are a common Easter Egg found in Disney films, shows and park attractions. They are silhouettes of Mickey's head, made up of three circles. One of the first Hidden Mickeys was three bubbles that made up Mickey's head in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Although Mickey's full name was said to be Michel Mouse in the cartoons, according to the comic La planète des cerveaux ("The Brain Planet"), published in Le Journal de Mickey #2829, Mickey's full name is Michael Theodore Mouse. In some shorts in the 1930s, he even occasionally signed documents with the name Michael Mouse. Michel is the French spelling of the name Michael.
    • In the Mickey Mouse cartoon, "The Fancy Gentleman", he is addressed as Michel Francois Mouse by Wadsworth Thorndyke III.
  • 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.
  • Being the company mascot and all, many variations of Mickey's silhouette logo have been made such as the Disney Channel, Toon Disney (although this channel wouldn’t have a logo similar to Mickey's silhouette logo until 2004), and Playhouse Disney logos, and more.
  • 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.
  • Mickey is usually shown to have magic powers, mainly with the Sorcerer Hat of Yen Sid. It has also been shown that Mickey can control magic without aid—usually in the form of parlor tricks, as was the case in Magician Mickey and "Potatoland".
  • As mentioned above, 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". This is to reflect the fact that Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse are essentially the same person.
  • 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 one frame when he transformed from a kitten to a tiger again.
  • The original Epic Mickey game showcases Mickey having a certain degree of superhuman strength, being able to break out of metal restrictions.
  • Mickey's Social Security number is 746-55-2769, as seen in Runaway Brain.
  • 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 and Jerry fame and was animated by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, who were still making Tom and Jerry cartoons at the time.
  • In The Wiggles: Live at Disneyland, Mickey ,as a mascot, discovered Australia's children performers The Wiggles who were in a Toontown cable car.
  • Most of the black-and-white Mickey Mouse cartoons were colorized three times:
    • In the late 1960s, a bootleg print of Mickey's Follies mistakenly thought to be in the public domain was part of a package of redrawn cartoons produced by Radio & Television Packagers. This method of colorizing involved tracing almost every frame, coloring them in, shooting the frames over colorized copies of the backgrounds, and in some cases adding new music over a silent film print - making for a stiff, low-quality final product.
    • In 1984, when contemplating a deal with CBS to air their cartoons on Saturday mornings, the Walt Disney Company sent more than ten shorts to Entercolor Technologies to get redrawn. Although this deal did not work out, clips of these versions would be shown elsewhere, like on some DTV music videos and the television special Totally Minnie.
    • In 1990, American Film Technologies (under a deal with Disney) did computer-colorized versions of approximately 47 Mickey shorts, which 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.[61]
  • Co-producer of the 2017 series DuckTales, Frank Angones, campaigned to have Mickey make an appearance in the series, or at the very least be mentioned. However, Disney executives forbade the team from using Mickey in the show, thus any ideas involving him were denied.[62]
    • Mickey would eventually be referenced in the episode "Moonvasion!", in which a Mickey-shaped watermelon appears as Donald's imaginary companion. Furthermore, Chris Diamantopoulos provided the voice for Donald's ventriloquism of the melon.
  • In 2018, a floral structure of Mickey was added to the Miracle Garden in Dubai in honor of his 90th birthday.[63]
  • In the fall of 1978, NBC originally aired Mickey Mouse cartoons on the Wonderful World of Disney block for his 50th birthday, 5 years before Disney Channel was launched in 1983.
    1. 1.0 1.1 "Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse! Fun facts about everyone's favorite mouse". ABC News. (November 17, 2017)

  • "Mickey Mouse : World's Most Famous Rodent Nears 60, and He's Had More Lives Than a Cat". LA Times. (November 13, 1988)
  • Honorary Academy Award to Walt Disney for the creation of Mickey Mouse
  • For Lend a Paw
  • For Mickey's Orphans, Building a Building, Brave Little Tailor, The Pointer, Squatter's Rights, Mickey and the Seal, Mickey's Christmas Carol, Runaway Brain, and Get a Horse!
  • Spotlight Talk Recap: The Latin America Tour
  • To Wayne Allwine for Best Recording For Children (Mickey's Christmas Carol, 1977)
  • To Chris Diamantopoulos for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Mickey Mouse, 2014)
  • To Chris Diamantopoulos for Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production (Mickey Mouse, 2014 and 2018)
  • 10.0 10.1 Symphony Hour
  • "Mickey and the Culture Clash"
  • Description from the 1938 Disney Christmas card featured "Monsieur Michel Mousse"
  • The Fancy Gentleman
  • Lonesome Ghosts
  • Mickey's Kangaroo
  • Mickey's Elephant
  • Mickey's Surprise Party
  • Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Bonus Features - Easter egg
  • Mickey Mouse to Star in New Cartoon Shorts with Classic Comedy, Contemporary Flair
  • Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Bonus Features - Frank and Ollie... and Mickey
  • 21.0 21.1 21.2 "Mickey Mouse : World's Most Famous Rodent Nears 60, and He's Had More Lives Than a Cat". (November 13, 1988)
  • He's a Knock-Out!
  • "Mickey's First Love: Minnie". Walt Disney Family Museum. (February 14, 2013)
  • "Gulliver Mickey"
  • "Disney Character Training - Mickey Mouse". YouTube. (March 18, 2017)
  • "Mickey's Airplane Kit"
  • Epic Mickey
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • "Stayin' Cool"
  • "Mickey's Piano Lesson"
  • "Rent Day"
  • Runaway Brain
  • "Hickory Dickory Mickey"
  • "Goofy's Grandma"
  • Mickey's Good Deed
  • The Klondike Kid
  • "Mickey's Cabin"
  • "Daisy's Road Trip"
  • "Third Wheel"
  • Get A Horse!
  • Magician Mickey
  • "Mickey's April Fools"
  • Mickey's Dog-Gone Christmas
  • The Band Concert
  • http://www.intanibase.com/shorts.aspx?shortID=214&studioID=1
  • http://www.disneyshorts.org/shorts.aspx?shortID=214
  • 47.0 47.1 https://www.mouseplanet.com/9360/A_New_Mouse_Voice_In_Town
  • https://www.mouseplanet.com/8820/Mickey_Mouse_Theater_of_the_Air
  • 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
  • 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
  • Selling Mickey: The Rise of Disney Marketing
  • WHEN MICKEY’S CAREER TURNED A PAGE
  • "Today in Disney History: Mickey’s Comic Debut". Disney Parks Blog. (January 13, 2015)
  • Welcome Mickey and Minnie
  • [https://www.waltdisney.org/blog/disneyland-quintessential-classics-mickey-mouse Disneyland, The Quintessential Classics: Mickey Mouse!]
  • "Comic Q&A: Ask The Professionals", The Old Haunt: A Darkwing Duck forum
  • Mickey Mouse in 2017's DuckTales
  • "Dubai Miracle Garden unveils Mickey Mouse tribute display". Arabian Buisness. (March 9, 2018)
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