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“Gosh, Minnie, you've always been a princess to me.”
Minnie Mouse is an animated, anthropomorphic mouse character created by Walt Disney. She is the girlfriend of Mickey Mouse, and first appeared alongside him in the short Steamboat Willie in 1928. Minnie is sweet in nature and widely recognized for her large collection of big bows of different colors that sit atop her head. Though her character was initially conceptualized as a mere love interest, Minnie was expanded into a more independent and dynamic character over the years.
“Just imagine... He'll stride into the room; a light will glow from him. I'll hear music, he'll bring me flowers and he'll sweep me off my feet! And, I'll know he's the one when he makes me laugh.”
―Minnie dreamily fantasizing of her dream lover; giving an example of her romantic personality.[src]
Minnie is classy, cheerful, and feminine. She is filled to the brim with love and affection, sweet to nearly everyone she comes across, and can typically see the beauty in most things. Minnie's kindness is sometimes exploited by other characters, but Minnie values her good-natured spirit, as it often brings happiness to others, and is something she strives to accomplish regularly. She is quite empathetic in this regard, to the point where she'll take someone else's problems and seek to rectify it herself, even if that someone may be her enemy.
Intelligent and sophisticated, Minnie often serves as the "voice-of-reason" amongst her friends, specifically in House of Mouse. In the series, Minnie has repeatedly taken charge of hectic situations, usually as a result of Mickey's inability to handle too much pressure, despite being the co-owner of the club. This is so much the case, that Minnie became notably offended when Mickey believed she couldn't handle a task as mundane as traversing through the club's basement (granted, an extremely large basement). Minnie is capable, and even when serving as the "damsel in distress" under the hands of the villainous Pete, Minnie would often retaliate if given the chance, thus assisting Mickey in taking down the villain and saving the day. In the series Mickey Mouse, Minnie would sometimes fall into trouble, to which Mickey would go out of his way to rescue her — by time he finds her, however, he learns that she was able to handle the situation herself.
Minnie is not without her foibles, however. She can be passive at times, which forces her to deal with an excessive amount of tomfoolery at the hands of her friends. She can also be extremely stubborn and doesn't take orders (or even advice) from anyone, always going by her own rules and doing what she believes is best. Though this is a positive trait in that it makes her independent and confident, it also leads her to act rash and compulsive, at least until she realizes the troubles she's caused.
Minnie is also outspoken when dealing with adversaries. She is intolerant toward any kind of rudeness or bullying, especially when the bullying is related to misogynistic and prejudice viewpoints. And while she can be passive at times, Minnie also has her limits; she has lost her temper numerous times on Daisy for her diva attitude and Mickey for his occasional selfishness. Her aggression is also on regular display when Mortimer Mouse is involved, as she'll gladly make a fool out of the rodent for his constant harassment.
To her core, Minnie is a lover — of life, nature, her friends, and most significantly Mickey, who serves not only as her boyfriend but also her best friend. As she believes in the "true love" commonly found in fairy tales, Minnie is rather dreamy and whimsical (contrary to her more no-nonsense side), something she is completely unapologetic for.
Minnie's trademark outfit is usually a dress revealing her white bloomers with a large matching bow and high heel shoes that all are one color (depending on the cartoon). Like Mickey and Goofy, Minnie also wears white gloves for fashion. Her outfit is sometimes red with white polka dots, other times it has been a blue outfit with a pink bow and shoes. In earlier cartoons, she wore a pillbox hat with a flower in place of her bow. In some cartoons, Minnie wore only a skirt, bow, bloomers, and her high heels.
In 1928, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created Mickey Mouse to act as a replacement for his previous star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But Mickey could not fill the void alone. In Plane Crazy, released on May 15, 1928, Minnie and Mickey take a flight on the latter's makeshift aircraft. In during which, Mickey repeatedly tries to romance Minnie but she politely refuses these particular advances.
The next film featuring the couple was The Gallopin' Gaucho. It was the second of their series to be produced but only the third to be released on March 14, 1929. In it, Minnie was employed as the barmaid and dancer of Cantina Argentina, a bar and restaurant established in the pampas of Argentina. She performs the tango for Mickey the gaucho and Black Pete the outlaw. Both flirt with her but the latter intends to abduct her while the former obliges in saving the "damsel in distress" from the villain. All three characters acted as strangers first being introduced to each other.
They appear together again in Steamboat Willie, the third short of the series to be produced but released first on November 18, 1928. Pete was featured as the captain of the steamboat, Mickey as a crew of one and Minnie as their single passenger.
The commercial success of Steamboat Willie helped introduce Mickey and Minnie into the audience. Twelve more films featuring Mickey were produced in 1929, but Minnie only co-starred in seven of them and was mentioned in an eighth.
The first of them was The Barn Dance, first released on December 30, 1928. Minnie stands at the center of attention as Mickey and Pete rival each other in order to win her favor. Both offer to pick her up for the dance but she chooses Pete's newly purchased automobile over Mickey's horse-cart. When the automobile breaks down she resorts to going with Mickey. The latter proves a clumsy dancing partner, repeatedly stepping on her feet, and so she turns to Pete again. She is surprised when Mickey asks for another dance and seems to be light on his feet. However, she is disgusted when Pete points that his rival had placed a balloon in his shorts. She resumed dancing with Pete while Mickey is reduced to crying on the dance floor. Minnie proves to be rather demanding as a partner in a romantic relationship. Mickey obviously has yet to claim her as his girlfriend by this point.
The Opry House, first released on March 28, 1929, was the first short to feature Mickey but not Minnie. A poster, however, mentions Minnie as being a member of the "Yankee Doodle Girls". This later group of female performers remained as unseen characters and were apparently short-lived. Minnie appears again in When the Cat's Away, first released on April 11, 1929. She is attending a party with Mickey along with several other mice. The short was unusual in the depiction of Mickey and Minnie with the size and part of the behavior common in regular mice. The set standard both before and after this short was to depict them as having the size of a rather short human being.
Minnie was seen again in The Plowboy, first released on May 9, 1929, where she is featured as a farm girl and gets Mickey to milk her cow Clarabelle for her. When Mickey presents her with a bucket full of milk and proceeds to kiss her, Minnie answers by knocking the bucket on his head. This in front of his horse Horace Horsecollar who is just making his debut. Minnie obviously was not very appreciative of Mickey's affection at the time.
Their attempt at farming life would prove short-lived. Their next appearance in The Karnival Kid (May 23, 1929) cast Mickey as a hot dog vendor and Minnie as a carnival "shimmy" Dancer. Minnie then appears as a fiddle player in Mickey's Choo-Choo (June 26, 1929).
Her next appearance was arguably more significant. Mickey's Follies (June 26, 1929), featured the first performance of the song "Minnie's Yoo Hoo". "The guy they call little Mickey Mouse" for the first time addresses an audience to explain that he has "Got a sweetie" who is "Neither fat nor skinny" and proudly proclaims that "She's my little Minnie Mouse". Mickey then proceeds in explaining his reaction to Minnie's call. The song firmly establishes Mickey and Minnie as a couple and expresses the importance Minnie holds for her partner. The song would go on to become the theme song for their series as well as the theme to a Disney prime-time television series, The Mouse Factory and Mickey Mouse Works (which also featured the song as a recurring theme in many of its shorts).
Minnie would appear in a number of shorts throughout the 1930's, co-starring alongside Mickey. In 1935, she appeared in the short On Ice, which was her first appearance in a color cartoon. The 1938 short The Fox Hunt was the final appearance of Minnie's early, Ub Iwerks design in the original theatrical run.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Minnie was redesigned alongside Mickey, given full eyes, a pear-shaped body as opposed her round body in previous shorts, and a cream face replacing the white tone previously used. The first short to show Minnie's new design was 1939's Mickey's Surprise Party, which was one of the few theatrical shorts that focused more on Minnie than Mickey.
Around this time, Mickey became less of a rascally adventurer, and more of an Everyman character. As this shift in personality became increasingly utilized by Walt Disney and the animators, Minnie's significance would start to diminish. She would continue to appear sporadically as either Mickey's love interest or a supporting character that sets the plot for other characters such as Pluto and Figaro (who famously became her pet cat after his popular demand grew from the 1940 animated feature, Pinocchio). Her last appearance in the original theatrical run of Disney animated shorts would be a brief cameo at the end of 1952's Pluto's Christmas Tree. In the following decades, Minnie would make occasional appearances on Walt Disney's television series and at the Disneyland theme park (and later Walt Disney World) as a mascot alongside Mickey.
After a long hiatus from animation, Minnie would reappear in Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983, though in an extremely minor role as Bob Cratchit's (played by Mickey) wife.
In 1988, Minnie was given her first starring role in the television special, Totally Minnie. This also marked the debut of Russi Taylor, who would go on to voice Minnie for decades. She also made brief appearances in the television special Mickey's 60th Birthday. Also in 1988, Minnie made a non-speaking appearance as a guest at the 60th Academy Awards ceremony, sitting alongside Donald and Daisy as Mickey announces the winner of Best Animated Short.
In 1995, Minnie played a more significant role as the co-star in Runaway Brain. In the short, a monstrous creature called Julius fell for her, forcing Mickey to come to her rescue.
1999 saw the television premiere of Mickey Mouse Works, which gave Minnie her first starring role in standalone cartoons.
Minnie was given a starring role in the 2012 animated short, Electric Holiday. In this story, Minnie spotted a beautiful dress in a store window, and this lead to a daydream where Minnie envisions herself as a prospering supermodel living in the city of Paris.
In 2013, Minnie appeared in the theatrical short Get A Horse!, where she had to be rescued by Mickey after being kidnapped by the villainous Pete. The short utilized a combination of archived dialogue from Marcellite Garner and new dialogue courtesy of Russi Taylor. Also in 2013, a new series of Mickey Mouse shorts premiered, with several episodes starring Minnie in her own solo cartoons.
On January 23, 2016, Minnie served as the inspiration for the "Rock the Dots" art and fashion show, taking place in Downtown Los Angeles, California. To coincide with National Polka Dot Day, the interactive exhibit celebrated the aesthetics of Minnie's signature look by displaying an array of apparel designed by various artists around the world, all inspired by Minnie.
On September 27, 2016, Disney released The Art of Minnie Mouse, a book centering Minnie that features reinterpretations of her character design courtesy of various Disney artists, designers, illustrators, and animators from around the world. The book also features an extensive look at Minnie's filmography with a visual timeline.
On June 22, 2017, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Minnie Mouse will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018, forty years after Mickey, and on the year of her 90th anniversary. The star was implemented on January 22, 2018, and is located at 6835 Hollywood Boulvard in front of the El Capitan Theatre. President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Leron Gubler, also declared January 22nd as "Minnie Mouse Day" in Hollywood, to further honor the character.
In Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, Minnie is Mickey's hard-working girlfriend who, despite her hard work, is in debt with bills and tries not to let Mickey know. She works a large store owned by Mortimer Mouse. She plans to use her Christmas bonus to buy a gift for Mickey, but she ends up receiving a fruitcake. She ends up trading her prized watch for a case for Mickey's beloved harmonica, but Mickey trades his harmonica for a chain for Minnie's watch. In the end, though, they realize their love is enough and they enjoy Christmas together.
In the 2004 direct-to-video movie Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Minnie plays the role of the princess of France, who continually daydreams about her true love, Mickey. She's also the only monarch getting in the way of the plans of Pete, who can't take over the kingdom if he cannot get rid of her. Interestingly, for this particular film, Minnie is drawn with hair bangs, which do not appear in any later cartoons.
In this film, Princess Minnie wants nothing more than to find her true love, however, she must put this dream on hold after she escapes a murder plot by the Beagle Boys. She demands that her captain of the musketeers Pete, find her bodyguards. Unknowing to Minnie, Pete is the mastermind behind the murder plot and desires to rule France as king. To avoid a threat to his plan, Pete hires three janitors, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, to be the musketeer bodyguards, believing they'll do a terrible job. Minnie quickly falls in love with Mickey. After being rescued from a kidnapping scheme, Mickey and Minnie embrace their forbidden love on an evening date across the kingdom. That night, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are kidnapped by Pete and his minions. The next night, Minnie and Daisy head over to the Grand Opera. There, she learns Pete's plans and is captured. However, over the course of the show, Minnie and Daisy are rescued. Minnie dubs the trio royal musketeers and presumably marries Mickey afterward.
In Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, Minnie and Daisy enter an ice skating competition. While excited, Minnie is concerned with the fact that she may not be as good as the other contestants. Minnie begins her performance, with the alligators from Fantasia to assist her, and is quickly praised. Daisy becomes jealous and jumps in to steal the spotlight. To further her performance, Daisy has the hippos from Fantasia to assists her. A rival battle follows. Eventually, Daisy pulls off an impressive stunt. Minnie decides to do her own but injures herself in the process. Daisy rushes to her side to comfort her friend. They make up and finish the performance together in a grand finale.
In Mickey and Pluto's segment, Minnie hopes Mickey decides to pull off a simple Christmas party instead of overdoing it like he does every year. When Pluto goes missing, Minnie is the first to be notified. She takes the news to her friends including Scrooge McDuck who volunteers to buy a snow plow company to search the city for Pluto. Minnie, Scrooge, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Max, Huey, Dewey, and Louie spend the entire day searching in the snow plow. In the end, they reach Mickey's house where Pluto has been found. They all enter the house to sing a carol and celebrate their Christmas.
Although Minnie did not officially appear in Fun and Fancy Free, a scene with her, as Happy Valley's queen, was planned to be included in the Mickey and the Beanstalk segment before the decision was made to drop it from the film. In the scene, Mickey came before her to sell her his cow and in exchange, she gave him the magic beans.
In the live-action/animated hybrid film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Minnie made a small non-speaking cameo appearance at the very end of the film with Mickey and a crowd of many other cartoon characters.
In Mickey Mouse Works, she finally appeared in her own segments and cartoons. Here, she is portrayed as Mickey's intelligent, mature, and beloved girlfriend. Occasionally, she starred in the "Maestro Minnie" shorts, and she dressed in a tuxedo, in which she conducts an orchestra of living instruments that she usually has to tame. In most of her starring cartoons, Minnie would be paired up with Daisy who, in contrast to her, is very wacky and talkative. Some of her other cartoons would involve her getting into her own mischief such as when she accidentally turned Pluto's fur purple with dye. When she appeared in Mickey's cartoons, she was often the main subject with Mickey usually trying to find grand ways to impress her. She was also the focus in most cartoons with Mortimer Mouse. She also co-starred with Mickey in his short segments "Mickey to the Rescue" where she plays the role of some of her early cartoons: getting kidnapped by Pete, taken to his lair, and being rescued by Mickey.
In House of Mouse, Minnie is in charge of planning the show and the club's bookkeeper. Her outfit, black and white undershirt with a skirt and with boots and a purple bow on her ear. She is often annoyed by Clarabelle's gossip, Daisy's wackiness, and Mickey's mischief. Minnie is often responsible for saving the club in times of crises using her cool and rational personality to calm things down.
Minnie also appears in Mickey's House of Villains. In it, Minnie is worried about the large number of villains in the club on Halloween night, thinking that they might be up to something, but Mickey isn't worried about it. Unfortunately, Minnie is correct and the club is taken over by the Disney Villains. During their reign, Minnie threatens the leader Jafar to leave the club and change it back to normal, but this backfires when Captain Hook throws her out. After Mickey saves the day, Minnie and the others celebrate.
Minnie also appears in the children's television series, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Minnie is part of the clubhouse pals and Mickey's girlfriend. Like other appearances, Minnie enjoys cooking, gardening, singing, and dancing. Minnie also has an alter-ego known as Detective Minnie famous for solving mysteries in the clubhouse. Detective Minnie often teams up with Daisy's alias Secret Spy Daisy to solve major issues. Together they're known as The Friendship Team. Minnie has become the star of the most recent of the show's specials most notably Minnie's Bowtique where she opens a boutique selling all forms of bows.
Minnie is also the central character of Minnie's Bow-Toons. Here, Minnie and Daisy open a store selling all types of bows. They are accompanied by her kitten Figaro, Minnie's nieces Millie and Melody, and a living cuckoo clock figure named Coca Loca. Like her previous television role, Minnie wears a pink dress with white polka dots, white bloomers, pink heels, and pink bow also with white polka dots. Minnie's skills with bows have also been used to solve problems for her friends. At the end of every short, Minnie states the store policy: "There's no business like bow business!"
Along with the rest of the gang, Minnie returns in the animated series. Like many of Mickey's classic shorts of the 1920s and 1930s, Minnie proves to be the driving force of some of Mickey's wacky adventures. She is the only character to star in her own shorts without even the presence or mention of Mickey. The song "Minnie's Yoo Hoo" serves as Minnie's theme throughout the series, and more specifically in her standalone episodes.
She played her first active role in "Cable Car Chaos", where she and Mickey are exploring San Francisco until a runaway cable car spoils the day, forcing Minnie to save herself and the other passengers.
Minnie plays her first role as the protagonist in "Eau de Minnie", where a special perfume Minnie obsesses over enchants the entire city.
She would play another lead role as a Dutch mouse in "Clogged", where she must fix her broken windmill in order to generate water for her garden.
Minnie also stars, alongside Pluto, in the episode "Doggone Biscuits", where she recklessly feeds the latter a bag of fattening dog treats despite Mickey's warnings, resulting in Pluto becoming massive in weight. For the remainder of the episode, Minnie tries to restore Pluto's health and figure. She also reveals that she used to be overweight herself before going into a sauna.
In "Sock Burglar", Minnie took the lead by appointing herself responsible for uncovering a mysterious series of thefts involving missing socks. She turns herself into a detective, and later a ninja, eventually discovering the thief to be Pete.
In "No Reservations", Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle butt heads with a snooty maître'd, who viewed the trio as too uncultured to be allowed entry into his restaurant, despite Minnie having made reservations far in advance.
In the series, Minnie is an employee of Mickey's local car garage in Hot Dog Hills. Her transforming roadster is known as "Pink Thunder", which was designed to pay tribute to her bow. Outside of the races, Minnie and Daisy star in their own series of exploits as they try to run the "Happy Helpers" hotline business.
In The Mickey Mouse Club, Minnie was seen in the animated opening of the series alongside Daisy in go-go boots.
In the Mickey Mouse comics, Minnie plays key roles, much like in her animated appearances.
Minnie appears as a character in the comic series, as usual playing the role of Mickey's love interest. In the comics, she is a sorceress and princess whose people were turned to stone, leading her to seek a magical gemstone to restore them. In her quest, she partners with Daisy and Clarabelle as Team Diamond Moon, eventually meeting Mickey's group.
Minnie appears in the fourth book, Power Play. Here, she along with Pluto, help Finn and Amanda to get to Tom Sawyer Island. She knocks out a pirate guard and navigates the raft in order to get to the island. When asked about Mickey, she seems sad, suggesting something bad happened to him.
Minnie and Mickey are optional protagonists in the PC game. Should the player choose Minnie, she must traverse through the city of Disneyville to find and rescue Mickey, who has been kidnapped by Pete in his plot to usurp him as mayor. Should the player choose Mickey, the roles of the two would reverse, though the plot remains the same.
Minnie can be found strolling in the Minnie's Melodyland playground. She also has her own Trolley Game called "Match Minnie". The players must correctly copy some dance moves Minnie makes by pressing the arrow keys. The fastest player wins the round. Minnie can be found in old Disney shows also.
In the Kingdom Hearts series, Minnie is the queen of Disney Castle, a world of classic Disney characters with Mickey as its king. When Mickey disappears in the first game, at Mickey's request, she sends Donald and Goofy to find him. She also sends Jiminy Cricket to accompany them, and she ruled the kingdom during the King's absence.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Maleficent and Pete use a special door to threaten Disney Castle by changing the past in Timeless River. Minnie finds a solution in Sora, Donald, and Goofy, who go to the Timeless River and undo the changes done. During the end credits, Minnie is finally reunited with Mickey when he returns.
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, a past incarnation of Minnie is found in the Country of Musketeers, where she is the princess taken hostage by Pete. She has a similar role to the film, but this time she is rescued by Sora, Riku, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. In the real world, Minnie is taken hostage by Maleficent and Pete to lure Mickey back to the castle, but this scheme is thwarted by Lea, which allows Minnie to escape them.
Minnie appears as a meet-and-greet character in the game near the entrance to Frontierland on Main Street USA and in front of her house in Mickey's Toontown. She and Daisy are given the task of decorating and organizing Toontown City Hall for the upcoming mayor election. One of the tasks that she gives to the player involves finding flowers for her decorations. Minnie also takes part in the Mickey's Soundsational Parade mini-game, dancing on Mickey's float.
In the game, Minnie's cartoon essence was drained by Mizrabel and trapped within the Wasteland. Mickey journeyed to the realm to free it, as well as the essence of other Disney characters. Minnie, herself, appears in the prologue searching for Mickey after he has left, and during the epilogue where she mentions having a strange dream involving a witch and castle.
Minnie is a playable character in the game, exclusive to the Toy Box. She was released alongside Mickey on August 30, 2015. She uses her purse as a melee weapon, and her special attack is known as "Everybody Loves Minnie"; this allows her to charm her enemies into obeying her and attacking the surrounding enemies.
Minnie is an active character on the Disney Cruise Line ships. She is also the head statue in the atrium of the Disney Fantasy and can be seen flying in the Toon Plane in the magical portholes on board the Disney Dream and Fantasy. In 2011, along with Karl Holz, Minnie laid the keel for the Disney Fantasy.
Like Mickey, Minnie's ears always face the same way, no matter which direction she is facing.
According to Mortimer Mouse, Minnie is his former girlfriend who left him.
Minnie's voice actress, Russi Taylor, was married to Mickey's voice actor, Wayne Allwine. Due to Allwine's death in 2009, she is now widowed.
After Wayne's death, Russi was said to have an extremely difficult time returning to recording sessions for Minnie during the first few recordings following his departure.
Minnie is occasionally cited as an unofficial member of the Disney Princesses and has been included in some of the franchise's material.
The comic strip story The Gleam by Merrill De Maris and Floyd Gottfredson first gave her full name as Minerva Mouse. "Minerva" has since been a recurring alias for her. In the French translations, Minerva is actually her middle name, making her full name Minnie Minerva Mouse; in that case, Minnie is one of the three Disney icons to have officially a middle name (the others being Mickey Mouse, whose name was given as Michel Mouse in cartoons and Michael Mouse in French comics, and Donald Duck, whose full name has been revealed to be Donald Fauntleroy Duck).
Minnie appeared in concept art for Epic Mickey, but did not appear in the actual game herself (nor is she ever mentioned by Mickey). There was also no mention of her in Epic Mickey 2, but she did appear in Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion and appeared in one of the projectors at the end of the second Epic Mickey.
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."
Minnie's eyes are usually longer and wider than Mickey's, while her smile is slightly shorter and more closed than his. However, these details weren't used in the earliest cartoon and some comic stories.
In the popular ABC television series Once Upon a Time, several figurines of Minnie and Mickey can be seen, most notably in Mr. Gold's pawn shop.
Minnie was used along with Mickey in a 1930 Aesop's Fables cartoon called "The Office Boy" and again in a 1931 Aesop's Fables cartoon called "Red Riding Hood" after Walt Disney admitted influence from this cartoon series which had been around even before Mickey was even created. But Walt sued its creator Paul Terry for "plagiarizing" his character which led to Aesop's Fables ending in 1933.
It has been officially stated that Minnie shares the same birthday as Mickey Mouse (November 18). However, this is debatable, as numerous stories that take place on Mickey's birthday do not mention that it is also Minnie's birthday, and vice-versa.
In Japanese Disney theme parks, it is more likely to find Minnie Mouse ears instead of Mickey Mouse ears.
Minnie has over two-hundred outfits.
Mickey, or Michel, means "the one who is like god", and Minnie or Minerva was the name of a Roman "goddess". This remarkable coincidence is, however, likely unforeseen.