Today is Mickey Mouse’s 88th birthday, and really, does he look a day over 45? To celebrate, Mr. Mouse has traveled all over the world including Los Angeles, Kyoto, Shanghai, Rome, Paris, Cusco, and Rio de Janeiro. To see where he’s been, check out Mickey’s Instagram page. Today, he makes his last stop in New York and will appear on Good Morning America to hobnob with the morning news crew. This makes sense since it was on this date 88 years ago that Mickey made his big screen debut in New York at the Colony Theatre where it played Steamboat Willie for the first time.
While on the show, Mickey will also debut a new music video entitled, “What We Got” which will later be posted on Mickey’s Facebook page.
To help celebrate the mouse, here are some facts you may not know about Mickey:
- Mickey was actually Walt Disney’s second choice for his new hero. He had wanted Mortimer, but Lily Disney vetoed that idea.
- While Steamboat Willie was the first Disney cartoon to feature Mickey, it was not the first cartoon developed for him. Plane Crazy was the first and was made as a silent film followed by The Gallopin’ Gaucho, but a distributor could not found. Meanwhile, technology changed and Steamboat Willie was released as the first sound cartoon. Plane Crazy and the Gallopin’ Gaucho were later released as sound cartoons.
- Contrary to popular belief, it was Ub Iwerks who animated the early versions of Mickey Mouse, not Disney. Iwerks estimated that about 700 drawing were penned for Plane Crazy according to Disney Parks Blog. The mouse was often patterned after comedic film stars like Charlie Chaplin.
- Mickey’s first words ever spoken were “Hot dog!” in the 1929 short, The Karnival Kid.
- Walt Disney was the first official voice of Mickey Mouse who continued to voice the rodent through 1947 or so.
- Both the first Mickey Mouse comic strip (also drawn by Ub Iwerks) and the first Mickey Mouse doll was created in 1930.
- In 1934, Mickey appeared in the Macy’s Santa Claus Parade (now known as Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which is also celebrating a milestone of 90 this year) as a 40-foot-tall hand-painted balloon.
- Before the name “Disneyland” was settled for Walt’s first theme park, he had contemplated calling it “Mickey Mouse Village.”
- The first Mickey Mouse Club TV series aired from 1955-1959 that featured Annette Funicello and Bobby Burgess. A second was formed in 1977 that featured Lisa Whelchel and Kelly Parsons. A third version was created in 1989 and featured Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, and Keri Russell.
- Mickey received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on his birthday in 1978. He was the first cartoon character to receive one.
- Mickey’s most recent appearance on film was in the Oscar-winning short, Get A Horse in 2013 and featured animation techniques from the early days and took full advantage of today’s CGI technology as well.
- The famous Partners Statue that features Walt Disney and Mickey holding hands and stands on Main Street in Disneyland was created in 1993. A second version was created in 1995 for the Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida.
- While it hasn’t been confirmed by Disney, rumors are spreading that The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando just might be turned into a Mickey Mouse-themed ride.
- According to Bill Scollon, Author of The Hidden Mickeys of Disneyland, “Hidden Mickeys” began popping up all over the Disneyland park in the 1980’s. Scollon describes a Hidden Mickey as:
“A three-circle silhouette or outline of Mickey Mouse’s head composed of a larger, central circle and smaller circles for ears, attached in the right spots. The ears back be detached, as long as they are not too far away from the head. However, Mickey’s head does not have to be right-side-up; it can be upside down or sideways.”
While there is official count of how many Hidden Mickeys can be found in the park, there are hundreds of them, with some easier to spot than others.
What are your favorite Mickey memories?
[Featured Image by ABC]