Monday, January 27, 2014

*Disney Week* 20 Things You Didn't Know About Mickey Mouse

  1. Mickey Mouse was created after Walt Disney lost the rights to his original cartoon superstar, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. While trying to come up with ideas for a new character, Walt and Ub Iwerks considered many anthropomorphic characters, including a female cow and male horse that would later debut as Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar. Walt was eventually inspired to draw a mouse after finding one at his desk in Kansas City. He named the character Mortimer Mouse before his wife Lillian suggested Mickey instead, or so the story goes. (Mortimer Mouse later became a different character, Mickey's rival for Minnie's affection.)
  2. Ironically, Walt was scared of mice, but viewed them as sympathetic creatures.
  3. Though popular opinion states Mickey made his debut appearance in 1928's Steamboat Willie, he was actually introduced in Plane Crazy earlier that year alongside Minnie Mouse and Clarabelle Cow. Steamboat Willie WAS, however, the first cartoon in which Mickey appeared with synced sound.
  4. Mickey's original rat-like appearance has since evolved into a more mouse-like character with bigger eyes and rounder features. This "babyfication" is believed to psychologically make people like Mickey more.
  5. The very first piece of Mickey merchandise was a notebook.
  6. The original characterization of Mickey was that of a mischievous mouse. These trouble-making characteristics was later passed on to Donald Duck, and Mickey gained his iconic, albeit a little annoying, good two-shoes personality.
  7. Walt was the original voice of Mickey Mouse (and Minnie Mouse!) and there have been three primary voice actors since then: Jimmy MacDonald, who occasionally shared the role with Walt; Wayne Allwine, who married Russi Taylor, the current voice of Minnie Mouse; and Bret Iwan, who took on the role in 2009.
  8. Mickey began speaking in 1929. His first words? "Hot dogs!" Maybe that's why, even today, he says "hot dog!" when he's excited.
  9. In 1935, Romanian officials banned the character from its cinemas, as they believed children would be frightened to see a ten-foot mouse on screen.
  10. Similarly, in 1938, Italy banned foreign children's literature; however, Mussolini's children were such big Mickey Mouse fans, he managed to delay the ban on Disney stories until Italy declared war on the United States in 1942.
  11. Before his death, Walt recognized Mickey and Minnie as a married couple, but acknowledged the confusion on the issue and stated: "What it really amounts to is that Minnie is, for screen purposes, his leading lady. If the story calls for a romantic courtship, then Minnie is the girl; but when the story requires a married couple, then they appear as man and wife. In the studio we have decided that they are married already."
  12. Though he was originally drawn without gloves, animators eventually gave Mickey white gloves so that his hands were still visible when in front of his body.
  13. The character's popularity declined after his appearance in 1940's Fantasia, but public interest was revived in the 1950s through his various television appearances, namely The Mickey Mouse Club.
  14. The character's popularity declined again following 1953's "The Simple Things", the final theatrically-released Mickey cartoon before Walt's death in 1966. Mickey wouldn't appear on the silver screen until 30 years in 1983's Mickey's Christmas Carol, which is a fucking classic if you've never seen it.
  15. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  16. Mickey Mouse often appears as a write-in candidate for presidential elections by protest voters. His name also turns up on fraudulent voter registration lists. #Vote4Mickey
  17. The Walt Disney Company frequently makes headlines for defending the copyright of Mickey Mouse. While a simple copyright would eventually expire, thus allowing the character to enter public domain, the company argues that he is also trademarked and is essentially theirs forever.
  18. We all know The Mickey Mouse Club launched the careers of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, and Christina Aguilera, but did you know it could've launched the careers of Jessica Simpson and Matt Damon, too? Both auditioned for the 90s revival of the show and both were cut.
  19. Universally, the term "mickey mouse" is slang for easy, amateurish, or trivial. In the UK and Ireland, it means poor quality or counterfeit; however, in Australia, it means excellent.
  20. Currently, there is an estimated 290 Mickey costumes at Walt Disney World alone.

1 comment:

Taylor said...

You are so knowledgable!