The History of Mickey Mouse
November 18, 2016, marks the 87th birthday of our favorite Mouse. You’d think after 87 years he’d run out of adventures. With all the changes made to Mickey throughout the years, one thing is for sure, he will always be loved.
Mickey Mouse was first created in the Disney short Plane Crazy, which wasn’t released until 1929.
His first official debut was the 1928 cartoon Steamboat Willie. It has the distinction of being the first cartoon with synchronized sound. The original reel was preserved and inducted into the National Film Registry in 1998.
It wasn’t long until Mickey spoke his first words, “Hot dogs,” in The Karnival Kid (1929). He was voiced by Carl Stalling. Walt Disney later took over as the voice of Mickey until 1946. Since then, only four other people have officially voiced Mickey Mouse in Disney cartoons: Jim MacDonald, followed by Wayne Allwine, and currently by both Bret Iwan and Chris Diamantopoulos.
The first licensed product by the Disney Company, featuring Mickey Mouse, was a writing tablet, from 1930, when Mickey was only two years old.
The Band Concert (1935) was the first short in which Mickey appeared in color.
In 1939, Mickey gets a re-design that resembles the more familiar face we love, in The Pointer.
Shortly thereafter, Walt Disney felt that the Disney studio’s star character Mickey Mouse needed a boost in popularity. He decided to feature the mouse in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the 1940 classic, Fantasia. A cartoon short based on a poem written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Mickey has been featured in almost 50 video games over the last 30 years. Most notably in Kingdom Hearts where you get to fight along side his friends Donald and Goofy.
Since 2013, Mickey got a vintage redesign for the new Mickey Mouse cartoon on Disney Channel.
Which is your favorite rendition of Mickey Mouse? What do you think he’ll look like down the road? Let us know in the comments below.
Paul Merced is design editor of Learning Liftoff. His passion and style for illustrating, photography, and design is a great blend for the educational field. With a BA in digital art from George Mason University, Paul is working on illustrating a children's book that will be released in the next few years. As a former bookseller, Paul loves reading his large collection of books and graphic novels.