Bust out the champagne, Mickey Mouse turns 88 today. Friday marks the famous Disney cartoon character’s 88th year of screen-time, as the date marks his very first film debut, which came out on Nov. 18, 1928.
Mickey Mouse has been an enduring symbol of the Walt Disney empire and his image has appeared in film, as well as on clothing, home goods and, of, course, as the fun-loving mascot of the Walt Disney theme parks. Now that the big day has finally arrived, it’s time to celebrate with some quick facts about Walt Disney’s most iconic creation.
- The character of Mickey Mouse first appeared in the film “Steamboat Willie,” which debuted Nov. 18, 1928.
- While the famous mouse character made his film debut in “Steamboat Willies,” he had actually been the subject of two shorts prior – “The Gallopin’ Gaucho” and “Plane Crazy” – two films that were later released, according to Disney Park’s blog.
- The name of “Mickey Mouse” was said to have been suggested by Walt Disney’s wife, according to Time. Previously, Disney had given the character the name of “Mortimer Mouse.”
- The script for the very first short that Mickey was originally featured in, “Plane Crazy,” was done while Walt Disney was traveling on a train from Chicago.
- Disney Studios was producing somewhere around 12 Mickey Mouse shorts a year by 1937, according to Time.
- The animators to first design the characteristic movements of the mouse were inspired by actor Charlie Chaplin.
- Mickey Mouse shorts were originally silent. The first short in which Mickey actually spoke debuted in 1929 for the cartoon short “The Karnival Kid.”
- The 1929 short cartoon, “The Opry House,” was the first cartoon in which Mickey wore his famous white gloves, according to the Internet Animation Database.
- In January 1930, the very first Mickey Mouse comic strip appeared in 40 newspapers. The comics were done by Ub Iwerks.
- When Disney was first deciding on names for his amusement park, he had considered naming it “Mickey Mouse Village.”