Born on this day in 1928, Mickey Mouse first appeared in the cartoon “Steamboat Willie.” The animated rodent had the voice of Walt Disney.
Disney had wanted to use his popular character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but he had created that character while working for Universal Pictures and didn't have the copyright. Oswald looks a lot like Mickey, but with rabbit ears instead of round mouse ears!
After creating the new mouse character, Walt Disney wanted to call him Mortimer. His wife nixed the name and suggested the shorter, cuter name Mickey instead. And guess what? Mickey became EVER so much more popular than Oswald the Lucky Rabbit! What with the Mickey Mouse wristwatch (sold from 1933 to present), the 55-foot-tall Mickey Mouse leading the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1935, the ubiquitous images of Mickey on TV, in merchandise, and in lots and lots of theme parks—well! Mickey is known worldwide, and has been famous for more than 80 years now...
Did you know...?
- Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to talk. (1929)
- You may think of Mickey in just his little red shorts, but he has appeared in 175 different costumes. One of the most famous is the red robes and pointed blue hat of fantasia.
- The words “Mickey Mouse” were used as a secret password between Allied intelligence officers during World War II.