On November 18, the most famous cartoon character of all time, Mickey Mouse, turned 92 years old. For the anniversary, we decided to recall the success story of the most popular mouse in the world.
Officially, Mickey Mouse’s birthday is November 18, 1928. On this day, the world saw the cartoon “Steamboat Willie”. However, viewers first met Mickey a few months earlier, on May 15, when a small silent cartoon with the participation of this hero was released.
The idea for Mickey Mouse came after Walt Disney lost the rights to his first popular character, the lucky rabbit Oswald. Due to a number of circumstances, the rights to the rabbit passed to Universal Studios, and after this story, Walt Disney has always closely followed the observance of copyright for all of his works.
The image of Mickey Mouse belongs to the pencil of Aba Iwerks. Over time, the mouse became the most famous image of the Disney company. Now he is the logo of the Disney Corporation, and Walt himself is called Mickey’s father.
Ub Iwerks in one interview said that he experimented with other images for a long time – a frog, a kitten and a puppy, but all of them were rejected by Walt Disney. According to one version, the choice of the mouse was due to the fact that the Laugh-O-Gram studio in Kansas City, where Walt Disney worked in the early 1920s, was full of rodents, and Disney even tried to tame one of them.
Disney claimed that it was through the commercial success of Mickey Mouse that he gained financial and artistic independence. Mickey Mouse has been making money since his “birth”. Already in 1929, goods with the image of a mouse appeared on sale, later – comics and books about his adventures, dolls and even TV shows. In 1934, Mickey postcards were sold for $ 35 million. And this is in the midst of the Great Depression!
Until 1947, Walt Disney personally voiced Mickey Mouse, but due to chronic cough due to smoking, he was forced to stop voicing his beloved character. And in 1978, Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to receive a star on the Los Angeles Walk of Fame.