Happy birthday, Mickey Mouse!
It appears the iconic, lovable cartoon character might be getting a bit senile, hitting on Wednesday his 87th birthday. But when people think Mickey, they rarely consider his origin and understand his rich history.
For starters, Walt Disney didn’t create Mickey Mouse.
The OC Register points out, “Cartoonist Ub Iwerks, given the assignment to conceive a lovable character after Disney’s ownership of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit fell into a contractual dispute, drew those mouse ears for the first time in the late 1920s.”
Mickey Mouse made his first appearance on Nov. 18, 1928, in the short film “Steamboat Willie,” the first cartoon with synchronized sound. But still, “Mickey Mouse” per say hadn’t been born – he went by the name of Mortimer.
According to legend, Lillian Disney, Walt’s wife, thought Mortimer was too pompous and suggested the name Mickey instead. However, Mickey didn’t actually speak until 1929 in the film “Karnival Kid.”
It’s been a long ride for Mickey, but it’s all worth it in the end. In 1978, on his 50th birthday, he was the first animated character to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.