Mickey Turns 91: Seven Facts About Disney’s Most Famous Creation
Disney’s Mickey and Mini Mouse participate in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.
Disney’s Mickey and Mini Mouse participate in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. (Photo: iStock) 

Mickey Turns 91: Seven Facts About Disney’s Most Famous Creation

(This article was originally published on 15 May 2015 and has been republished from The Quint’s archives to mark 91 years of Mickey Mouse.)

1. Mickey Mouse is 87 Years Old

The official mascot of The Walt Disney Company, Mickey was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at Walt Disney Studios. Mickey was first seen in a test screening of the cartoon short - Plane Crazy (a silent animation), on 15 May 1928.

Have a look at Mickey’s first ever appearance:

2. Mickey Mouse was a Replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was an earlier cartoon character created by Disney’s studio for Universal Studios, which produced and distributed the films featuring Oswald. However, Walt Disney broke off the agreement with Universal Studios and created Mickey, while Oswald faded into obscurity.

3. Mickey’s First Audience Gave Him a Thumbs Down

The first cartoon short of Mickey failed to impress the audience. But as we now know, he became the most prominent animated character of the time and is the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mickey Mouse’s star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Mickey Mouse’s star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
(Photo: iStock) 

4. Mickey or Mortimer?

If it wasn’t  for Walt Disney’s wife, Mickey Mouse would have been named Mortimer Mouse. Walt Disney has acknowledged in interviews that it was his wife Lily’s suggestion to name the character the far more ‘friendly’ Mickey.

5. “Hot Dogs!”

Mickey Mouse did not get to speak until ‘The Karnival Kid in 1929’ and his first words were “Hot dogs, Hot dogs!”.

6. What’s With the Voice?

Mickey’s screen persona is also defined by his famously shy, falsetto voice. Initially, Walt Disney provided the original voices for both Mickey and Minnie from 1929 to 1946. He didn’t like any of the other voice actors originally cast for the roles, according to eonline.com.

7. A lot of Nominations, But Only One Oscar

The Academy Awards or Oscars.
The Academy Awards or Oscars.
(Photo: iStock)

Till 2015, Mickey Mouse received ten nominations for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Among these, Lend a Paw was the only film to actually win the award. In 1932 Walt Disney received an honorary Academy Award in recognition of Mickey’s creation and popularity.

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