Let’s find out some lesser known facts about the most popular cartoon character of all times – Mickey Mouse.
1. Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Mickey Mouse is the first cartoon character to receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on his 50th anniversary on 1978. He received the star under the Motion Pictures category, and you can get to see this star at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard.
2. Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Although Mickey and Minnie have never shown to be married or be getting married in any of their onscreen appearances, their creator Walt Disney has clarified that the two are married in private life.
3. Mickey’s First Words
Mickey Mouse is usually not a verbal character, that is because his birth was during the silent era of movies. But however once the talkies or the talking pictures came to be, we heard Mickey’s first words, which were “Hot Dog” in his ninth short movie The Karnival Kid, in July 1929.
4. Mortimer Mouse
We all know Mortimer as Mickey Mouse’s rival. However, what isn’t common knowledge is that Walt Disney had decided on the name Mortimer for the iconic Mouse himself, before his wife convinced him to change it to Mickey, claiming that it would be more popular that way.
5. Mickey’s Wardrobe
Over the course of his long, long career, Mickey Mouse has donned over 175 different outfits. His gal Minnie however, who has appeared in far less episodes has beat him with a solid 200 outfits.
6. The Reason Behind Only 4 Fingers
Almost everybody knows that Mickey Mouse has only 4 fingers in each hand. That is because according to Walt Disney, to save time and in turn money, they had to forgo a finger on each hand of these roughly 6.5 minute shorts which consisted of over 45,000 drawings. He also felt that 4 fingers on each hand were more apt for a mouse.
7. Inspiration From the Greats
It is said that Mickey Mouse’s movements were inspired by popular contemporary Hollywood stars of the time, one of whom is the character of The Tramp as created by actor/director Charlie Chaplin.
8. Mickey Mouse Club
The first Mickey Mouse club was started by Harry Woodin at his theater in Woodin, California, where he led attendees in a Mickey Mouse pledge and showed Mickey Mouse shorts on Saturday Afternoons. When Walt Disney heard about this, he partnered with Woodin and that was the birth of many Mickey Mouse club across US.
9. Character Voicing
Walt Disney himself voiced both Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from 1929 to 1946. In fact rumors say, that he only stopped voicing the characters because excessive smoking had taken a toll upon his voice, making it unsuitable to voice for squeaky Mickey and Minnie.
10. Mickey’s Age
Mickey Mouse’s birthday is November 18th, 1928, which coincidentally is also Minnie Mouse’s birthday. So technically they are both 87 years old.
11. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Appearance
Mickey Mouse has been a regular feature in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after his debut appearance in it in 1934, as a 40 foot tall balloon. He ended up being the first cartoon character to ever lead the parade, which happened in 1935, as a giant 55 foot tall balloon.
12. Mickey and Academy Awards
Despite his crazy popularity the only movie featuring Mickey Mouse to ever win an Academy Award was “Lend A Paw”, which didn’t even star him as the central character, but was actually Pluto’s story.
13. Walt Disney and Academy Awards
Walt Disney remains to this date, the highest recipient of the Academy Awards, with over 26 Oscars in his possession, 22 of which were in a competitive category. One of his first was an honorary Oscar for the creation of Mickey Mouse in 1932.
14. The Simple Things
The last Mickey Mouse short created by Walt Disney was “The Simple Things” in 1953, following which he was unable to resume work on them due to other commitments, until his death in 1966.
15. Mickey’s long hiatus
So from 1953 till the next Mickey Mouse short in 1995, The Runaway Brain, there was a gap of almost 40 years, which was only broken by his only other appearance in that period – Mickey’s Christmas Carol in 1983.
16. Disney’s fear of mice
Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, was unfortunately afraid of mice. The only reason he created these characters was because despite his irrational fear, he found them to be very sympathetic creatures.
17. Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny
The only time Mickey Mouse appeared on the silver screen with the only other cartoon character who could match up to his popularity levels – Bugs Bunny, was in the movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, made possible by the star power of Steven Spielberg.
18. Mickey’s full name
Mickey Mouse’s fullname is Michael Thedore Mouse, which is revealed by the French comic La Planete Des Cerveaux. However, earlier in the short Symphony Hour and the House of Mouse episode his name is shown to be as Michael Mouse.
19. Inspiration behind Mickey Mouse
It has been suggested that Walt Disney truly got the inspiration for Mickey Mouse from an actual mouse that he almost trained with breadcrumbs at Laugh-O-Gram Studio.
20. Cats in Disneyland, but no mice
The biggest irony in the home of Mickey Mouse – Disneyland is that over 200 feral cats are kept in the premises to keep them free of the rat and mouse population. Not sure Mickey will be pleased about that.