Mickey Mouse

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Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 at Walt Disney Animation Studios, who serves as the mascot of The Walt Disney Company.

Created as a replacement for a prior Disney character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey first appeared in the short Plane Crazy, debuting publicly in the short film Steamboat Willie (1928), one of the first sound cartoons. In all, the character has appeared in over 130 films, including The Band Concert (1935), Brave Little Tailor (1938), and Fantasia (1940). Mickey appeared primarily in short films, but also occasionally in feature-length films. Ten of Mickey's cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, one of which, Lend a Paw, won the award in 1942. In 1978, Mickey Mouse became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

From 1930, the character has featured in comic strips and comic books. The Mickey Mouse comic strip, drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson, ran for 45 years. The mouse appeared in comic books such as Mickey Mouse, Disney Italy's Topolino and MM – Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine, and Wizards of Mickey. Mickey also features in television series such as The Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1996) and others.

He appears in other media such as video games, and is a meetable character at the Disney parks. Mickey generally appears alongside his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, his pet dog Pluto, his friends such as Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy, among others (see Mickey Mouse universe). Though originally characterized as a cheeky lovable rogue, Mickey was rebranded over time as a nice guy, usually seen as an honest and bodacious hero. In 2009, Disney began to rebrand the character again by putting less emphasis on his friendly, well-meaning persona and reintroducing the more adventurous and stubborn sides of his personality, beginning with the video game Epic Mickey.


In chronological order within each section.


  • In the current American mythology, Mickey Mouse is the imp, the benevolent dwarf of older fables, and like them he is far more popular than the important gods, heroes, and ogres. Over a hundred prints of each of his adventures are made, and of the fifteen thousand movie houses wired for sound in America, twelve thousand show his pictures. So far he has been deathless, as the demand for the early Mickey Mouses continues although they are nearly four years old; they are used at children’s matinées, for request programs, and as acceptable fillers in programs of short subjects. It is estimated that over a million separate audiences see him every year.
  • The first Mickey Mouse was made by twelve people after hours in a garage. About twelve hundred people are working overtime now in a fifty-one-acre plant.
    • Walt Disney "Growing Pains", Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (January 1941), Vol. XXXVI, pp. 30-40, reprinted in American Cinematographer (1941), p. 106 (reproduced by the Internet Archive)


  • How long does copyright extend today? According to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (also known as "the Mickey Mouse Protection Act," because Mickey was about to fall into the public domain), it lasts as long as the life of the author plus seventy years. In practice, that normally would mean more than a century.
  • To descend from the high principles of the Founding Fathers to the practices of the cultural industries today is to leave the realm of Enlightenment for the hurly-burly of corporate capitalism. If we turned the sociology of knowledge onto the present—as [Pierre] Bourdieu himself did—we would see that we live in a world designed by Mickey Mouse, red in tooth and claw.
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