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article imageTen unusual things about Mickey Mouse as he turns 88

By Tim Sandle     Nov 19, 2016 in Entertainment
The world's most famous rodent, across various media, is Mickey Mouse. This week the Walt Disney creation turns 88, and to mark this we review ten unusual facts about the cartoon star.
Mickey Mouse is the comical cartoon character created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1928. He is also the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company. The image of Mickey Mouse is known worldwide, with the character typically attired in
red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves. The mouse first appeared in a test screening called Plane Crazy; and this was followed by the feature Steamboat Willie, in 1928 (notably the world's first cartoon with synchronized sound.) To date the character has appeared in 130 films.
To mark the 88th birthday of the colorful character several media outlets have presented facts about Mickey. Here we select the more surprising and unusual entries.
Fact #1: Disney's voice
For Mickey's first major feature Steamboat Willie, the voice of Mickey was provided by Walt Disney himself.
Fact #2: The white gloves
Mickey Mouse did not initially wear his trademark white gloves. The character was first drawn wearing the gloves starting in a short video in Opry House released on March 28, 1929. The supposed reason Mickey and his cartoon cohorts wear white gloves is simple. It's so viewers can distinguish their hands when they were against their bodies.
Fact #3: Hollywood walk of fame
Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is Mickey Mouse. These event took place on November 18, 1978 (to mark his 50th anniversary.) Those wishing to view the star can do so at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard. In addition, Mickey received an entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1934.
The Hollywood sign from a trail in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.
The Hollywood sign from a trail in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.
Oreos (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Fact #4: Mortimer Mouse
Walt Disney first named Mickey as "Mortimer Mouse"; however, the studio mogul decided against this following advice from his wife Lillian, who considered "Mortimer" to sound too arrogant. Mickey was selected because it reflected the intended qualities of humility and fun.
Fact #5: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
While Mickey Mouse quickly became the symbol of Disney studios, Walt Disney originally intended for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to be the signature cartoon animal. The reason Oswald did not transpire followed a trademark dispute with Universal pictures, since Walt Disney had created the character while working for Universal and just prior to forming his own movie studio.
Screenshot of Mickey Mouse from the short film Fantasia
Screenshot of Mickey Mouse from the short film Fantasia
Wikipedia / Creative Commons
Fact #6: Mickey married Minnie
No cartoon involving Mickey Mouse has ever established whether Mickey was married to Minnie. However, Walt Disney revealed, during an interview in 1933, that: "in private life, Mickey is married to Minnie... What it really amounts to is that Minnie is, for screen purposes, his leading lady."
Fact #7: Walt Disney owes his Oscar to Mickey
In 1932 Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Academy Award in 1932 for the creation of Mickey Mouse. On receiving the award, Walt Disney said: "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse."
A porcelain Mickey Mouse figurine found by farmers near the Auschwitz death camp in Poland
A porcelain Mickey Mouse figurine found by farmers near the Auschwitz death camp in Poland
Ivo Kopijasz, Foundation of Memory Sites near Auschwitz-Birkenau/AFP
Fact #8: Mickey Mouse was based on Charlie Chaplin
Walt Disney once said silent film star Charlie Chaplin was an inspiration for Mickey Mouse. Here the movie mogul stated: "We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin... a little fellow trying to do the best he could."
Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Fact #9: Mickey is in the Smithsonian
To celebrate Mickey's 60th birthday in 1988, the Smithsonian Institution received six original animation drawings from Steamboat Willie and placed them in the National Museum of American History. Since then other archival material has been added.
Fact #10: Mickey the protest vote
In U.S. elections writing in "Mickey Mouse" is the most popular choice, over many years, when people wish to protest against the candidates on offer. This tallies with general slang, where the mouse's name is used often to represent small-time, amateurish or trivial. The earliest known mention of Mickey Mouse as a write-in candidate dates back to the 1932 New York City mayoral elections, in which Mickey and Al Capone received one vote each.
Ten facts to mark Mickey Mouse's 88th birthday, illustrating the projection of the character into a varied array of aspects of social life.
More about Mickey mouse, Disney, Cartoon, Animation
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