Top Ten Things You May Not Know About Mickey Mouse
1. Mickey’s birthday is November 18, 1928, the day that the short Steamboat Willie was released. But that wasn’t Mickey’s first appearance. He made his debut in Plane Crazy and had a follow-up short called The Gallopin’ Gaucho. However, Steamboat Willie was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to find a distributor, and that’s when his career really started.
2. Fifty years later, Mickey celebrated his birthday by getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, making him the first cartoon character to be so honored.
3. Mickey’s ears have the unusual characteristic of always appearing perfectly round, no matter which way he is facing.
4. He also has three fingers on each hand instead of four. Why three? It’s not a bizarre quirk of mouse anatomy; it just makes his hands easier to draw.
5. Mickey made his CGI debut in the Magic Kingdom attraction, Mickey’s Philharmagic. The 3D film actually follows the adventures of Donald Duck as he searches for Mickey’s sorcerer’s hat as seen in the film Fantasia during the Sorcerer’s Apprentice sequence.
6. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene was also the inspiration for the giant Mickey hand that adorned Spaceship Earth for many years. The Mickey hand held a giant magic wand, despite the fact that Mickey never held a wand in the film itself.
7. Steamboat Willie was the first cartoon to feature a synchronized sound track. However, Mickey himself wouldn’t speak for six more shorts. And what were his immortal first words? “Hot dogs, hot dogs!”
8. The first Mickey Mouse watch was manufactured in 1933 and sold for $3.25. Looking for something a little more extravagant? You can purchase a diamond studded, handpainted Mickey watch with a Mother of Pearl dial for a mere $4500.
9. Mickey Mouse’s voice was originally provided by none other than Walt Disney himself, who took great pride in perfecting Mickey’s falsetto vocal style. For many years, Mickey’s voice was provided by Wayne Allwine. Bret Iwan (Mickey’s current voice actor and a former Hallmark greeting card artist), was cast as Allwine’s understudy. Sadly, Allwine passed away in 2009 before the two had a chance to meet. Coincidentally, Allwine was married to Russi Taylor, the current voice of Minnie Mouse.
10. The name Roy Williams may not be familiar to Disney fans, but he’s responsible for one of the most familiar Disney symbols of all. A long time Disney employee, Roy was handpicked by Walt Disney to be a new (but much older) Mouseketeer on the “Mickey Mouse Club”. Why? According to Roy, Walt “looked up at me and said, ‘Say, you’re fat and funny looking. I’m going to put you on [the show] and call you the Big Mooseketeer.’ But his greatest contribution would come, not through his acting, but from his idea (inspired by a gag in the 1929 short The Karnival Kid where Mickey tips his ears to Minnie), of creating a little cap for Guests that would let them tip their own set of ears. And thus was born one of the most endearing Disney souvenirs of all time, the famous Mickey Mouse Ears.