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November 18, 2018 Happy Birthday Mickey!
Post by John Rancke
Making his debut on November 18, 1928, we commemorate the birth of that ever lovable mouse that was once a rabbit called Oswald. Yes, Walt Disney first sketched a floppy eared rabbit named Oswald while under contract to Universal Studios.
Mickey Mouse came to be because of the roller coaster events of Oswald’s success and Universal’s disappointing contract negotiations. Walt Disney and Disney Bros. Studio took their leave of both the studio and Oswald and set to work creating a character who would go on to lead the company into the future.
From a rabbit named Oswald to a mouse named Mortimer, eventually, the squeaky-voiced rodent was dubbed Mickey. He flopped in two animated short films without any success. Then on November 18, 1928, Mickey’s star was born.
The first animation synchronized to music and sound effects, Steamboat Willie premiered in New York.
Within a year, a Mickey Mouse Club popped up in Salem, Oregon. This particular club offered admission as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army with a donation of either a potato or a small toy and a penny.
According to a December 22, 1929, Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) article, $12 and three truckloads of potatoes and toys collected by eager new members.
Remember, the stock market crashed just 20 days before Mickey Mouse was born. That a cute little mouse could bring smiles to the faces of children at an uncertain time really isn’t such a surprise.
Generally, new members joined the club by completing an admission form obtained from a local merchant and attending meetings held during matinees at local movie houses. The price of admission often was reduced for good deeds and report cards. By the end of 1930, the Mickey Mouse Clubs had spread across the country.
In 1935, animator Fred Moore gave Mickey a new look that enabled a more fluid movement to the animation. The big eyes, white gloves, and the pert little nose. More lovable than ever before, he propelled himself even further into the hearts of children everywhere.