Walt Disney Created Mickey Mouse
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Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse.

Don’t believe that!

In the late 1920s, Walt Disney lost the rights a character named Oswald the Rabbit (who starred in a series of short films distributed by Universal Studios) and was in desperate need of a replacement. The concept of a cartoon mouse was produced in a brainstorming session with his brother Roy and animator Ub Iwerks. “Mortimer Mouse” (later renamed Mickey at the suggestion of Walt’s wife) was, however, designed and drawn by Iwerks.

Walt was famously reluctant to give proper credit to his artists and animators. As Mickey grew in worldwide fame, the founder and the mascot of the Disney empire became forever linked in the public eye and Iwerks name has been mostly forgotten.

“Steamboat Willie,” known as Mickey Mouse’s first film appearance, was actually his third. Mickey’s first two (silent) cartoons were met with a very unenthusiastic response. Walt produced a third short with music and sound effects added and it was an immediate hit. A soundtrack was then added to original two efforts (“Plane Crazy” and “The Gallopin’ Gaucho”) and the rest is history.

While Walt did not design the actual Mickey Mouse character, he provided the character’s distinctive voice from 1928 to 1946.

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