Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Mickey Mouse superfan, so you all know why I MUST celebrate Mickey Mouse’s birthday.
On November 18th, Mickey (whose name was changed from Mortimer thanks to Walt Disney’s wife who hated the name Mortimer) made his first appearance on Steamboat Willie. By the late 1930s, Mickey had made several appearances in an average of 10-14 short films per year and had been featured in comic strips all over the nation.
Walt Disney was just a poor, struggling artist prior to his creation of Mickey Mouse, and many of his cartoons had been rejected brutally or worse, Walt was laughed right out of the building after showing his cartoons. He was told no one would ever find enjoyment in such silliness. But Walt’s “If you can dream it, you can do it” attitude didn’t let him give up, and eventually Mickey Mouse became a worldwide phenomenon.
Here’s to you, Walt. I’m a writer and artist as well, so I completely understand how an artist feels about the character he or she creates. I love and cherish my Lucian Cole with all I am, just like Walt adored his Mickey, so I get how difficult it can be to put your prized creation out there for the world to either love or hate. Thanks, Walt, for sharing him with the world, and thanks for making it happen anyway even though you were told you couldn’t do it.
Happy 88th birthday, Mickey Mouse!