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11 surprising things about Mickey Mouse on his birthday

By / Published on Wednesday, 18 Nov 2015 23:27 PM / No Comments / 27 views
For latest restrictions check www.corbisimages.com Edward Steichen/© Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

ca. October 1933, USA — Walt Disney seated with drawing board on his lap and representations of his creations Mickey and Minnie Mouse behind. — Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

Enlarge This giant Mickey Mouse balloon, shown tied to dirigible at Glendale, Calf., will be feature of Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, escorting Santa Claus into New York. Twenty-five men will be required to handle it. Daily News

This giant Mickey Mouse balloon, shown tied to dirigible at Glendale, Calf., will be feature of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, escorting Santa Claus into New York. Twenty-five men will be required to handle it.

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 Mickey Mouse whistled his way onto the silver screen 87 years ago.

Oh Mickey, you’re so fine — even if you are in your 80s.

The beloved animated character and official mascot of Disney World turned 87 on Wednesday.

Mickey Mouse was born from Walt Disney’s imagination on Nov. 18, 1928, when he appeared in his first cartoon.

Since then, the friendly mouse has racked up goals even celebrities can’t compete with.

Disney’s big cheese has appeared in over 130 films and even scored an Academy award.

Here are 11 surprising things to know about Mickey Mouse’s rise to fame, in celebration of his birthday:

11. Mickey’s story started with another big-ear creature, a rabbit.

Mickey's predecessor: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.AP

Mickey’s predecessor: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Walt Disney created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 1927 and it was a hit with Universal Studios, which ordered a series of shorts based on the character.

Yet, the success didn’t secure Disney’s future.

When the young visionary asked for more money, Universal stole his employees, retained the rights to Oswald and offered to keep its creator at a low salary, according to Time magazine.

10. Disney created Mickey after a spat with Universal Studios

An even more determined Disney worked long hours, brainstorming a replacement for Oswald.

With shorter ears, and a fatter belly, Mickey Mouse was born.

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9. Meet Mortimer Mouse

The Oswald substitute was first named Mortimer Mouse.

Disney’s wife’s suggested Disney nix the moniker, calling it pompous, according to a Disney biography called “Walt Disney: Conversations.”

atx; JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

An early drawing of Mickey Mouse, which was used for Mickey’s film debut. 

=GETTY OUT= HO/AFP/Getty Images

Walt Disney quickly expanded Mickey’s fame with merchandise.

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8. Mickey was not an instant hit

Unlike Oswald the rabbit’s intant fame, Mickey’s success took longer.

He first appeared in a test screening for cartoon short, “Plane Crazy” in May 1928.

It was a dud. Another flop, which also wasn’t released, followed, called “The Gallopin’ Gaucho.”

7. Mickey finally makes his debut

Still from Disney short "Steamboat Willie" (1928), the first distributed cartoon featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Walt Disney Animation Studios via YouTube

Still from Disney short “Steamboat Willie” (1928), the first distributed cartoon featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Enlarge Still from Disney short "Steamboat Willie" (1928), the first distributed cartoon featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Walt Disney Animation Studios via YouTube

Still from Disney short “Steamboat Willie” (1928), the first distributed cartoon featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

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Mickey Mouse made his film debut in “Steamboat Willie.”

Mickey’s official debut was in “Steamboat Willie” in 1928, which Disney credits as Mickey’s birthday.

Mickey is one of only three Disney characters (Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse) with recognized birthdays.

6. The innovation behind Mickey

Disney incorporated new technology into his Mickey creation, setting him apart from other cartoonists.

“Steamboat Willie” featured synchronized music and sound effects — still a breakthrough of the time.

Exported.;

Scene from movie “Fantasia”.

Enlarge SUN; WALT DISNEY CO./ABC

DISNEY’S MICKEY MOUSE WORKS, a new half-hour animated series, will join the ABC Saturday morning children’s lineup beginning SATURDAY, MAY 1 (12noon-12:30 pm, ET). MICKEY MOUSE WORKS marks the first time Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Minnie Mouse have starred together in a television series. Prior to this series, Mickey Mouse ‘hosted’ “The Mickey Mouse Club,” which debuted in 1955 as one of the most popular children’s shows of all time.

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Disney transformed cartoons with sound and films in color.

5. A pricey creation

It cost $ 2,500 to make Mickey’s films in 1928. That’s roughly $ 35,000 today.

Only a few years later, in 1935, Mickey was appearing in color, creating an almost impossible competition for other studios, who couldn’t financially keep up.

Today, Mickey Mouse has appeared in less films and can be seen in three-minute shorts on the Disney Channel.Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images

Today, Mickey Mouse has appeared in less films and can be seen in three-minute shorts on the Disney Channel.

4. Mickey’s take-off

By the end of 1928, Mickey was arguably the cartoon of the year.

Within two years, Disney began his genius merchandise marketing and created the “Mickey Mouse Club.”

His competition, Felix the Cat, would also fade out by 1930.

3. Mickey’s Oscar

At the age of 15, the mouse had garnered an Academy Award for his work in the short “Lend a Paw.”

The 1942 film starred Mickey and his canine companion, Pluto.

2. Mickey’s star

And, by 1978, Mickey was a household name, and a name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He’s the first cartoon character to receive such an honor.

1. Mickey’s semi-retirement

As the Disney empire grew with more characters, Mickey faded from the spotlight.

He stopped appearing in films for a whopping 30 years, returning briefly in 1983’s “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.”

Instead, he was downgraded to the small screen in 1955, where his fame was revitalized.

He has since found a home there, starring in various Mickey-centric shows.

mdostis@nydailynews.com

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