Today marks the 90th anniversary of the premier of “Steamboat Willie”, which Disney marks as the birthday of one Mickey Mouse. Mickey is a bit hard to write about, because what do you say? Walt was very good at writing a story, and his story about Mickey is more or less the story of the company itself. With Mickey as the company mascot, the two are so entwined that to tell the history of one precludes the other. Mickey is such an iconic symbol he is recognized across the world, as recognizable as the Buddha, Jesus, and the Coca-Cola logo.
But he’s also a character.
He’s been in shorts, in films, on TV, on radio, in comics– if Disney could make it, Mickey was on it. Lunch boxes. Toothbrushes. Gas masks. There is a definitive character to him, a distinctive “Mickeyness” that he has no matter where he is.
So let’s delve into that.