Mickey Mouse, the beloved mascot of the Walt Disney Company is, without doubt, the most famous cartoon character in the world. Created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. He made his official public debut November 18, 1928, in the cartoon Steamboat Willie. Since then he has appeared countless times on television, in cartoons, movies, comic books, and video games, and books.

Who Is Mickey Mouse?

Mickey Mouse is a happy-go-lucky chap, generally jovial, quick to help a friend, and perennially cheerful. A stalwart friend, he is brave in the face of danger, true of heart, generous to a fault, and hasn’t got a mean bone in his body.

In Barry Longyear’s Hugo and Nebula winning novella, Enemy Mine, the Drac pilot Jeriba Shigan mistakes Mickey Mouse for a major Terran philosopher, possibly a religious leader, when his human friend quotes Mickey Mouse saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” which is also a Drac proverb. If he were human his name would be Rogers, and he’d be kin to Fred or Steve.

The Many Careers of Mickey Mouse

He has been a ghosthunter (Lonesome Ghosts, 1937), a musician (The Band Concert, 1935),and (Blue Rhythm 1931) a pilot Plane Crazy, 1929), a guard (Mickey, Donald, and Goofy: The Three Musketeers,2004), an accountant (Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1983), a cowboy (The Cactus Kid, 1930) and (Two-Gun Mickey, 1934) and a nightclub host (House of Mouse).

Mickey’s Voice

Mickey has had only five voice actors. Walt Disney himself was the original voice of Mickey Mouse. Jimmy MacDonald replaced Walt Disney from 947 to 1976. Wayne Allwine voiced Mickey for 32 years, from 1977 until 2009. Bret Iwan is the current voice of Mickey Mouse, and has been since 2009. Chris Diamantopoulos has also provided a voice for the world’s most loveable mouse, from 2016 to 2020. Iwan said voicing Mickey Mouse is a tremendous responsibility, because you’re filing in for the boss.

Mickey Mouse and Copyright Law

Mickey Mouse is 93. Walt Disney died in 1966, yet Mickey is still protected by copyright. Disney Studios are “behind significant changes to copyright law, such that copyright laws are now extended dramatically, even well past the lifetime of the original author. These changes in the law were inspired, in part, to prevent Mickey Mouse from falling into public domain.” Eventually, Mickey Mouse probably will will lapse into the public domain, but for now Mickey remains protected.

Happy Birthday, Mickey, I know both Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will be throwing wild parties: parades, music, fireworks, sweets and treats. If you want to celebrate at home, feel free to bake a cake, scoop some ice cream, and watch “The Brave Little Tailor” or “Steamboat Willie.” If you happen to be at Walt Disney World, be sure to visit Mickey’s Philharmagic in The Magic Kingdom or Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios. If you’re at the original Disneyland in southern California, you’ll have to wait. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway isn’t scheduled to open there until January 27, 2023, in Toontown. However, Mickey’s Philharmagic can be found in Orlando’s WDW in the Magic Kingdom, in Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, in Disneyland Paris in France. Happy birthday, Mickey Mouse!

original mickey mouse drawing
An early drawing of Mickey Mouse dating to sometime around 1927, and purportedly done by Walt Disney himself. Found on the back of some other hand drawn images, it was discovered as part of an estate sale in Florida.
Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.