Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves. He is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world and is the mascot of The Walt Disney Company, the world’s largest media conglomerate in terms of annual revenue.
Mickey debuted in November 1928 in the animated cartoon Steamboat Willie after initially appearing in a test screening earlier that year. He went on to appear in over 130 films including The Band Concert (1935), Brave Little Tailor (1938), and Fantasia (1940). Mickey appeared primarily in short films, but also in a few feature-length films. Nine of Mickey’s cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, one of which, Lend a Paw, won the award in 1942. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Beginning 1930, Mickey has also been featured extensively as a comic strip character. His self-titled newspaper strip, drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson, ran for 45 years. Mickey has also appeared in comic books and in television series such as The Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1996) and others. He also appears in other media such as video games as well as merchandising, and is a meetable character at the Disney parks.
Mickey typically appears alongside his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, his pet dog Pluto, his friends Horace Horsecollar, Donald Duck, and Goofy, and his nemesis Pete among others (see Mickey Mouse universe). Originally characterized as a mischievous antihero, Mickey’s increasing popularity led to his being rebranded as an everyman, usually seen as an ever cheerful, yet shy role model. In 2009, Disney announced that they will begin to rebrand the character again by putting less emphasis on his pleasant, cheerful side and reintroducing the more mischievous and adventurous sides of his personality, starting with the video game Epic Mickey.
The Mouse Factory was a syndicated television series produced by Walt Disney Productions, that ran from 1972 to 1974. It showed clips from various Disney cartoons and movies, hosted by celebrity guests (credited as being “Mickey’s Friend”), including Johnny Brown, Charles Nelson Reilly, JoAnne Worley and many more, visiting the Disney studio (or “The Mouse Factory”) and interacting with the walk-around Disney characters from the Disney Theme Parks. It was later re-run on the Disney Channel in the 1980s and ’90s. However, it will return to broadcast on March 23, 2012, when Disney Junior goes on the air as a channel replacing SOAPnet.
The theme played over the previews of each episode was a fast instrumental version of “Whistle While You Work” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The song played over the end credits is “Minnie’s Yoo Hoo”, the theme song from the original Mickey Mouse Clubs that met in theaters starting in 1929.
However, due to low ratings, the series was canceled after its second season.