The Disney company says that the birthday for Mickey Mouse is officially ovember 18, 1928, corresponding to the premier for Steamboat Willie which also featured Minnie Mouse. Their first actual Mickey Mouse film was Plane Crazy which was screened as a silent film in May 1928 during a test run in an effort to pick up distribution (it failed to do so until 1929).
Walt Disney worked with artist Ub Iwerks in the creation of these original Mickey Mouse cartoons. Iwerks and Disney had known each other since 1919, and had partnered as commercial artists for a time, and then Iwerks worked for Disney during the creation of Oswald the Rabbit, and then after Disney lost control of that character, Iwerks worked for Disney in creating several new characters, culminating in Mickey Mouse. Disney and Iwerks split up in 1930 over disagreements about credit on Mickey's creation, and Iwerks didn't return to Disney until 1940. Iwerks then continued at Disney for the rest of his career, doing a variety of creative tasks, including designing attractions for Disneyland. Outside of Disney, Iwerks worked as a special effects specialist in Hollywood, for example on Hitchcock's film The Birds.
Mickey, Goofy and Dumbo
Greg McCullough painting of Mickey Mouse, Dumbo and Goofy at the Disney Gallery at the Magic Kingdom. (Below) another McCullough piece: Minnie Mouse
From the cover of the April, 1973 issue of Walt Disney Digest, issue # 40.
Mickey and Minnie through the years
Eric Goldberg model sheet for Mickey Mouse for the Disney short "Get a Horse"
More Disney Comic Books
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Original Page February 2008 | Updated Aug 2016