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The Evolution of Mickey Mouse | The Walt Disney Family Museum

https://www.waltdisney.org/blog/evolution-mickey-mouse

waltdisney.org

The Evolution of Mickey Mouse | The Walt Disney Family Museum
The story surrounding the origin of Mickey Mouse is well-known. Walt, feeling defeated after losing the rights to produce films with the Oswald character that he created, was on a train ride home when he began thinking about a new star.

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The first Mickey Mouse

Mickey’s appearance and personality have noticeably changed during these past 90 years.

The action of the first Mickey cartoon was that of a teenager or young boy. It showed his mischievous side, where Mickey looks for trouble and adventure. He was a happy-go-lucky character and overconfident toward Minnie Mouse.

Mickey was only given more relatable attributes in The Karnival Kid (1929).

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Mickey's look

In Plane Crazy, he does not have white gloves or oversized shoes. He didn't even have a consistent number of fingers.

  • Mickey's shoes, his trademark footwear, is introduced in the second cartoon, The Gallopin' Gaucho (1928), and stayed ever since.
  • His gloves made their first appearance as part of his stage costume in The Opry House (1929). His gloves became a permanent fixture in When the Cat's Away (1929), and has remained part of his design ever since.
  • His eyes first occupied his entire face but were redesigned as small, black ovals giving Mickey a greater range of facial expression.

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Maturing character

The Band Concert (1935) was the first standard Micky Mouse cartoon in color with a signature red shorts. By this time, Mickey's mischievous prankster actions had passed on to Donald Duck. Mickey had transitioned into the role of an endearing romantic and humble hero.

Over time Mickey's facial features softened and appeared younger while his personality continued to mature. The Brave Little Tailor (1938) was the peak of Mickey's career, and at this point, Mickey became more curious and wholesome.

Today Mickey Mouse is optimistic, brave, and lovable in his iconic red shorts, yellow shoes, and white gloves.

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