Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse
In 2018, D23 Gold Members will be smiling from “ear to ear” as they enjoy this delightful collection chronicling the career of everyone’s favorite mouse. From Steamboat Willie to Shanghai Disneyland, Mickey’s tale is told through 23 milestone mementos, each beautifully reproduced under the supervision of the Walt Disney Archives. These souvenirs of success follow Mickey as he transitions from black and white to radiant color, entertaining generations of fans, and becoming the very embodiment of imaginative innovation. Through it all, Mickey mirrors Walt Disney’s own optimistic spirit and proves himself to be that rare celebrity who is, and always will be, both a global icon and a personal friend to all.
A star is born as Mickey dazzles audiences with antics set to animation’s first synchronized soundtrack. Predating the invention of the storyboard, this illustrated continuity becomes a treasured memento that Walt Disney keeps in his desk.
Newspaper “funny pages” bring Mickey into homes, and millions follow his serialized adventures. When Mickey poses for a formal photograph, readers are encouraged to write in to see the finished result... and find tag-along pal Butch making a surprise appearance!
Created for one showing at the 1932 Academy Awards® dinner, Mickey appears in color for the first time on screen. Comic caricatures of the year’s Oscar® nominees process alongside Minnie Mouse, Clarabelle Cow, and Pluto.
Huggable Mickey and Minnie toys become a national craze, and when official doll maker Charlotte Clark cannot accommodate the overwhelming demand, Disney authorizes a home-use pattern so mothers can make mice for their eager little ones.
As the Disney Studio on Hyperion Avenue prospers and expands, a whimsical coat of arms appears on an interior door. With faux formality, a banner device in Pig Latin glorifies the source behind the success: Mickey Mouse!
Hollywood pioneer Carl Laemmle’s Universal Pictures once distributed Disney Oswald cartoons and, later, Mickey’s as well. In tribute to Laemmle, Walt sends this historic greeting—likely the only time Mickey and Oswald will “meet” until the lucky rabbit’s 2006 “homecoming.”
The new, purpose-built Disney campus in Burbank allows increased productivity and possibilities. This elegant logo art appears on everything from electrical generators and location vehicles to mailroom bicycles and matchbooks.
Mickey is not only “taken by surprise” by a coquettish Minnie in this nostalgic cartoon short, but also drawn with enormous appeal by Disney Legend Fred Moore.
With his wrench and propeller forming a “V” for victory, Mickey represents the “can-do” spirit of the American home front. Ultimately, Disney provides mascot and insignia art, buoying the resolve of thousands serving in military and civilian groups.
For Walt’s traditional holiday greeting, artist Hank Porter depicts Mickey as another beloved joy-giver: Santa Claus! Inside, a galaxy of Disney characters toasts the new year, including Mickey’s feature co-stars from Fun and Fancy Free.
In his first weekly television broadcast, Walt Disney not only introduces his innovative theme park concept but pays tribute to the mouse that started it all. Walt’s on-screen scrapbook contains Mickey’s portrait in oil by Disney Legend John Hench.
For a brief time, Disney creates animated television commercials featuring simplified “modern” stylings of characters designed to read clearly on early TV screens. Artist Tom Oreb is the first to re-think Mickey in these geometric, contemporary terms.
Dramatic art by Disney Legend Al Dempster shows Mickey at his magical best, accompanying the original Fantasia recording of Paul Dukas’ classical composition. To make sure young listeners can follow along, clever narration by Sterling Holloway is added.
Featuring five themed days, catchy music, educational outreach, and unforgettable headwear, the Mickey Mouse Club is a broadcasting sensation. This card shows its young stars ready for their third season, along with “Mooseketeers” Jimmie Dodd and Roy Williams.
Mickey conquers a new medium of animation—as an Audio-Animatronics® figure—headlining his own show in the new Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Hollywood designers John DeCuir Sr. and David Negron’s dynamic poster has motion in mind (plus a few hidden friends)!
Parodying Norman Rockwell’s famous Saturday Evening Post cover, Charles Boyer’s “Triple Self Portrait” fronts a celebration of both Walt and Mickey, including Mickey’s “own story,” a photo timeline, and a look at the wristwatch that became a generational icon.
This jubilant logo honors the 50th anniversary of Mickey’s debut. Inspired by familiar cartoon title card art, legendary Disney animator Ward Kimball sports his pinback throughout a commemorative “whistle stop” train tour and for many years thereafter.
Based on art created for a Library of Congress exhibit, Disney Imagineers use this poster for inspiration as they hurry to build both EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland. The original heading is optimistically overprinted as the projects near completion.
After a 30-year absence, Mickey returns to the big screen in Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983). Disney greets Dickens with this song, by Disney Legend Irwin Kostal (Mary Poppins) and Frederick Searles, seen here in its nascent pre-production form.
Only the sharpest eyes catch Mickey’s image as Flynn and Yori ride a “Solar Sailer” beyond the game grid of Tron. Within the electronic terrain, Mickey is on hand as computer animation makes magic that was unimaginable in the Steamboat Willie days.
A colorful array of classic attractions beckons visitors to explore the new “Kingdom of Family Dreams” in Japan. Mickey welcomes the world and ushers in an era of international Disney entertainment experiences that extend beyond movie and television screens.
When Disney inaugurates its premium cable service in April 1983, one of the first images broadcast is a mouse-shaped satellite—“ears” poised to beam entertainment to all. Launch parties celebrate another milestone (and medium) for Mickey.
Flanked by pals Donald Duck and Goofy, Mickey greets the sunshine of new horizons on Mickey Avenue. The cartoon-themed thoroughfare transports visitors to a “one-reel town” that’s also a gateway to the newest in Disney wonders.