.....There are a select few cartoon characters who are universally recognizable and loved: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, the Road Runner, Snoopy, Goofy, and Mickey Mouse. Created in 1928 by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse became an overnight success upon the release of his first animated short, "Steamboat Willie". What set that short apart from other cartoons of the time (and from the first two Mickey Mouse shorts produced, "Plane Crazy" and "The Gallopin' Gaucho") was that it was the first cartoon with fully synchronized sound (though it should be noted that the Fleischer studio had been experimenting with sound since 1925). Produced without a distributor, Walt was able to convince a theatre in New York to play the short, and the rest is history. "Plane Crazy" and "The Gallopin' Gaucho" were released with sound, and soon afterwards, Iwerks and Disney began producing the series with Celebrity Pictures as their distributor.
.....As popular as Mickey was, he soon proved to be difficult to write for: while pleasant, Mickey was never inherently funny. To compensate, the Disney staff created a supporting cast for Mickey, which, in addition to Minnie Mouse and Pete (who predated Mickey by three years), included Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Pluto, Goofy, Clara Cluck, and Donald Duck. Following the move to color in 1935, Mickey was soon passed over by his funnier co-stars, many of whom eventually received their own theatrical series.
.....However, this was not the end for Mickey Mouse. 1940 saw Mickey's greatest performance, a role in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", one of the segments of Fantasia, and Mickey shorts continued production through 1953. In 1955, The Mickey Mouse Club hit television, and Mickey moved into a role as corporate symbol for The Walt Disney Company, and as the Official Host of Disneyland. In 1983, Mickey appeared as Bob Cratchit in Disney's re-telling of Dickens' classic story, A Christmas Carol. The short received an Academy Award nomination, and was a great return to the silver screen for the Mouse. Two more shorts were released in the 1990s ("The Prince and the Pauper" and "Runaway Brain"), as well as two TV series, Mickey MouseWorks and Disney's House of Mouse, which revived the tradition of shorts starring the classic Disney characters.
.....At present, Mickey is again in a state of transition, as longtime voice Wayne Allwine died on May 19th, due to diabetes. It's currently unknown if Allwine, who was mentored by his predecessor, Jimmy MacDonald (who was likewise trained by his predecessor, Walt Disney), had an understudy, but given the caliber of the rest of the voices of Disney's "Famous Five" (Allwine's widow Russi Taylor as Minnie, Tony Anselmo as Donald, and Bill Farmer as Goofy and Pluto), it can be safely assumed that the role of Mickey will land in extremely capable hands.
.....Cartoons are presented here in chronological order of theatrical release.
"Minnie's Yoo Hoo" Intro (From "The Chain Gain", 1930-*.mp3 format): mickeyintro
Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song (*.mp3 format): mmc................................................
"Minnie's Yoo Hoo" (Album version-*.mp3 format): myh.............................................