Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Mickey Mouse

Animated character, created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, who has become a worldwide Icon. The same team had earlier created a series star called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who in most respects closely resembled MM; had the Disney studio not been swindled out of the rights to Oswald, MM would probably never have been brought into existence.

MM first appeared in Steamboat Willie (1928), a short Animated Movie undistinguished except insofar as it featured a soundtrack – albeit an unsophisticated one. (It was not the first animated short with a soundtrack: Max Fleischer had performed the trick with My Old Kentucky Home [1924], and may not have been the first.) The public went "Mickey-mad", and further MM shorts followed with dizzying frequency until about 1940, when the pace slowed. After The Simple Things (1953) there was a 30-year hiatus before MM's screen career restarted with Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983; > A Christmas Carol); during these years, however, MM was omnipresent in the Disney comics as well as in the company's theme parks, while MM merchandise was widely sold throughout the world – MM watches being especially prized.

MM has in fact appeared in fewer movies (and probably fewer Comics) than Disney's other great "property", Donald Duck, but the latter has never been promoted to the same extent as a company symbol. This is probably because the character of MM was based in large part on that of Walt Disney himself (who also voice-acted MM for many years): thus the corporate image was not so much MM as Walt.

MM is a jealously guarded copyright character, and therefore for legal reasons rarely appears "in clear" in written fantasy. [JG]

Filmography:

Mickey Mouse shorts: B/w: Steamboat Willie (1928); Gallopin' Gaucho (1928); Plane Crazy (1928); The Barn Dance (1928); The Opry House (1929); When the Cat's Away (1929); The Barnyard Battle (1929); The Plow Boy (1929); The Karnival Kid (1929); Mickey's Follies (1929); Mickey's Choo-Choo (1929); The Jazz Fool (1929); Jungle Rhythm (1929); The Haunted House (1929); Wild Waves (1929); Just Mickey (1930; ot Fiddlin' Around); The Barnyard Concert (1930); The Cactus Kid (1930); The Fire Fighters (1930); The Shindig (1930); The Chain Gang (1930); The Gorilla Mystery (1930); The Picnic (1930); Pioneer Days (1930); The Birthday Party (1931); Traffic Troubles (1931); The Castaway (1931); The Moose Hunt (1931); The Delivery Boy (1931); Mickey Steps Out (1931); Blue Rhythm (1931); Fishin' Around (1931); The Barnyard Broadcast (1931); The Beach Party (1931); Mickey Cuts Up (1931); Mickey's Orphans (1931); The Duck Hunt (1932); The Grocery Boy (1932); The Mad Dog (1932); Barnyard Olympics (1932); Mickey's Revue (1932); Musical Farmer (1932); Mickey in Arabia (1932); Mickey's Nightmare (1932); Trader Mickey (1932); The Whoopee Party (1932); Touchdown Mickey (1932); The Wayward Canary (1932); The Klondike Kid (1932); Mickey's Good Deed (1932); Building a Building (1933); The Mad Doctor (1933); Mickey's Pal Pluto (1933); Mickey's Mellerdrammer (1933); Ye Olden Days (1933); The Mail Pilot (1933); Mickey's Mechanical Man (1933); Mickey's Gala Premiere (1933); Puppy Love (1933); The Steeple Chase (1933); The Pet Store (1933); Giantland (1933); Shanghaied (1934); Camping Out (1934); Playful Pluto (1934); Gulliver Mickey (1934); Mickey's Steam Roller (1934); Orphan's Benefit (1934); Mickey Plays Papa (1934); The Dognapper (1934); Two-Gun Mickey (1934); Mickey's Man Friday (1935); Mickey's Service Station (1935); Mickey's Kangaroo (1935). Colour: The Band Concert (1935); Mickey's Garden (1935); Mickey's Fire Brigade (1935); Pluto's Judgment Day (1935); On Ice (1935); Mickey's Polo Team (1936); Orphan's Picnic (1936); Mickey's Grand Opera (1936); Thru the Mirror (1936; also released in b/w); Mickey's Rival (1936); Moving Day (1936); Alpine Climbers (1936); Mickey's Circus (1936); Mickey's Elephant (1936); The Worm Turns (1937); Magician Mickey (1937); Moose Hunters (1937); Mickey's Amateurs (1937); Hawaiian Holiday (1937); Clock Cleaners (1937); Lonesome Ghosts (1937); Boat Builders (1938); Mickey's Trailer (1938); The Whalers (1938); Mickey's Parrot (1938); Brave Little Tailor (1938); Society Dog Show (1939); The Pointer (1939); Tugboat Mickey (1940); Pluto's Dream House (1940); Mr Mouse Takes a Trip (1940); The Little Whirlwind (1941); The Nifty Nineties (1941); Orphans' Benefit (1941; remake of Orphan's Benefit [1934]); Mickey's Birthday Party (1942); Symphony Hour (1942); Mickey's Delayed Date (1947); Mickey Down Under (1948); Mickey and the Seal (1948); Plutopia (1951); R'coon Dawg (1951); Pluto's Party (1952); Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952); The Simple Things (1953); Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983; > A Christmas Carol); The Prince and the Pauper (1990).

Other shorts in which MM appeared: The Fox Hunt (1938); Mickey's Surprise Party (1939 commercial); The Standard Parade (1939 commercial); A Gentleman's Gentleman (1941 Pluto cartoon); Canine Caddy (1941 Pluto cartoon); Lend a Paw (1941 Pluto cartoon, remake of Mickey's Pal Pluto [1933]); All Together (1942 commercial); Pluto and the Armadillo (1943); Squatter's Rights (1946); Pluto's Purchase (1948); Pueblo Pluto (1949); Crazy Over Daisy (1950).

Features in which MM appeared: The Hollywood Party (1934), a non-Disney "all-star" mess, none of whose eight directors permitted his name to appear in the credits; Fantasia (1940); Fun and Fancy Free (1947); Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

further reading: Mickey Mouse: Fifty Happy Years (anth 1977) ed David Bain and Bruce Harris; Mickey's Golden Jubilee (1979) by Francis Weber; Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse – His Life and Times (1986) by Richard Holliss and Brian Sibley.

see also: Mice and Rats.

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.