Many Happy Returns, Mickey!
Today marks a major milestone. Everyone's favorite animated rodent (apologies to Mighty, Jerry & Herman), Mickey Mouse, turns eighty today!
It seems like yesterday, but on November 18, 1928, the first cartoon with sound, "Steamboat Willie", featuring the debut of Mr. Mouse, premiered at the Colony Theatre in NYC. It was a daring artistic and financial risk for Walt Disney and his struggling little studio, but their hard work paid off. The film was a smash, and Walt and Mickey went on to even greater heights.
I have had the privilege of meeting this major celebrity at the Disney theme parks on many occasions, and I can tell you he is as charming in person as he is onscreen.
Some of you may feel that the Mickey Mouse cartoons are a bit dull and innocuous. If you are one of these people, I urge you to check out the films, "Lonesome Ghosts", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Brave Little Tailor", "Fun & Fancy Free (The "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment, one of my all time favorite cartoons)" and, of course, his star turn in "Fantasia", if you need to be reminded how entertaining a Mickey Mouse cartoon can be.
Suffice to say, if the Mick-man had never squeaked his way onto the screen, many a young cartoonist would have never been inspired to start flinging the ink.
So happy, happy, Mickey Mouse. Now that he's 80, maybe someday, he'll finally make an honest woman out of Minnie!