Mickey Mouse – the one mouse anyone would love to have scurrying about their house, is undoubtedly the most popular cartoon character to date. Did you know that the creation of Mickey Mouse is what made Walt Disney so successful?
When Walt was 26 years old, he was returning home by train with his wife. Walt was a sad man, because his cartoons were not selling, and he was not making any money. He was returning to his little studio, and wanted to come back with something for his staff. As he was wondering what to draw, he came upon the idea of a mouse. Even though most people were scared of mice, they still look so vulnerable and sympathetic, that it’s easy to grow fond of them. So Mr. and Mrs. Disney started picturing what their mouse would look like: Big ears, red velvet pants – and a smart little fellow. And what should they name him? “Mortimer!” declared Walt. But just when the train pulled into the station, Mrs. Disney pulled her husband’s sleeve and said, “Mortimer? No. I’d say Mickey. Mickey Mouse.”
At first Walt had a tough time convincing selling his cartoon. He went from studio to studio, director to director, but all his scripts were rejected. Then finally, one manager at a small theatre, took a liking to Walt and his determination, and agreed to screen the film. The cartoon did phenomenally well. It smashed all records and created a sensation in the filming world. Disney was suddenly much in demand, and everyone wanted more of Mickey. So Mickey’s friends were born: Minne Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto. And the rest, as they say, is history.
And so kids, remember the words of Walt Disney himself if you ever visit one of the fantastic Disneyworld parks. “All this was started by a mouse.”
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