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    Re: Happy 78th Birthday, Mickey Mouse!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Minion View Post
    Mickey's birthday was 6 months ago.

    Mickey Mouse's first cartoon was "Mickey Mouse In Plane Crazy"(**), released May 15, 1928. The silent black & white cartoon was considered a failure after audiences didn't respond positively to Mickey, Minnie & Pluto. Walt & his animators produced a second silent cartoon (also black & white) called "The Galloping Gaucho" but the cartoon was shelved. Mr. Disney then began on a third Mickey Mouse cartoon called "Steamboat Willie". Though it too was black & white like the other cartoons, this one was the first ever to have synchronized sound. This third Mickey Mouse cartoon (produced) was the second to be released. It was released on November 18, 1928 and was a hit. The following month "The Galloping Gaucho" was finally released.

    So there you have it folks.

    ** - In the summer of 1930, Walt copyrighted sound versions of the first two Mickey Mouse cartoons he produced. When he did Walt changed the name of the first cartoon from "Mickey Mouse In Plane Crazy" to "Plane Crazy".
    Actually, there you don't have it.

    While "Plane Crazy" was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon produced, it was not officially released on May 15, 1928. According to Neal Gabler's Walt Disney biography, "Plane Crazy" was finished sometime before May 15th and Walt immediately started shopping it around to local Southern California exhibitors in hopes of finding a national distributor. Gabler cites individual preview showings in Glendale and Hollywood prior to May 21st. Despite favorable audience response (one exhibitor recalled the cartoon getting more applause than the feature), no distributor showed interest. By then "The Galloping Gaucho" was already in mid-production, a silent cartoon like "Plane Crazy."

    Shortly thereafter, Walt made the decision to shelve "Plane Crazy," complete the animation on "Gaucho" and immediately begin production on a new Mickey Mouse sound cartoon. Accounts differ on how this actually came about, but it was clearly influenced by the recent success of The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson.

    "Steamboat Willie" debuted at the Colony Theater in New York City on November 18, 1928, initially scheduled for a two-week trial run. The audience and critical response was overwhelming and the rest, as they say, is history. "Plane Crazy" and "Gaucho" were released with sound in December.

    Film historians and the Walt Disney Company itself recognize November 18th as the "official" birthday of Mickey and Minnie, so I think we're safe to continue doing so without needing to pull hairs. It's amusing to note that while Disney fans the world over recall the significance of November 18th, Walt himself had difficulty remembering it. In several different interviews during his life he cited July 19th, September 19th and September 28th as the dates of Mickey's "Steamboat Willie" debut.

    Edit: Needed to add that Pluto didn't make his screen debut until the 1930 Mickey cartoon "The Chain Gang."
    Last edited by disneytim; 11-19-2006 at 01:20 AM.

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