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Walt Disney sailed into fame and fortune with Steamboat Willie featuring Mickey Mouse.
Clearwater resident Steven Stein thinks he has Disney's original drawing of the famous character.
"Nobody else would have done anything this big of this character in the 1920's except Walt Disney," Stein claimed.
Stein says he paid a New York City thrift store $3 for the drawing in 1984, and he says he's spent many years and many dollars authenticating the artwork.
"I've had the ink test dated. I've had the paper test dated. The ink tests to the mid 1920's," he said.
That date would be after Disney created a character called Oswald the Rabbit, lost the rights to that creature, and came up with another one.
If the drawing Stein has does turn out to be Disney's first rendition of the Mickey character, his name was not yet Mickey. It was Mortimer. Disney's wife who thought Mortimer Mouse was far too serious a name.
Stein claims the Disney Corporation has refused to even look at his drawing since he approached them in 1989.
"I've asked them many times to either see it, tell me why they don't think it is what it is, answer my evidence," he said.
Now Stein is taking Disney to court.
"I'm suing them for $50-million, the copyright on Mickey Mouse, and the right to tell the Walt Disney story," said Stein.
Stein believes somebody must have a copy of an old newsreel showing his drawing over the shoulder of a very young Walt Disney.
Perhaps his lawsuit will flush that film out, and prove he possesses one very valuable mouse.
Stein also claims there are markings on the back of his drawing in the handwriting of Walt Disney.