Mickey Mouse’s debut performance

Disney’s 1928 short Steamboat Willie is considered to be the first appearance of Mickey Mouse, and now Dick Cheung brings us this lovely – and completely monochromatic – representation of the famous 89-year-old mouse in the current LEGO Brickheadz style.

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Mickey is seen with his hands on the ship’s wheel as he appears in the opening roll of almost every Disney production these days. I do like the accommodating base as a decorative piece; I could almost imagine it on top of a mantelpiece or a work desk as a nice memorabilia of the good ol’ days of animation.

2 comments on “Mickey Mouse’s debut performance

  1. Purple Dave

    I think it was PBS’ History Detectives that investigated an old claim that Disney ripped off another guy’s design when he introduced Mickey Mouse. I think the “original” character was called Micky Mouse and the copyright on an antique toy is dated one year before the release of Steamboat Willie. The conclusion was that it was a bogus lawsuit, but that Micky likely did predate Mickey. Turns out _EVERYONE_ was animating cutesy animals with macaroni arms and legs in the years leading up to Mickey’s debut, and you just about couldn’t spit without hitting two mice that looked like they were related to him, so while Micky did come before Mickey, Micky wasn’t exactly first either.

    Also, the reason they started using that clip as a lead-in is because Congress finally got fed up with their endless requests to extend copyright duration, and I believe Steamboat Willie has finally fallen into the public domain. But! If they use a clip of Mickey from that animated short as an introduced, they can claim trademark on the original character design, which means they have legitimate enough grounds to threaten to sue the pants off of anyone trying to flood the market with DVDs, and they probably won’t get tossed out of court before they can open their mouths.

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