The Untold Truth Of Mickey Mouse

Today, Disney is known for a lot of things. The studio has beautiful fairy tale princesses who battle witches and curses to ultimately find their Prince Charming, MCU superheroes with badass powers who take on universe-ending threats, and a whole slate of iconic comedy shows that revolve around tweens and high schoolers.

But above all these popular creations that have made Disney one of the most powerful entertainment studios on the planet, there looms the towering shape of Mickey Mouse. One of Disney’s earliest creations — and a character that’s defined the company for generations — Mickey is the happy-go-lucky company mascot who’s been at the forefront of Disney’s inexorable march towards dominating the entertainment landscape. 

Despite his iconic status, Mickey’s popularity today is not what it once was. These days, the iconic mouse is known more for being the face of Disney rather than a character in his own right, but he possesses a rich history and a complex backstory that stretches over several decades. And if you want to learn more about the beloved cartoon character, read on for the untold truth of Mickey Mouse.

The secret hand behind Mickey’s creation

Pop culture loves the idea of a central genius who’s single-handedly responsible for the success of an entire company. But the truth is, Steve Jobs needed Steve Wozniak to make the first Apple computer, and Stan Lee needed Jack Kirby to come up with so many iconic Marvel Comics characters. 

So what about the creation of Mickey Mouse? It’s a well-known fact that Walt Disney came up with the design for Mickey Mouse during a train ride back from a business meeting that had not gone well. During one of his lowest moments — his studio, Laugh-O-Gram, had gone bankrupt, and his character, Oswald the Rabbit, had been taken from him – Disney conceived of the idea of a mouse character that would eventually become Mickey. “He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood,” Disney recalled in a 1948 essay.

He took his rough initial sketch to his friend and business partner Ub Iwerks, the legendary animator who was responsible for many future innovations that the Disney company brought about in the industry. Iwerks reworked and refined the sketch of the mouse that had been handed to him into the iconic design that’s today known throughout the world. Finally, it was Walt Disney’s wife, Lillian, who suggested that the mouse’s name should be changed from “Mortimer” to “Mickey,” and thus the legend was born.

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Today, Disney is known for a lot of things. The studio has beautiful fairy tale princesses who battle witches and curses to ultimately find their Prince Charming, MCU superheroes with badass powers who take on universe-ending threats, and a whole slate of iconic comedy shows that revolve around tweens and high schoolers. But above all…

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