Happy 88th Birthday, Mickey Mouse! Fun Facts and How You Can Join the Celebration

BURBANK, Calif. — To celebrate his upcoming birthday, Mickey Mouse embarked on a trip around the world, where he made surprise appearances in iconic, real-world locations to delight his fans and friends. These magical moments chronicling Mickey’s global adventures have been captured and shared on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Facebook page, culminating with the debut of a video highlighting Mickey’s travels featuring an upbeat new song, “What We Got.” The video debuted on the big day: November 18 on Good Morning America. Mickey fans are encouraged to join the celebration on social media using #HappyBirthdayMickey.

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In advance of Mickey’s birthday, Disney has launched the Mickey Mouse Instagram account (@MickeyMouse). Following on the popularity of the Mickey Mouse Facebook page, which has more than 13 million followers, Mickey’s Instagram page will showcase videos and images including Mickey’s global travels, as well as his appearances in Disney films, television shows, and theme parks.

On Mickey’s birthday, select locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, as well as Disney Stores in the United States, will be distributing commemorative “Happy Birthday, Mickey!” buttons. Disneyland Park in Anaheim, will host a special pre-parade birthday celebration for Mickey, and at Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando, characters and performers will dance in a special birthday-themed edition of the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party.

Also on November 18, Disney Channel will air the Emmy®-winning new Mickey Mouse shorts throughout the day and premiere two new cartoon series featuring Mickey Mouse. On Mickey Meows Club, the feline hosts of a web-based talk show provide their own “cat”-mentary on Mickey’s incredible performances in their favorite shorts. Mickey’s How Not To will provide viewers with a humorous series of informative tips on how not to do things, using Mickey’s funniest fails and moments from the latest cartoons. Plus, that day Disney Junior will debut the teaser trailer for the upcoming series Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

In addition, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Oh My Disney!, Babble, and other Disney sites will be posting Mickey-related videos, galleries, stories, crafts, recipes, and shareables leading up to and on his birthday.

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honor of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on November 18, 1928 at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series.

FUN FACTS

Artists who have drawn Mickey through the years have referred to him as Walt Disney’s “alter ego” and have said he “represents the world of animation.” Here are 11 facts about the famous mouse we all know and love:

  1. Mickey Mouse made his debut, Nov. 18, 1928 in the animated short Steamboat Willie at the Colony Theater in New York City.
  2. Steamboat Willie was the world’s first cartoon with synchronized sound and featured Walt Disney’s own voice for Mickey’s squeaks.
  3. A Mickey Mouse cartoon could include more than 10,000 drawings for a seven and half minute film and could take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.
  4. More than 100 Mickey Mouse cartoons were produced during the 1930s and were shown at theaters with feature film, newsreels and serial dramas and comedies. Disney’s shorts were so popular that moviegoers would often ask if a Mickey cartoon would be part of the show before purchasing a ticket, according to Robert Tieman, author of “The Mickey Mouse Treasures.”
  5. Mickey Mouse made his first live, in-person appearance on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles in a live stage show called the “Mickey Mouse Idea.”
  6. Arguably the most successful piece of Mickey merchandise was the iconic Mickey Mouse watch. Debuting in June 1933, more than 2.5 million watches were sold in the first two years of production and a Mickey Watch was even included in the time capsule at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.
  7. Mickey made his first color film appearance in The Band Concert in 1935.
  8. Mickey’s white gloves made their first appearance in 1929’s When the Cat’s Away.
  9. While you may be familiar with Mickey’s friends like Donald and Goofy, he also has quite a large family! His nephews Morty and Ferdie may be the most recognizable, but Mickey also has more than a dozen cousins, uncles and grandparents, including Uncle Maxwell, a college professor, Cousin Digger, an Australian rancher, and Uncle Louie, a French chef.
  10. In honor of his 60th birthday, Mickey Mouse was given a place in the Smithsonian Institution. In 1988, Walt Disney Studios donated six original animation drawings from Steamboat Willie to the National Museum of American History.
  11. Walt Disney has said that silent film star Charlie Chaplin was one of the inspirations for the character of Mickey Mouse. “We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin…a little fellow trying to do the best he could,” Disney said, according to Tieman in The Mickey Mouse Treasures. Ub Iwerks, the artist who helped Disney first design Mickey, said of the character, “People accepted him as a symbolic character, and though he looked like a mouse, he was accepted as dashing and heroic.”

Have a photo with Mickey? Of course you do! Share it to our Happy Birthday Mickey Slideshow!