After reading the title, you MAY think that this is going to be a blog about, well anything really. The Disney Company uses that quote in all manner of advertising, and it’s many people’s favorite quote from Uncle Walt. But it’s most often reserved for use with “Steamboat Willie.” In a future blog, I may devote time just to that one quote. But for now, let’s discuss the first Mickey Mouse cartoon. And no, it ISN’T Steamboat Willie (shocking, I know). It’s Plane Crazy!
Before Mickey made his official theatrical debut in the full glory of synchronized sound, he was a silent film character just like all the other characters of the day. But what set him apart was that this was only in a one time, preview-released film, that later, was recorded with sound. In May of 1928, a full6 months before the world saw Steamboat Willie, a preview took place of Walt Disney’s newest cartoon. It was a little mouse who assumed the role of Charles Lindberg. Of course, he didn’t fly much of anywhere, except around the barnyard, and he didn’t have a lot to say. No cartoons did at the time, and as such, he didn’t recieve very favorable reviews. Uncle Walt and Ub Iwerks went back to the “drawing board” to think of some kind of idea to make the character a success. They had Plane Crazy, and another short, “Galloping Gaucho” completed and another film, “Steamboat Willie” partially completed. Walt liked the way that Mickey looked in Steamboat Willie the best and since it wasn’t done yet, it was easy to edit for an amazing marvel….SOUND.
Using Pat Power’s stolen “CINEPHONE” technology (a different story altogether) the cartoon was completed and since Walt didn’t want to throw away the work they had done on the first two shorts, sound was added to Plane Crazy and Galloping Gaucho as well. And while the Disney Company recognizes Steamboat Willie as the Mickey Mouse Debut, it’s important to note that he WAS on the screen, albeit in a quieter role, before that fateful November night in 1928.
Everything I read said that I should talk about something I know. I decided that of everything that I know, I probably know the most about Disney. I’m a former cast member, and current pass holder at Walt Disney World, so there’s a little bit of inside knowledge there, but the majority of my info comes from research, history, being a Walt Disney fan, and loving Mickey Mouse. The people I work with call me Mr. Mickey. I have applied for more than one job with a Mickey Mouse Tie on. Mickey guards my keys, sings a song when my toast is done, and sleeps in every one of my children’s beds. I wish I was making this stuff up. I’ve had Mickey Mouse checks at 4 different bank accounts and (as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now) seen everything he’s been in. I have a Theatre Style, double sided Runaway Brain poster. Yeah, it’s pretty serious.
But aside from my love of the mouse, I am a fan of all things Classic Disney. The old movies, TV Shows, Walt himself; these are all more than hobbies for me. They are a passion. I could write a book, or a really in-depth website. But we live in 2011 and the best way to tell someone all about what you know is with a blog. So here I am, and I hope you’ll return. I plan to write a little bit all the time. We visit the park a lot, so some of the posts will be about that, but most will probably have to do with classic Disney films, history of the company, that sort of thing. I hope that you enjoy, and come back often. I’ll try to have new info for you every time you visit.