On Tuesday November 18, 2008, the eternally youthful-looking Mickey Mouse turned 80! The ever-smiling rodent celebrated his birthday quietly surrounded by his friends and family and of course thousands of fans, young and old.
Born from a sketch that Walt Disney did whilst on a bus, Mickey started his life as Mortimer. Luckily for us, his wife convinced him that Mortimer was a bad choice for a cartoon, and picked Mickey instead.
Mickey was first introduced to the World in 1928 in a seven-minute animated cartoon dubbed Steamboat Willie (see video below).
This was a big deal, as it was the first time a cartoon featured synchronized music and sound effects - which included Mickey whistling and blowing raspberries at the ship's captain.
The film, which was a great hit, also starred Minnie Mouse, but it was Mickey that became an overnight star. Soon, stores were flooded with all kinds of Mickey Mouse merchandise, and two years later the Mickey Mouse fan club, which is still very popular, was born.
Mickey's first major makeover happened in 1935, at the age of seven. Fred Moore, a young animator re-drew his body, making it more realistic. He also made him cuter by adding large pupils and a smaller button nose.
But most importantly, he gave Mickey some style, by sketching in the signature white gloves, that the new Mickey Mouse always wears.
These changes were important as this was the first year that Mickey's cartoon appeared in color.
By 1950, with 12 animated short films to his credit, Mickey was well on his path to stardom, adding a park and television show to his long list of achievements.
Now at 80, Mickey seems to have 'retired' from movies, but he still stars in his own TV show.
No matter what other fancy characters Disney introduces, Mickey remains a favorite among both kids and adults all across the Globe. Happy Birthday Mickey!