This is a very special week in the world of Disney. Everyone’s favorite mouse, loved all over the world by kids and adults, is celebrating his 81st birthday this week! Walt Disney and his animator pal Ub Iwerks created the lovable Mickey Mouse all the way back in 1928. While Mickey began as a silent black and white cartoon in “Plane Crazy,” where he tries to fly a plane and sneak a kiss with Minnie Mouse at the same time, his official debut is considered to be in the musical cartoon “Steamboat Willie.” Disney aficionados will recognize the familiar image of Mickey steering a giant steamboat as he whistles along, and some may say it was with that cartoon that the empire of Walt Disney began. Who knew, way back then, that a little cartoon about a mouse would spawn the incredible Disney theme parks in Orlando and all over the world?
There’s a famous quote by Walt Disney that goes: “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.” It couldn’t be a more honest and even fascinating statement. That little mouse trying to sneak a kiss and steer a steamboat gave birth to a company that would create Disneyland in Anaheim, California and the Walt Disney World Resort right here in Orlando. There are now Disney Parks all over the world including Tokyo, Paris and soon Shanghai. How can we forget the classic movies? From Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King to the brand new The Princess and the Frog, which features Disney’s first Black princess, Tiana!
There are also great television projects like The Mickey Mouse Club, which was where stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake got their start. The Disney Channel expanded to produce a new level of teen stars with performers like Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. Along with the great shows and theme parks, there are also special events where Mickey and Minnie are the star of the show; whether it be in a parade or through Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Incredible how Disney has grown after 81 years, and it’s only going to get bigger. Happy Birthday to the mouse that started it all!