Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was the first character created by Walt Disney in collaboration with Universal in 1927. Following a falling out between the two studios, the character became the property of Universal and Walt had to create a new mascot for his studio. He decides to create Mortimer Mouse, a mouse who will become, under the impulse of his wife who did not like the first name, Mickey Mouse.
Anthropomorphic mouse famous for its falsetto voice (dubbing first performed by Walt Disney himself) and its composition in 3 circles, it appears for the first time on the screens on May 15, 1928 in “Plane Crazy” (and signs his first meeting with Minnie) then returns a few months later in “The Gallopin’ Gaucho”.
However, we establish the real birth of Mickey Mouse on November 18, 1928, release date of "Steamboat Willie". Initially silent, it is the studio's first film (and the second animated film in cinema history) to have received a synchronized soundtrack upon release.
From 1933, Mickey Mouse Magazine appeared in the United States, quickly imitated in France by Le journal de Mickey.
Seven years later, in 1935, "The Band Concert" hit screens and was the first film in the Mickey Mouse series to use Technicolor (a principle of image colorization). Mickey is the conductor there, and the film captivates critics, even the director of the New York Philharmonic.
After a long period outside of cinemas (replaced by television and comics) that ran until the 1980s, "Mickey's Christmas Carol " is seen as a rebirth with the return of many characters absent for too long from the big screen. From 1983, this film coincides with the launch of the Disney Channel, but also with the first video game Mickey on Atari 2600.
Opposed to Bugs Bunny for decades, they will cross paths with Robert Zemeckis' Roger Rabbit in 1988.
From the end of the 90s, Mickey is on all media, in video ("Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas ", its sequel or " Mickey, Donald, Goofy : The Three Musketeers”), in series (Mickey Mania, Disney's House of Mouse), in video games (Kingdom hearts, Epic Mickey), in a parody of Batman (Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine) etc.
More recently, and under the leadership of Glénat, several French authors (Loisel, Cosey Tébo, Trondheim, etc.) deliver their versions of the character, sometimes in tribute to the rodent's exceptional journey, sometimes by totally demystifying it.
Disney for its part called on Paul Rusddish, loyal right-hand man of Gendy Tartakovsky, to reinvent the character in the form of a delirious animated series which brings him back to traditional animation, a technique to which he had not been entitled since 1995.
It would be criminal to leave yourself here without telling you about some of our designer toys. Let's start with Leblon Delienne which for several years now offers a wide selection of Mickey / Minnie with different sizes, different colors, different prices, but still an unwavering love for the character.
Let's continue with the work of PoOL which offers a Mickey as punk as weakened with his tied bandana, his high pants and his glazed eyes.
For his part, Jason Freeny borrows Mickey's body, feet, legs, pelvis and two iconic buttons to offer an explosive version where a wick replaces the face of the mouse.
If the name Brian Donnelly might not mean much to you, you might know him by his artist name: Kaws. His "Companion" which he represents since 1999 has the body of Mickey, but with the head of a pirate with XX eyes. The artist will go even further by representing himself with his creation in the same posture as the famous statue of Walt Disney and Mickey at Disney World in Florida.
Finally, it is difficult to forget the recent (and sublime) piece by Daniel Arsham, which is a vibrant tribute to the short film "Lonesome ghosts" from 1937.
This is of course only a brief summary of Mickey Mouse's career, there would be much to say about his reunion with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, his refusal to enter the public domain, or the fact that he has become the very icon of America with all that it entails of dreams and disillusions.
Now it's up to you to dive deeper into the history of the world's most famous mouse.