Mickey Mouse Day

Mickey Mouse Day - Monday, November 18, 2024

Arts & Entertainment Pop Culture

Mickey Mouse first appeared publicly in the short film “Steamboat Willy” on November 18, 1928, the day fans officially recognize as Mickey Mouse’s Birthday. It must be fun to celebrate your birthday when you never age! Mickey reminds us of the magic of childhood — a time when dreams had wings, and our imagination made everything possible.

If there’s one image that everyone in the world can recognize, it’s the iconic ears of our favorite mouse, Disney’s Mickey Mouse. His face graces everything from ceramic mugs to balloons, touching on every industry and areas of our lives. It can be found in the shape of ice cream on a hot summer afternoon, or on the back of a hoodie on a frigid autumn morning, and when the day’s work is done, we can join him in Kingdom Hearts as they King. It all started with a short film called “Steamboat Willie”, and ever since, he’s been the very icon of family fun, hope over adversity, and following your dreams.

History of Mickey Mouse Day

Mickey Mouse was originally dreamed up by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney in 1928, and from that first short film has risen to be a worldwide recognized Icon. Year after year, Mickey has won nominations for the Academy Award for the Best Animated Short film, and finally won one in 1928. As a tribute to just how popular and ground-breaking this fantastic mouse is, he was the first animated character to ever receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Since then we saw the rise and fall of “The Mickey Mouse club”, and a growing family of characters that have all become part of the Disney IP. If it weren’t for a bit of duplicitous backstabbing and Hollywood Drama, Mickey might never have come into existence. Mickey first came to pass as a replacement for Walt’s first popular creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. After the relationship with Universal Studios soured, Mickey Mouse was created and came to be the avatar of the happiest place on earth.

How to celebrate Mickey Mouse Day

With Mickey appearing in so many places and in so many different types of media, the ways to celebrate Mickey Mouse day are only as limited as your imagination. Start off small by wearing or buying a Mickey Mouse themed piece of clothing, maybe a hoodie bearing his image or a hat with Mickey Mouse ears.

Follow it up by singing that most popular song “M I C. K E Y. M O U S E! Mickey Mouse! (Donald Duck!)” from the Mousketeers show. Gather with all of your friends and family and watch the old cartoons from the days when your grandparents were children. Mickey Mouse has been around for many a year, and some of the oldies are the goodies.

Best of all, plan a trip to one of Mickey Mouse’s kingdoms, located all over the world. Nothing celebrates the day of this Disney great like taking the whole family to the Magic Kingdom and spending the day enjoying everything Disney has to offer.

History of Mickey Mouse Day

Mickey Mouse is more than just a character, he’s an iconic figure for the Disney brand. But he almost didn’t exist. Mickey Mouse was only created as a replacement for Walt Disney’s original successful creation, Oswald the Rabbit. Oswald was made by the Disney studio for Charles Mintz, a film producer and distributer through Universal Studios. With so much success from Oswald, Disney asked Mintz to increase the studio’s budget, but instead Mintz demanded Walt take a 20 percent cut. He then reminded Disney that Oswald was owned by Universal and that he had already signed most of Disney’s current employees to his new contract. Disney refused to sign the new contract, finished the final Oswald comic of his contract, and ended his work with Universal.

With just himself and two loyal animators, Ub Iwerks and Les Clark, Disney had to start from scratch. From this experience, he learned to make sure he owned all the rights to characters produced by his company. His inspiration for Mickey came from a tamed mouse at his desk at Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City, Missouri. The original name for the character was Mortimer Mouse until his wife, Lillian, convinced him to change it, ultimately creating Mickey Mouse.

 On May 14, 1928, Mickey appeared in a test screening of the cartoon short “Plane Crazy”, but failed to impress audiences and attract distributors. Walt then produced a second Mickey short called “The Gallopin’ Gaucho”, which also suffered from a lack of distributor interest. “Steamboat Willy”, first released November 18, 1928 in New York, was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Intended as a parody of Buster Keaton’s “Steamboat Bill, Jr.”, it was the third Mickey film produced and the first to find a distributor, serving as Mickey’s debut.

Mickey Mouse Day timeline


Mickey Goes CGI

"Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas" featured the character in CGI animation for the first time.



Mickey's Toontown opened at Disneyland. The 1988 Disney film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" inspired this new part of the Magic Kingdom. The area featured the "Mickey's House and Meet Mickey" attraction.


Ear Force One

The first Mickey Mouse hot air balloon took flight.


Mickey — in color

The first Mickey Mouse film in technicolor, "The Bad Concert," was released. This marked the end of Mickey's black and white era.


From rabbit to mouse

Artist Ub Iwerks modified Oswald Rabbit — turning him into Mickey Mouse. Mickey's big-screen debut came in the feature film "Steamboat Willie."

Mickey Mouse Day FAQs

What day is Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday?

Mickey Mouse celebrated his 9oth birthday back on November 18, 2018! This year, the animated mouse is 92! 

What is Mickey Mouse's full name?

Did you know that Mickey is just a nickname? His full name is Michael Theodore Mouse.

Why does Mickey Mouse always say "hot dog"?

The famous Mickey Mouse catchphrase came to be as tribute to the first words he ever spoke, “hot dogs”!

Mickey Mouse Day Activities

  1. Put him on your wrist

    Mickey Mouse watches never seem to go out of style. There's even a 90th anniversary edition now available.

  2. Visit a Disney resort

    Enjoy music, fireworks, and special snacks as the parks stage a Mickey-themed party.

  3. Throw your own party

    How about a Mickey Mouse party for the kids where everyone gets to dress up like Mickey, Minnie, or another Disney character?

Why We Love Mickey Mouse Day

  1. He cheered up the world

    Mickey Mouse was born at time when the world most needed a mischievous mouse to lift their spirits—his film debut occurred just 20 days after the stock market crash in 1929, and his endless optimism and good cheer made him an instant favorite of both children and adults. It's only right that we celebrate his birthday!

  2. It’s a celebration of imagination

    Take a moment to consider the implausibility of a cartoon mouse achieving fame. He’s been a sailor, a musketeer and a mouseketeer, a prince and a pauper, a sorcerer and much more. And it's all due to the imagination of the humans that put him there. Thanks, Walt Disney, for your inspiring vision!

  3. The world’s most famous mouse deserves his own day

    Oddly enough, there have been a number of famous mice. There’s good old Jerry (from Tom and Jerry), Speedy Gonzales and Geronimo Stilton to name a few. But none can hold a candle to the original mouse with a mission. He's a bona-fide legend, and we have to celebrate that.

Also on Mon Nov 18, 2024...

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