Appreciating all that makes America special

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse,

He's over 80 years old, but he doesn't look a day past 20. Uploaded by

Yes, it’s a fair question – How could I have gone nearly three years and more than 900 posts and not included Mickey Mouse? We’ve saluted Walt Disney and the Mickey Mouse Club, but somehow Mickey his cheerful smiling self has been standing on the sidelines, waving his four fingers to catch my attention. “I’m only the greatest cartoon character in American history,” he said, with a modest, shy smile that kept his words from sounding braggadocio.

Mickey Mouse,

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You probably know some of his history. He made his debut in 1928’s Steamboat Willie, the first of more than a hundred animated short films, as well as some feature-length ones such as Fantasia. He’s often hanging around with his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, his friend Goofy, and his dog Pluto. Or his dog Goofy and his friend Pluto, I get them confused. Go to any Disney theme park, and you can walk right up and meet him. I don’t know how he’s in more than one park at a time, but he just is. I don’t know how.

One of Walt Disney’s animators, a man with the cartoonish name of Ub Iwerks came up with Mickey, and also gave him the now signature round ears. Old Mick hasn’t changed much over the years, except to become a little more human, a little less mousey. Mickey Mouse is the first animated character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and won an Academy Award in 1941 for Best Animated Short Film. There you go, Mickey. Sorry it took me so long…

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