Mickey Mouse is known to many as one of the most famous Disney cartoon characters. He’s been entertaining people young and old for decades now. While many believe that he would have been a major success by any name, we are not so sure. There’s something about “Mickey Mouse” that rolls right off the tongue. The other name that Disney is said to have considered? Not so much.
It all started back in the day when Disney was still known as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. Walt and his brother Roy were working together at the time. We cannot believe that all of this unfolded nearly 100 years ago now, in 1923. Roy was responsible for handling the finances of the company and Walt was the primary animator.
The brothers endured a wide range of hardships while they were in the process of getting Disney off the ground. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was Walt’s first animated creation and he lost the rights to him. Once he got over this devastating event, he set about the task of creating a new character that was even better. This is the mouse that is known to the world as Mickey.
This was not his name initially, though. Mortimer Mouse was his name when he was first revealed to the general public. No one is quite sure why they changed their lead mouse character from Mortier to Mickey, but some speculate Walt’s wife was responsible for the change.
However, Walt did not allow the Mortimer name to be eliminated from the Disney lexicon entirely. He created a 1936 film that pitted Mickey against Mortimer, Mickey’s Rival. Mortimer’s sole claim outside of the naming controversy is trying to steal Minnie from his more famous counterpart.
There’s an old urban legend about Mickey appearing in a 1928 Disney film known as Steamboat Willie. We are here to put a stop to it once and for all. The mouse that looks like Mickey in this movie is actually named Willie and his presence is meant as a form of satire.SKM: below-content placeholder