Historic Mickey Mouse newspaper clipping


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Mickey Mouse debut newspaper clipping

Mickey Mouse debut newspaper clipping

This newspaper clipping is from November 28, 1928, 87 years ago today, the day that Mickey and Minnie Mouse were introduced to public audiences in their film release, “Steamboat Willie.” It’s a marvel to think that sound was new in movies and that color was still a dream away. Although Mickey went on to become Walt Disney’s most famous character, his nemesis, Pete (sometimes known as Pegleg Pete), was a cartoon veteran, having already appeared in Walt’s “Alice” comedy shorts in 1925, which combined live-action and animation.

“Steamboat Willie” is actually a parody, loosely based on Steamboat Bill, Jr., a silent movie starring Buster Keaton which was released that same year. In that film, the good-hearted Willie, similar to Mickey Mouse’s role, is the son of the rough and tumble Steamboat Bill, parodied in Disney’s version by Pete. While Willie’s father wants to teach him how to be a great steamboat captain, Willie is more interested in winning the hand of Kitty King.

The music you hear at the beginning of “Steamboat Willie” is actually a song from 1910 entitled “Steamboat Bill,” which tells the story of a steamboat captain who is given orders to beat the record of another steamboat, the Robert E. Lee.

The first time the world heard Mickey Mouse is when he whistles the chorus to “Steamboat Bill.” For those of you who want to sing along, now you can! Below are the lyrics.

Steamboat Bill, steaming down the Mississippi
Steamboat Bill, a mighty man was he
Steamboat Bill, steaming down the Mississippi
Trying to beat the record of the Robert E. Lee

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