Despite your favorite Disney Character being a Disney Princess or current Disney cartoon character, everyone knows Disney is most famous for Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The iconic mouse characters have been the face of the Disney brand for over 85 years and are the most beloved characters in all of Disney. So where did Mickey & Minnie Mouse come from, and how were these legendary characters created?
Even though Mickey is the more popular mouse, he and Minnie were actually created at the same time. Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, at the Walt Disney Studios, created the funny animal cartoon characters in 1928. Disney and Iwerks had begun creating Mickey Mouse as a replacement to Disney’s previous star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. In attempts to replace Oswald with Mickey, Oswald’s romantic personality and constant pursuit of a sweetheart was carried over to Mickey Mouse. So for Mickey to have a chance to follow his predecessor at flirting, someone had to replace Oswald’s many love interest. The replacement of Miss Rabbit, Miss Cottontail, Fanny and many more, came with Disney and Iwerks creation of the beloved Minnie Mouse.
The design of both characters has changed drastically over the years, however it was in 1935 when Mickey’s colorful personality was represented through his appearance in color films. Mickey’s red shorts, large yellow shoes and white gloves added not only personality but also importance, as Mickey became one of the most recognizable characters in the world. Ub Iwerks designed Mickey’s body out of circles in order to make the character simple to animate, as well as easily recognizable to audiences. Mickey’s overall appearance is easy, noticeable, and likeable to all, Minnie’s creative process was more intricate and personal.
Globally recognized as a female symbol internationally, Minnie was originally designed as a “flapper” girl with intent to follow the modern trends in youth culture. Best known for her vast wardrobe, Minnie’s outfit today usually includes a short polka-dotted dress with a matching bow and white gloves. Her shoes and bow are her most distinctive articles of clothing, both symbolizing the femininity and elegance that her character represents. Although Minnie usually followed along Mickey’s adventure it was during The Great Depression and World War II that her character was often used to uplift spirits. Always supporting her man Mickey, both Minnie and Mickey Mouse were a clear representation of happy people.
Walt Disney and Ub Iwerk created Mickey and Minnie Mouse as the essential characters of Disney. From their bright clothing, to adorable round shape both characters have become the most likeable characters in the world for over the past 85 years. With no intent to change anything about them, both Mickey and Minnie Mouse exemplify the magic and joy of Disney.