Mickey Mouse is becoming increasingly popular – from parties to parks, toys and TV shows the mouse is everywhere. But how did this start? In today’s post Ill take you on a journey to one of the Mouse’s first (and most famous) cartoons – Steamboat Willie.
This cartoon was released in 1928 and was the first cartoon with synchronized sound but Mickey Mouse’s third cartoon. Can you think of cartoons without synchronized sound? Well, before this little jewel they all were. It premiered in New York (back then cartoons were rarer) and was an instant hit. It features the famous scene of Mickey Mouse whistling while driving a boat.
The film was a parody of Steamboat Bill Jr (Buster Keaton Film) written by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, the music was composed by Wilfred Jackson (who was actually an animator) from pieces of other songs, like Steamboat Bill and Turkey in the Straw.
Steamboat Willie may actualy be in the public domain. There have been many controversies surrounding the copyright of the film and it is selected for preservation in the United States. It was voted number 13 out of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time.
This, however, did not stop it from being subject to the censors scissors in the past – especially the scenes where Mickey pulls a cat’s tail and swings it around, and where a goose is used as a set of bagpipes.
Both scenes, however, are a part of the version included in the DVD Walt Disney Treasures, as well as the DVD Vintage Mickey, which features various Mickey Mouse cartoons.
Steamboat Willie was also the inspiration for the first level of the video game Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse. It was released for the Super Nintendo, Sega CD, and Playstation. It also inspired period versions of the characters in Kingdom Hearts II.
Seeing the cartoon today it may seem very primitive. But the true is that this 1928 Mickey Mouse cartoon has inspired many toys, games, and even other cartoons and it’s scenes are very recognizable, even if people don’t know from where.
Who would have guessed that eighty years later the Mouse would still be going strong!