20o Nov :Eighty years ago, a clothes-wearing rodent named Mickey Mouse whistled his way onto the silver screen, as "Steamboat Willie" made its cinema debut at the Colony Theater in New York.
That day, 18th November 1928, is widely considered the official birthday of Mickey Mouse, even if he was born of the imagination of Walt Disney months before his movie debut and also featured in a short animated film called Plane Crazy, which was made before Steamboat Willie but released afterwards.
Mickey Mouse was created almost by accident: Walt Disney’s first cartoon character was a rabbit called Oswald, but the man who was to rise to become a pre-eminent force in global entertainment lost the rights to the rabbit in 1927 and returned to the drawing board.
He came up with a mouse, whom he wanted to call Mortimer.According to popular legend, his wife preferred the name Mickey, and Walt Disney deferred to her choice.
The storyline of Steamboat Willie is flimsy, politically incorrect and features little, if any, comprehensible dialogue. But the cartoon marked an animation landmark with its synchronized sound track that includes Mickey whistling and blowing raspberries at the irascible ship’s captain, a large tobacco-chewing cat called Captain Pete.
In roughly seven minutes, viewers watch as Mickey Mouse is kicked out of the steering room of a riverboat by Captain Pete; hoists Minnie Mouse on board using a crane that grabs her by the knickers; swings a cat by the tail, strangles a goose and plays keyboard on some suckling piglets as the American folk song "Turkey in the Straw" plays from the innards of a goat.