Mickey Mouse was the name of a popular American cartoon character. Captain Jack Harkness nicknamed Mickey Smith, "Mickey Mouse" when they re-encounted each other on the Dalek Crucible. (DW: Journey's End)
Mickey Mouse is one of the world's best known cartoon characters, created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1928 as Disney's new star, following the loss of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Charles Mintz and Universal Studios. Though his first produced film was the silent short Plane Crazy, Mickey made his theatrical debut in Steamboat Willie, which has the distinction of being the first sound cartoon short.
Mickey Mouse (voiced primarily by Walt Disney, until sound effects artist James MacDonald took over in 1946) went on to star in dozens of theatrical cartoons, and in 1932, Disney received an Honorary Special Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse. Four of Mickey's starring shorts also received Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Short Subject. Fred Moore, one of the key animators on Mickey, described the character in a 1930s analysis sheet for studio artists:
Mickey seems to be the average young boy of no particular age; living in a small town, clean living, fun loving, bashful around girls, polite, and as clever as he must be for the particular story. In some pictures he has a touch of Fred Astaire; in others of Charlie Chaplin, and some of Douglas Fairbanks, but in all of these there should be some of the young boy.
The character's fame soon extended into merchandise, his own comic strip (launched in 1930, and featuring a more intrepid Mickey), and a short-lived radio series, The Mickey Mouse Theatre of the Air (1938). Gradually, Mickey was overshadowed by the more volatile Donald Duck as the studio's main star and by the 1950s, Mickey was reduced to playing foil to his own dog, Pluto. One of his most notable later appearances was his star turn as "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" in Fantasia (1940).
As his cinematic star declined, Mickey gained a new lease as the mascot and host of TV's The Mickey Mouse Club, the title song to which sings the Mouse's praises. The series in many ways marks the early stages of the mouse's transition from movie star to corporate symbol of the Walt Disney Company. Wayne Allwine, MacDonald's former apprentice, took over as the voice of Mickey in the 1970s, vocalizing the mouse's sporadic theatrical comebacks (such as Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1984 and The Prince and the Pauper in 1990) as well as various TV appearances. Mickey continues to appear in walk-around form as ambassador at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, returned to TV on Mickey MouseWorks and The House of the Mouse, and has been re-incarnated for CG animation as the star of the Disney Channel series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Jim Henson was a known admirer of the works of Walt Disney and occasionally spoke of Mickey when discussing or even developing his own characters. Caroll Spinney recalled that when he asked Henson how Big Bird should sound, the latter said "maybe like Mickey Mouse's pal Goofy." Designer Kermit Love later compared the bird and the mouse, claiming that "Like Mickey Mouse, he never gives in to violence."
Kermit the Frog, as the most iconic Muppet and the leader and "straight man" of his troupe, has often been likened to Mickey, and Henson himself compared the two, not as personalities, but as similar abstractions. He discussed how Kermit became "a bit rounder, a bit more froglike. As a parallel, Mickey Mouse looks nothing like a mouse, but he fits into that category. I mean, if nobody ever said Mickey Mouse was a mouse, we wouldn't know what he was, would we?" Henson even kept a Mickey figurine on the fireplace mantel in his office
During the first aborted Disney sale in 1989, Michael Eisner discussed the company's expected ownership of Kermit by saying "Mickey Mouse has a new sibling, and he's going to have to get used to it."
|The Walt Disney Company|
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The Walt Disney Company, also known as Disney Enterprises, Inc. or simply Disney, is the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the world. Founded on October 16, 1923 by brothers Walt Disney and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, the company was reincorporated as Walt Disney Productions in 1929. Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production, television, and travel. Taking on its current name in 1986, The Walt Disney Company expanded its existing operations and also started divisions focused upon theater, radio, publishing, and online media. In addition, it has created new divisions of the company in order to market more mature content than it typically associates with its flagship family-oriented brands.
The company is best known for the products of its film studio, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, today one of the largest and best-known studios in Hollywood. Disney also owns and operates the ABC broadcast television network; cable television networks such as Disney Channel, ESPN, and ABC Family; publishing, merchandising, and theater divisions; and owns and licenses eleven theme parks around the world. The company has been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since May 6, 1991. An early and well-known cartoon creation of the company, Mickey Mouse, is the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company.
Star Tours, a Star Wars themed motion simulator ride developed by Lucasfilm and Disney, opened at Disneyland in California in 1987. The ride later opened at Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, and Disneyland Park in Paris. The ride is to be shut down in 2010 to make way for the construction of Star Tours II, an all-new version of the ride currently in development.
Disney's Hollywood Studios has played host to Star Wars Weekends once a year, since the summer of 2000. The event includes appearances by actors involved in the Star Wars films and animated series and a number of events.
Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland in California also feature a Jedi Training Academy attraction at which a Jedi instructor teaches "younglings" lightsaber techniques to utilize in battle against either Darth Maul or Darth Vader.In both parks, this show is held nearby the Star Tours ride.
In conjunction with Star Tours and Star Wars Weekends, a number of Star Wars toys have been developed for and released exclusively at Disney theme parks. This Hasbro toy line included a collection of action figures based on the characters seen in the Star Tours attraction, as well as previously released toys in new packaging. Other toys include figures of Disney characters dressed as Star Wars characters.
In 2005, the toy line included a set that featured a Yoda action figure alongside a figure of Mickey Mouse dressed as a Jedi Knight (aka "Jedi Mickey"), with his trademark gloves and yellow clothes under the robes. According to the text on the package, "Mickey takes up his lightsaber and joins forces with the other Jedi Knights in their battles to fight evil," suggesting that Mickey is a Jedi Knight. In StarWars.com's Star Wars Weekends coverage, Mickey is given the title of honorary member of the Jedi Council, and in Spring 2010, Disney will release a figure of R2-MK, promoted as Jedi Mickey's astromech droid.