Mickey Mouse turned 80years old yesteray...well, kinda. Steamboat Willie did. Steamboat Willie is known as the first public appearance of good ole Mickey, but he had two other cartoon attempts that didn't do so well: Plane Crazy and The Gallopin Gaucho.
Here is some Steamboat Willie information from Wikipedia. I heart Wikipedia. I also found Steamboat Willie in The Walt Disney Family Museum. There is some interesting information here. Like this excerpt I pulled from The Walt Disney Collection:
"He got his first big break because of one seemingly simple flash of inspiration: In a day when cartoon characters were silent, Walt decided to give Mickey Mouse a voice. Other studios had experimented with synchronizing sound and animation, but none had done a particularly successful job. Writes Solomon of Mickey's start, "The first three films . . . were made as silents. Distributors expressed little interest in them: Mickey seemed very similar to Oswald. Disney was asking for $3,000 per film (a considerable sum at the time) and insisted on retaining the rights to the Mickey Mouse character." It was then that Walt decided to spend every dollar he had creating a soundtrack for one of these three cartoons, "Steamboat Willie." It wasn't easy, and a lesser man than Walt would have given up. Musicians didn't keep time to the cartoon . . . a bull-fiddle player turned up drunk . . . money ran short. But the job was finally done. And when "Steamboat Willie" premiered at New York's Colony Theater, it attracted a great deal of attention. The "New York Times" called it "an ingenious piece of work with a good deal of fun." And Mickey was off and running."
So, enjoy Steamboat Willie and wish him a happy be-lated 80th birthday.
and for a little more historical cartoon watching, here is
and The Gallopin Gaucho:
Keep on Keepin on.