Mickey Mouse through the years
The evolution of the world's most iconic cartoon character and the mascot of The Walt Disney Company.
Mickey Mouse made his screen debut in 1928 with the premiere of "Steamboat Willie," the first cartoon with synchronized sound, which made its film debut at the Colony Theater in New York. That day, Nov. 18, 1928, is considered the official birthday of Mickey Mouse, though he was born in Walt Disney's imagination several months before his movie debut and also featured in a short animated film called "Plane Crazy," which was made before "Steamboat Willie" but released after. Walt Disney's first cartoon character was a rabbit named Oswald, but he lost the rights to the rabbit in 1927 and went on to create Mickey Mouse.
Walt Disney poses with one of the first Mickey Mouse dolls in this undated photo.
A series of sketches from a 36-panel storyboard from the Walt Disney cartoon "Plane Crazy," which is purported to be the first drawings of Mickey Mouse, is seen in this release from Guernsey's auction house in New York. The drawings from 1928 are estimated to be worth more than $3 million. (May 19, 2001)
An original 1938 sketch of a Walt Disney Mickey Mouse cartoon done by Walt Disney artists Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. After 74 years, the famous mouse remains the longest-lasting Hollywood star of all.
This undated file photo shows Walt Disney holding Mickey Mouse dolls, designed in the 1930s by Charlotte Clark.
Walt Disney, the man who created Mickey Mouse, arrives in London from Plymouth, where he went with his wife on a honeymoon. (June 12, 1935)
Mickey Mouse flies high in Macy's annual Thanksgiving parade in an undated photo. America's favorite mouse first flew in the parade in the 1930s, and a second version flew from 1968-82. A new balloon led the parade in 2000.
Mickey Mouse waves from atop a huge drum at Walt Disney World's grand opening dedication ceremony on Main Street in Orlando, Fla. (Oct. 25, 1971)
Mickey Mouse welcomes construction workers and their families to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., during a weekend dry run for the opening of the amusement park, located 20 miles southwest of Orlando. (Sept. 30, 1971)
First lady Betty Ford and Mickey Mouse welcome children of the members of the Diplomatic Corps to a party in the East Room of the White House. (Dec. 11, 1974)
Mickey Mouse, the cartoon character created by Walt Disney, became the 1,700th celebrity, and first animated personality, to have his star placed on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Minnie Mouse joined Mickey in ceremonies in front of what was known then as Mann’s (formerly and currently Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre in an event that was one of many to kick off a nationwide tour for Mickey, celebrating his 50th birthday, as well as the 75th anniversary of Hollywood. (Nov. 13, 1978)
Mickey Mouse watches as Emperor Hirohito of Japan walks by to enter Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. (Oct. 8, 1975)
Jimmy Carter grins as he meets Mickey Mouse while greeting people in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on the campaign trail. (Sept. 9, 1976)
Grammy-winning singer Michael Jackson is given a warm welcome by hosts Mickey and Minnie Mouse on a visit to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. (April 2, 1984)
Mickey Mouse waves in front of Disneyland in 1987.
Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse share a heart-shaped cake at New York’s Rockefeller Center skating rink. The two were out promoting their upcoming ice show at Radio City Music Hall. (Feb., 10, 1988)
First lady Nancy Reagan helps Mickey Mouse cut his 60th birthday cake during a visit to the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in 1988.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse lead a group of 4,000 children from 116 cities down Main Street during Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday party at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Nov. 18, 1988.
When Minnie Mouse gives Mickey Mouse the cold shoulder for forgetting an anniversary, he quickly produces a newspaper ad indicating the special date he had planned, in a scene from Walt Disney's 1995 animated short "Runaway Brain." Mickey Mouse has a teenage physique in the film, his first theatrical short in 42 years.
Minnie Mouse gives a kiss to Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of The Walt Disney Co. and son of Disney co-founder Roy O. Disney, who was honored with a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, Calif. Roy O. Disney was the older brother of Walt Disney. (July 24, 1998)
Disney Channel's "Mickey Mouse Works," a half-hour animated series, joined the Saturday morning children's lineup in 1999, marking the first time Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Minnie Mouse starred together in a television series. Before this series, Mickey hosted "The Mickey Mouse Club," which debuted in 1955 as one of the most popular children's shows of all time.
Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner is introduced by Mickey Mouse at the official opening ceremony for Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim, Calif. The park is located steps away from the original Disneyland on its former parking lot. (Feb. 8, 2001)
Super Bowl MVP New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady rides with his mother, Galynn Brady, and Mickey Mouse during a parade in the QB's honor at Disney's MGM Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2002)
The U.S. Postal Service released a set of four postage stamps and other mail products featuring Disney characters. (June 3, 2004)
Mickey Mouse arrives at Disneyland's 50th Anniversary Celebration in Anaheim, Calif. (May 5, 2005)
Visitors watch a giant Mickey Mouse on parade after the grand opening of Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney's first-ever vacation resort in China. (Sept. 12, 2005)
Musician Marilyn Manson, right, and Mickey Mouse pose for photographers at the film premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, Calif. (June 24, 2006)
A boy sits below a giant Mickey Mouse statue on display during the "Mickey Mouse Through the Years Since 1928" exhibition at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (May 25, 2012)
In this publicity image released by the Disney Channel, a scene from "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Choo Choo Express," features Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Minnie Mouse, Daisy, Donald and Goofy. The "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" television series has been airing since 2006.