Friday, November 18, 2016


A future corporate symbol was launched into the world on this day, as TAG President Emeritus Tom Sito recounts:

Nov 18, 1928- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKEY MOUSE- At Universal’s Colony Theater in New York, Walt Disney’s cartoon "Steamboat Willie" debuted before a movie called Gang War.

The first major sound cartoon success and the official birth of Mickey Mouse. Two earlier silent Mickey's had been done, but when Walt saw Jolson speak in the Jazz Singer, he held those two back so the sound experiment could go ahead. ...

Steamboat Willie, of course, was an animated riff on Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jr., just as the previously made (though later released Gallopin' Gauchos was a spoof of Douglas Fairbanks's The Gaucho.

Hard to believe that the Diz Co. empire of today started in a small storefront on Hyperion Avenue back in the 1920s. Walt Disney had a habit of rolling the dice on commercial enterprises, whether it was the first sound cartoon, the first color cartoon, the first feature-length cartoon, or an amusement park that few through would work.

But it all paid off in spades. ...


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