It all started with a mouse! 1
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It all started with a mouse!
Today the Walt Disney Company is very big. But
in the 1920s it was very small. Everything changed
when Walt Disney created a little cartoon mouse
called Mickey. At first he called the character
Mortimer, but his wife, Lillian, didn’t like it and she
suggested the name Mickey.
Mickey first appeared in the cartoon, Plane
Crazy, in 1928. Critics liked the film, but the big
Hollywood film studios didn’t want to buy it
because it was a silent film – the characters didn’t
talk in it. So Walt Disney added sound to the Mickey
Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie and it was an
Mickey’s first words on film were ‘Hot dog!’ At first Walt Disney did
the voices of both Mickey Mouse and Mickey’s girlfriend, Minnie. Walt
Disney gave Mickey a high, squeaky voice and people loved it! They also
loved his clothes: yellow shoes, red shorts with braces and white gloves.
After Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse became the world’s favourite
cartoon character. He appeared in a lot of Mickey Mouse cartoons and he
soon had his own Mickey Mouse comic.
In 1955 he made a TV programme, the Mickey Mouse Club. The Mickey
Mouse Club became a popular children’s programme in America. It had
news, cartoons, music and comedy. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and
Justin Timberlake all started their careers as presenters on the show.
Today, children and adults all over the world still love Mickey Mouse.
He’s the symbol of the Walt Disney Company because Walt Disney never
forgot that ‘it all started with a mouse’.
© Oxford University Press PHOTOCOPIABLE
Mickey Mouse Quiz
1 Who created Mickey Mouse?
a Joseph Barbera b Walt Disney 2 What was Mickey’s original name?
a Oswald b Mortimer 3 When did he first star in a cartoon?
a 1928 b 1950 4 What colour are Mickey’s shorts?
a yellow b red 5 Who is Mickey’s girlfriend?
a Millie b Minnie © Oxford University Press PHOTOCOPIABLE