November 18th, 1928 — marks a significant debut! Where we celebrate the birth of Mickey on this date, we must also note the beginning of Minnie Mouse! She, along with her male-mouse co-star, are the most recognized mice in the world!
The initial origins of Minnie and Mickey go back a bit earlier, to the spring of 1928. Having learned of the loss of his character, "Oswald," to Charles Mintz, Walt Disney began to create an entirely new animated series centered around the exploits of a new character. Thus began Mickey—and Minnie—Mouse.
Production on the first short was completed in secret during the spring of 1928. "Everyone helped," recalled Lillian. "Roy was jack-of-all-trades and Edna and I filled in celluloid." Makeshift stands were set up in the garage of Walt & Lillian's home. Lillian, Edna, and the little company's first employee, Kathleen Dollard-Smith, blackened thousands of cels to bring these tiny mice to the screen."Even when we were sitting at the kitchen table, we used to just paint those cels," declared Edna Disney.
Walt was unable to place the silent "Mouse" cartoons Plane Crazy (1928) and Gallopin' Gaucho (1928), but by integrating the advent of synced-sound to the third short, Steamboat Willie (1928), Minnie and Mickey were born on November 18th, 1928, and became worldwide animated sensations!
"We kidded the modern scene," Walt Disney noted of his two leading mice. A strong, feminine force and a lovable "every-mouse," provided the perfect yin-yang balance to their lasting animated adventures.
Today, we celebrate Minnie Mouse, for without her, Mickey is just another Mouse.