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Mickey Mouse may be the biggest paradox in pop culture: people love him, but know nothing about him.
You may have heard Mickey was first drawn by Walt Disney 90 years ago as he rode a train, desperate to save his company and inspired by pet mice he had years ago. Well, that’s the myth. Mickey wasn’t even created on November 18, which is celebrated as his birthday.
“The way Mickey was created- It was boring. You get paper, draw circles, there’s a mouse and you’re done; that’s mickey mouse,” said Jeff Ryan, author of “Myth of Mickey.” “That’s not a fun answer…we want truth but we like legends and myths.”
And while Disney was the storyteller and visionary, he was not a great animator. In fact, his partner Ub Iwerks created Mickey that day. In fact, the character of Mickey Mouse is really a combination of the two partners who created him, both Disney and Iwerks.
Listen to this episode of “Backstory with Larry Potash” to learn the truth about Mickey Mouse, and how a simple, whistling cartoon grew into a global icon.