Mickey was first created by Walt Disney and his creative partner Ub Iwerks in 1928 after relations between Disney and Universal Studios broke down rendering Walt unwilling to continue work on Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Universal had wanted to trim the budget and bring Disney onto their staff. Upon finishing the final Oswald cartoons he owed Universal, Disney, Iwerks and a loyal apprentice animator called Les Clarks set to work on a new animated character which the Disney company would retain the rights to.
The inspiration to go with a mouse came after Iwerks had already tried several their animals, such as frogs and cows. Disney got the idea from his own old pet mouse and Iwerks finally drew what would become Mickey Mouse. Disney loved the character and excitedly introduced his wife to the sketch of "Mortimer Mouse". The story goes that she felt this was a poor name, suggesting the more sympathetic "Mickey" instead. Thus, the icon was born.
Debut and History
Mickey's first appearance was in 1928's Plane Crazy, but the movie proved unpopular with distributors. Undeterred, the Disney animators created a second film, The Gallopin' Gaucho. When this failed to inspire distributors, DIsney decided to make a talkie featuring the mouse, which would prove to be Mickey's breakout appearance. Steamboat WIllie was a hit at last, and is today recognised as a cultural landmark.
The success prompted Walt to redo the earlier films with sound, which turned them into successes as well.
To date, there are over 120 Mickey Mouse shorts. 87 of those were produced in the 1930s, which was Mickey's golden age. Throughout his multitude of appearances, Mickey has been many things. From a Prince and a Pauper to a detective and a plumber. On many occasions, he was joined by Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck and many more supporting characters who are now beloved in their own right.
When Disneyland opened in 1955, Mickey made the jump into real life as a character visitors could meet whilst in the park. Around the same time, ABC had Disney produce The Mickey Mouse Club, one their most successful children's show and the originator of the Mickey Mouse March, Mickey's signature anthem.
Mickey has appeared in video games since the NES era where he starred in Hudson's Mickey Mousecapade. He has made appearances in all generations since (Notable releases include Mickey Mania, Disney's Magical Quest, Disney's Magical Mirror and the popular RPG series Kingdom Hearts). Mickey has yet to make an appearance on a 7th Generation console owing to his present use as a Playhouse Disney property in Mickey's Clubhouse. However, Mickey will appear as the main protagonist in Disney Epic Mickey, a Wii-exclusive title, which was released on November 30th, 2010.
Disney has hinted a renovation of the Mickey Mouse franchise is in the works, which is expected to launch new TV shows, possibly movies and, presumably, games - as well as a whole host of other merchandise.
King Mickey of Kingdom Hearts
The king isn't introduced until the end of Chain of Memories (Reverse/Rebirth) but he is a main character during the whole game. He is the one that made Donald and Goofy leave to find a key. He knew all the problems of Kingdom Hearts's story were going to happen and he went to investigate. He became a good friend of Riku as they ventured in Castle Oblivion. He is a really powerful keyblade master and witnessed the events that nearly led to Kingdom Hearts's opening (see Birth by Sleep). At the end of Kingdom Hearts 2, Sora and his friends receive a letter from the king, suggesting he might have another mission for them.
Mickey's famous voice (Often characterized as shy, and certainly falsetto) was first done by Walt Disney himself, but after Mickey and the Beanstalk, it was done by Jim Macdonald. After his death in 1977, the role was taken by Wayne Allwine. He was the current voice of Mickey, but he died in 2009. The role was given to Bret Iwan later that year. Other famous names to provide Mickey's voice, for example in various cameos, include Dan Castalanetta, the voice of another iconic cartoon character, Homer Simpson.