May 15: Mickey Mouse

Plane-CrazySteamboat Wilie (released November 18, 1928) is considered to be the official debut of Mickey Mouse. However, it was on May 15, 1928 that the famous mouse and his girlfriend Minnie made their real first onscreen appearance when the short Plane Crazy was given a theatrical test screening.

Plane Crazy was actually the first Mickey Mouse cartoon ever made and co-directors Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks had high hopes for the short. So they organized a test screening for the silent cartoon in the hopes of finding a distributor. However, the success of the 1927 partial-sound film The Jazz Singer had inspired a new interest in “talkies”, so distributors were not particularly interested in a silent cartoon from two not particularly well known animators. The two animators would receive a similar reception for their second silent Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Gallopin’ Gaucho.

Later in 1928, Disney and Iwerks began production on a sound cartoon which would become Steamboat Willie. What made Steamboat Willie different from other early sound cartoons was that it was specifically created with a synchronized soundtrack, distributors quickly lined up to talk to Disney and Iwerks about screening the cartoon. So, despite being the third Mickey cartoon ever made, Steamboat Willie was the first to get a theatrical release. As for Plane Crazy, Disney and Iwerks would add voices and music to the cartoon and release it as the fourth Mickey cartoon in March of 1929.

I was able to find a couple of non-alcoholic drinks called Mickey Mouse, one of which is basically a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary; and really, what’s the point of that? There is however this little Mickey which is a nice little vodka-amaretto sunrise.

Mickey Mouse

  • 1 ounce Vodka
  • 1 ounce Amaretto
  • 2 ounces sweet and sour mix
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grenadine grenadine

Shake everything except the grenadine with ice and strain into an ice filled highball glass. Top off with the grenadine.

Tomorrow: Oscar night!

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