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Mickey, the emblem of Disney, and his company

Ever since the first animated films featuring the mouse were made in the 1920s, Mickey has been the emblematic figure of the Walt Disney studios. The anthropomorphic mouse has gone on to surround himself with many friends and enemies, without ever losing his universally recognisable status. His friendly adventures with Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and others continue to ensure his success.

The first synchronised sound

While many people know that there is an early animated film in the prehistory of cinema in which Mickey pilots a steamboat, few know why this film is so important. It was the film "Steamboat Willie", based on a story by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, released in 1928.

For film fans, 1927 marked a turning point with the release of The Jazz Singer. It was the very first film to feature a scene with synchronous sound. Until then, all films had been silent and accompanied by a musician in the audience.

Walt Disney realised that cartoons had to evolve immediately. He took up the little mouse that he had already developed in experimental short films such as "Plane Crazy". These films, which were silent, failed to convince distributors... so Walt Disney decided to use the character in a film with synchronised sound.

The first is never the real first

In fact, other animated films with synchronised sound had already been released. Paul Terry's Dinner Time preceded Mickey by a month, but audiences shunned it. A few years earlier, the "Song Car-Tunes" series had been presented, but using a different, unreliable sound synchronisation process.

So Mickey wasn't the first to use sound, but he was the first to be a hit with the public and to be remembered. Other Disney characters followed, such as Donald and Scrooge.

It's also worth noting that Mickey doesn't speak in this film. He and the other characters just make sounds. The only intelligible lines of dialogue are spoken by... a parrot.

Mickey & Co

Already in this film, Mickey finds himself in the presence of Minnie, his romantic partner. If today Minnie looks like a primitive feminine stereotype, with her dress, bow tie on her head and heeled shoes, at the time she was the symbol of the "Flappers", the tomboys of the early 20th century. These girls rebelled against the societal norms of the time by wearing shorter skirts and bright colours. They were demanding a change in codes: gender equality and the emancipation of women in the 1920s. So in reality, Minnie is a feminist icon.

Also present in "Steamboat Willie" is Mickey's sworn enemy, Pat or Pete in English. Always jealous of Mickey, regularly kidnapping Minnie, he is angry and evil. Nevertheless, he is the oldest Disney character still in action.

Pat first appeared on screen in 1925 in the animated film Alice Solves the Puzzle. He looked like a bear, but was later drawn more like a big cat... which makes more sense as the enemy of a mouse.

In 1932, Mickey met his new friend, Goofy. In the guise of an anthropomorphised dog, Goofy is portrayed as slow, silly and extremely clumsy, but always happy and willing to help Mickey on his adventures.

If the name Dingo is awkward in French, it's because Mickey and Goofy are often accompanied by a non-anthropomorphised dog, Pluto. It is therefore strange to see the bipedal character named like a dog, and the dog like a planet.

The dog appeared gradually in the early 1930s and was named after the recently discovered planet, perhaps for marketing purposes. Pluto the dog doesn't talk and tends to make mistakes that Mickey has to make good before he forgives him. Always cheerful, but also very shy and a little jealous, Pluto adds to the general good humour of Mickey Mouse films.

Mickey, from Hollywood star to politician

The Mickey Mouse character became so famous that he received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first animated character to appear there. This happened on his 50th birthday, at the end of 1978.

In American politics in the 1930s, it was possible to "vote" for Mickey: his name appeared on a list of fake names that voters could tick off to show their disapproval of the politics of the day.

The name "Mickey Mouse" is also used in popular culture to refer to something trivial, a little childish, in a derogatory way. In the 1980s, Margareth Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, referred to the European Parliament as the "Mickey Mouse Parliament" to say that it had no power. Film musicians also use the term "Mickey Mousing" to describe, negatively, music that closely follows the actions on screen, as did the music of the original cartoons.

It wasn't until the 1990s that Mickey was overtaken. For a time, Mario became the most recognisable animated character to the American public. Of course, Mickey also had his fair share of video games and comic book adaptations on paper. He often rubs shoulders with Donald Duck and his family (Daisy, Scrooge and the others), other iconic characters in the franchise.

Mickey, iconic from Hollywood stars to politics

Our geek shop celebrates the legacy of Mickey Mouse with a range of Disney products, where Mickey and his friends come to life in a variety of forms. Discover our selection of figurines capturing iconic characters like Mickey, Minnie, and their friends in charming poses and bright colours.

For younger children, we offer Mickey Mouse backpacks, perfect for school or field trips, featuring attractive designs and colours. As well as bags, our catalogue includes a variety of accessories and toys, such as lamps and games, inspired by the world of Mickey. These products, designed to stimulate children's imagination and creativity, are regularly renewed to keep the stock fresh and exciting.

The approach of Christmas is the perfect time to browse our special Mickey gift list. From colouring books telling the stories of Mickey and his friends to Disney kits and mugs, fans of manga and comics will also be delighted by our items.

Whether you're looking for a gift for a child, a collector's item for an adult, or simply a product representing the world's most famous mouse, our geek shop is your destination for all Mickey Mouse products.