After losing the rights to his original animated character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney created a new character named Mortimer Mouse who was quickly renamed Mickey Mouse. Mickey first starred in two silent cartoons in 1928: Plane Crazy and Gallopin' Gaucho. However, Mickey's third animated appearance, in Steamboat Willie, released on November 18, 1928 had sound—and the rest is history.
Steamboat Willie propelled Mickey Mouse to stardom, becoming Walt Disney's most popular character and one of the most famous cartoon characters in the world. Initially he was drawn by Ub Iwerks with Walt himself providing Mickey's voice. By 1932 Walt Disney had received a special Oscar for the creation of Mickey Mouse.
Mickey would go on to star in more than one hundred shorts, appear in the 1940 movie Fantasia as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, and serve as the mascot of The Mickey Mouse Club, one of the most popular children's shows of 1950s. Mickey continues to be one of the most recognizable cartoon characters to this day, with his popularity never seeming to wane.