The Book of Mouse

A Celebration of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse

by Jim Korkis | Release Date: November 13, 2013 | Availability: Print, Kindle

How Much Do You Really Know About Mickey Mouse?

In his 85 years of animated existence, ever-youthful Mickey Mouse has lived a memorable life. Now Disney historian Jim Korkis chronicles that life in mesmerizing detail. From Mickey’s humble beginnings on Walt's Disney sketch pad through his dozens of films to his embodiment of the Disney dream and his popular appearances in the Disney theme parks - it’s all here, in the Book of Mouse.

From Steamboats to Theme Parks

Until now, Mickey Mouse’s life story was scattered across decades of books, articles, oral histories, and crumbling documents found only in the Walt Disney Archives. In Book of Mouse, Jim Korkis brings together all of these essential elements for the first time into a narrative that celebrates this very special Mouse.

Starting with the real story of Mickey’s creation, Korkis weaves well-researched facts with charming, insider stories and anecdotes. You’ll learn about the hidden secrets of Steamboat Willie, Mickey’s first film; the astonishing success of the first Mickey Mouse Club; the Mickey cartoons never made; the history of the Mickey costumed character in the theme parks (and the people inside them); the special relationships Mickey had with presidents, movie stars, playwrights, magicians, and even astronauts; and plenty more.

In addition, the book features a complete list of Mickey’s film and television appearances, with plot summaries, production notes, and trivia.

The Many Manifestations of Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse is a film star. He’s a television star. He’s the star of best-selling books, cartoon strips, and comic books. His image sells millions upon millions of dollars in merchandise. He’s the leader of the band, the central figure in the Disney universe, and perhaps the most recognizable character in the world. Everyone knows Mickey. But there’s so much you don't know about Mickey.

This is just some of what you'll discover in Jim Korkis’ Book of Mouse:

  • Debunking of the many myths still told about Mickey Mouse
  • Complete, annotated Mickey Mouse filmography (1928-2013)
  • The rise and rise of Mickey’s merchandising empire
  • History of Mickey Mouse at the Disney theme parks
  • What Mickey meant to Walt Disney, in Walt’s own words
  • Dozens of bite-size “Mouse-ka-Tales”

Plus answers to: How tall is Mickey? Where does he live? Why does he only have four fingers? Is he married to Minnie? And so much more!

Book of Mouse is a biography, ethnography, and filmography in one, the world’s first comprehensive, single-volume resource about Mickey Mouse. With its hundreds of fun stories, Mouse-ka-Tales, and Mickey milestones, the book is sure to enlighten and delight Mickey fans of all ages. Become the Mickey Mouse expert in your family!

Table of Contents

Foreword by Don "Ducky" Williams

Introduction by Jim Korkis


Mickey Mouse Myths

The Mickey Mouse Comic Strip

Floyd Gottfredson Interview

Mickey on the Radio: Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air

The Birth of Mickey Mouse Merchandise Magic


Mickey at the Movies

First Mickey Mouse Cartoon: Plane Crazy

The Making of Steamboat Willie

Hidden Secrets of Steamboat Willie

The First Mickey Mouse Club

UnMade Mickey Mouse Cartoons

Sorcerer Mickey

The Making of Runaway Brain

Mickey Mouse at the Oscars

Behind the Stories of Mickey Mouse Cartoon Shorts

Mickey Mouse in Vietnam: Not a Disney Cartoon

Mickey's Surprise Party: The First Mickey Mouse Commercial

Hollywood Party: Mickey Goes Hollywood

More Mouse-ka-Tales: Mickey Movie Memories

Mickey Mouse Annotated Filmography (1928–2013)

Theatrical Films


Mickey at the Parks

A Mickey Mouse Park

Mickey Mouse Attractions

Floral Mickey

History of the Mickey Mouse Costumed Character

The Man Inside the Mouse: Paul Castle

Walt Disney World’s First Friend of Mickey Mouse: Doug Parks

Mickey Mouse Ears

Mickey Mouse Topiary

Partners Statue

Hidden Mickey

Mickey Mouse Balloons

Speaking of the Mouse

Final Word: Walt Disney on Mickey Mouse

At the age of ten, I first wrote to Walt Disney for a job as an artist. I even got a letter back from Walt himself that I still have! It is one of the treasures in my collection. It basically said that he had no openings for a ten-year-old artist at the time but to keep drawing.

And I did. For years and years and years.

I worked at a bank and I decorated the walls at Christmas with my paintings of Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse. That caught the attention of a local television news show and eventually caught the attention of the Disney Company. They told me there were no openings in California for an artist but there might be in Florida.

From seven o’clock in the evening until two o’clock in the morning each night after work, I spent one week finishing one hundred Disney drawings to send to the person in charge in Florida. I sent another hundred drawings the second week. I sent another hundred drawings the third week. I continued to do that amount of drawings every week for two years.

I was afraid that if I cut back, they would think I was losing interest.

Finally, I just quit my job at the bank and moved to Florida. I wanted a mouse, Mickey Mouse, on my paycheck.

The art department at the time was underneath the Magic Kingdom in the Utilidors. I would go down there constantly until, finally, there was a temporary opening to increase the staff.

To convince the manager of the department that I was the guy for the job, the boxes and boxes of artwork that I had sent were brought in. It was over ten thousand drawings. So I was loaned out to the art department for thirty days.

The first week I did nothing but practice drawing Mickey from all angles and with every possible expression. Eight hours a day.

Within the first few weeks after I was hired to be a Disney Character Artist, I discovered that it wasn’t going to be the dream come true I thought it would be.

And it was all because of Mickey Mouse!

I’d already been drawing Mickey for years. My ability to draw him — and dozens of other Disney Characters — was what (I thought) qualified me to get this job after years of waiting, wishing, and drawing.

Two outstanding Disney Character Artists — Russell Schroeder and Harry Gladstone — were assigned to supervise my work. So, I’d sit down and draw Mickey.

Russell would look at it, lay tracing tissue over it, and show me what lines needed adjusting. That was fine, easy to fix, no problem.

Later, Harry would visit, check out the same drawing and show me a different approach with other line treatments.

This would go on and on, back and forth, day after day. I thought I would never be able to get Mickey right. Both of them couldn’t be wrong, right?

There weren’t wrong. Russell had a specific way of drawing Mickey. His was a more mature Mickey. Harry’s Mickey was a little more youthful.

Every artist who draws Mickey Mouse puts a bit of himself into the character no matter how closely they try to follow the approved model sheet. A model sheet was a reference developed for animation at Disney so that multiple artists would draw the character the same way. It shows how the character is constructed, how tall he is, hints about the placement of details, and more.

The general public just sees Mickey Mouse if all the right elements are there.

Trained artists, however, can pick out a Freddy Moore Mickey in ’40s cartoons, a Floyd Gottfredson Mickey in ’50s comics, a Mark Henn ’80s Mickey in Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and so on.

They are all Mickey Mouse, every one of them. None of these depictions of Mickey are what we call “off model” (a term for a character drawing that doesn’t match the approved set of poses created for reference).

Drawing the characters is more than a job for me. It’s a way of life. Like many people, I have been infatuated with the characters since childhood. The characters are more than drawings to me. They are living, breathing personalities, and you’ve got to get that personality into your drawing. And the only way you can really project that personality of the characters is to really know the characters.

I know their films inside and out. I have studied the studio and the animators. If you show me a Mickey Mouse cartoon from 1934, I can tell you which animators animated which scene. That’s a Milt Kahl Mickey. That’s a Frank Thomas. I am that close to it. All of this study is to help me make the characters like Mickey come to life on the page.

When it came time to build Mickey Mouse’s house in Mickey’s Birthdayland at the Magic Kingdom to celebrate Mickey’s 60th birthday in 1988, Disney came to Russell Schroeder and myself because we knew the Mouse so well. Russell even wrote a book about Mickey’s life story in 1997.

We were amazed how little they knew about Mickey and how he lived.

“What does his house look like inside?” they asked. Russell and I just looked at each other and thought, “Just look at the cartoons. That’s what the inside of Mickey’s house looks like.”

The house had to be designed and built in three months, and so time was of the essence. I guess that’s why they came to us because we already knew. Russell and I designed all the furniture. We went to Home Depot to pick out carpeting and wallpaper. Mickey had a den and they had no props so I brought in my own: a snow globe of WDW, my Disneyland records, Disney books, etc., to decorate the Mouse’s domicile. Guests loved it.

When Mickey’s Toontown Fair opened years later in 1996, they had much more time and did a nice job redesigning the entire house with curved cartoony lines and wonderful little details.

Russell and I even illustrated together a Little Golden Book with Mickey, Mickey’s Prince and the Pauper, that first appeared in December 1990.

Over the decades, I have drawn Mickey Mouse on all sorts of merchandise and lithographs and I even taught singer Michael Jackson how to draw Mickey because he was so eager to learn. I have done seventy-five Disney Cruises and the guests always want to see me draw Mickey.

The more I get to know Mickey, through my drawings and through the ways I see how he affects so many people, from the simplest sketch to his appearances in Walt Disney World, the more aspects I discover about his personality, his emotional range, and his worldwide appeal.

And the Mickey Mouse I draw and paint is a little different from the others. After over 30 years now as Senior Character Artist for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, I must have been doing something right about drawing Mickey because they keep asking me to do it.

With all I’ve learned, I know I can always learn more, which is why I am grateful that my friend Jim Korkis has put together this book with all this wonderful information about Mickey Mouse. I intend to keep it handy.

Jim has a knack for uncovering new facts and setting the record straight on myths, and I know his book will give me a new perspective on Mickey.

Oh, by the way, I do wear an official Disney Cast Member nametag that says “Ducky”. It was a nickname my mother called me. I know that Clarence Nash’s nickname was also “Ducky” and he did a terrific job providing Donald Duck’s voice for decades.

In 1984, I met Clarence Nash in person. Along with Bill Justice and artist Russell Schroeder, we were to tour the country as part of the publicity campaign for Donald Duck’s 50th birthday. Clarence and I became friends and I have photos and things signed by him “To Ducky from Ducky”. Thank heavens, he had no problem letting me keep the nickname.

We were both ducks that loved the Mouse.

I know you’ll enjoy this book as much as I do! See ya real soon!

Mickey Mouse cannot be trapped between the covers of a book.

The little fellow has been involved with just too many different things over eight decades and all of them were significant in one way or another. However, I felt that I might be able to produce a book that would gather important information in one location that would save endless hours searching through hundreds of other books and magazines, countless websites, and dozens of films and videos.

I have tried to write a book that can be used by the casual fan to track down information on their favorite cartoon or to learn more about some of the people involved with Mickey’s life and career.

I also wanted a book that the more knowledgeable fan could utilize as a reliable reference and to get a deeper appreciation of Mickey with rarely revealed stories and appropriate documentation.

More significantly, I wanted to clarify some of the many Mickey Mouse myths that have been told and re-told for decades.

“Mickey Mouse” was not the code word to launch the D-Day invasion but it was connected to that event. Mickey’s first words were not “Hot Dogs!” plural, as it is authoritatively posted so many places, but “Hot Dog!” singular. Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse were not given a special award in 1935 from the League of Nations. The stories behind those stories are in this book along with hundreds of others.

Over the decades, many fine authors have tried to chronicle the complete tale of Walt’s alter ego, but the elusive mouse easily slips away, leaving behind huge holes in the narrative like a wheel of Swiss Cheese.

I admit that I am as frustrated as some readers picking up this book to see some of those same missing pieces in this attempt.

Where is the story about Mickey’s long career in comic books? Where is the listing of Mickey in videogames? Where is the complete story of Mickey’s European merchandise?

I can only helplessly point to the many stacks of pages containing some of those tales surrounding my feet like so many crumbs of discarded cheese. Despite my best efforts, these stories could not be crammed into the limited confines of this book or they needed more access to certain research before they could be properly documented.

Even though I have included many additional pages of quotes and anecdotes as well as extra notes in the filmography to try and fill a few of those holes, it is clear that there is still enough information about Mickey Mouse left over for another book at least.

However, there is plenty of material to enjoy in the following pages of this book that has never been set down in print before or, at least, never with this particular perspective and documentation.

The book is subtitled “A Celebration of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse” for a specific reason. Arguably, Mickey Mouse was Walt’s finest achievement. Most definitely, the early Mickey Mouse, in particular, was a reflection and extension of Walt Disney. Most of the stories in this book center on that special time that Walt and Mickey shared together.

Walt Disney still lives on today in the character of Mickey Mouse and I felt it appropriate that the final chapter is composed of Walt talking about Mickey.

Writing is hard. It can get lonely. It can get frustrating. It can even get scary when you stare at the blank whiteness of a page and have no clue where to start.

However, every day I worked on this book I loved it. It was always fun to research Mickey Mouse, re-watch all the cartoons, re-read the books and magazines, correspond with other authorities, and literally surround myself with stacks and stacks of Mickey material as if they were treasures in Uncle Scrooge’s Money Bin. I hope that readers will find some of that same joy when they stumble across some of the things they discover in this book.

As always, I have tried to convey the information in bite-size tasty appetizers rather than a heavy multi-course meal. I am not telling Mickey’s story in a chronological fashion so feel free to scamper to those topics that interest you without feeling the need to read the whole book from beginning to end.

I have done my best to verify and re-verify the information included in this book but there is always more to be discovered about the story and some of those items will probably only be uncovered after this book is in print.

I hope that we never forget what Walt Disney once memorably said on October 27, 1954: “it was all started by a mouse”.

Or more accurately, a man and his mouse. This is their story.

Jim Korkis

Jim Korkis is an internationally respected Disney historian who has written hundreds of articles about all things Disney for over three decades. He is also an award-winning teacher, a professional actor and magician, and the author of several books.

Korkis grew up in Glendale, California, right next to Burbank, the home of the Disney studios. As a teenager, Korkis got a chance to meet the Disney animators and Imagineers who lived nearby, and began writing about them for local newspapers.

In 1995, he relocated to Orlando, Florida, where he portrayed the character Prospector Pat in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, and Merlin the Magician for the Sword in the Stone ceremony in Fantasyland.

In 1996, Korkis became a full-time animation instructor at the Disney Institute teaching all of their animation classes, as well as those on animation history and improvisational acting techniques. As the Disney Institute re-organized, Jim joined Disney Adult Discoveries, the group that researched, wrote, and facilitated backstage tours and programs for Disney guests and Disneyana conventions.

Eventually, Korkis moved to Epcot as a Coordinator for the College and International Programs, and then as a Coordinator for the Epcot Disney Learning Center. He researched, wrote, and facilitated over two hundred different presentations on Disney history for Cast Members and for such Disney corporate clients as Feld Entertainment, Kodak, Blue Cross, Toys “R” Us, and Military Sales.

Korkis has also been the off-camera announcer for the syndicated television series Secrets of the Animal Kingdom; has written articles for several Disney publications, including Disney Adventures, Disney Files (DVC), Sketches, and Disney Insider; and has worked on many different special projects for the Disney Company.

In 2004, Disney awarded Jim Korkis its prestigious Partners in Excellence award.

A Chat with Jim Korkis

If you have a question for Jim Korkis that you would like to see answered here, please get in touch and let us know what's on your mind.

You began exceptionally early as a Disney historian. You were how old?

I was about 15 when I interviewed Jack Hannah with my little tape recorder and school notebook with questions printed neatly in ink. I learned to develop a very good memory because often when the tape recorder was running, people would freeze up. So, I sometimes turned off the tape recorder and just took notes which I later verified with the person. I always gave them a chance to review what they had said and make any changes. I lost a lot of great stories, although I still have them in my files for future generations, but gained a lot of trust.

How were able to hook up with these guys

I was very, very lucky. I was a kid, and it never occurred to me that when I saw their names in the end credits of the weekly Disney television show that I couldn't just find their names in the local phone book and call them up. Ninety percent of them were gracious, but there were about ten percent who thought it was a joke and that maybe one of their friends had put me up to phoning them.

It was like dominoes. Once I did one interview and the person was pleased, he put me in touch with others. After some of those interviews were published in my school paper and local newspapers, it gave me some greater credibility. Later, when they started to appear in magazines, I got even more opportunities.

How do you conduct your research?

JIM: You know, one of the proudest things for me about my books is that not a single factual error has been found.

To do my research, I start with all the interviews I've done over the past three decades, some of which are some available in the Walt's People series of books edited by Didier Ghezz. When necessary, I contact other Disney historians and authorities to fill in the gaps. And I have amassed a huge library of books, magazines, and documents.

When I moved from California to Florida, I brought with me over 20,000 pounds of Disney research material. The moving company that had just charged me a flat fee was shocked they had so severely underestimated the weight, and lost thousands of dollars. That was over fifteen years ago and the collection has only grown since that time.

About The Vault of Walt Series

You've been writing articles and columns about Disney for decades. Why all of a sudden start writing Vault of Walt books?

JIM: I was fortunate to grow up in the Los Angeles area at a time when I had access to some of Walt’s original animators and Imagineers. They shared with me some wonderful stories. I wrote articles about their for various magazines and “fanzines” of the time. All of those publications are long gone and often difficult to find today.

As more and more of Walt’s “original cast” pass away, I realized that their stories had not been properly documented, and that unless I did something, they would be lost. Everyone always told me I should write a book telling these tales and finally I decided to do it.

Walt's daughter Diane Disney Miller wrote the foreword to your first book. How did that come about?

JIM: She actually contacted me. Her son, Walter, loved the Disney history columns and articles I was writing and would send them to her. I was overwhelmed that she enjoyed them. She was appreciative that I tried to treat her dad fairly and not try to psycho-analyze why he did what he did.

She also liked that I revealed things she never knew about her father. As we talked and I told her I was doing the book, I asked if she would write the foreword. She agreed immediately and I had it within a week. She even invited me to go to the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and give a presentation. She is an incredible woman.

What was Diane's favorite story in the book?

JIM: Obviously, the ones about her dad were a big hit. She especially liked the chapter about Walt and his feelings toward religion. She told me that it accurately reflected how she saw her dad act.

What's your favorite story in the book?

JIM: That’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. I tried to put in all the stories I loved because I figured this might be the only book about Disney I would ever write.

One chapter that I have grown to love even more since it was first published is the one about Walt’s love of miniatures. I recently found more information about that subject, and then on the trip to Disney Family Museum, I was able to spend hours examining some of Walt’s collection up close.

About Who's Afraid of the Song of the South?

Why did you decide to write a book about Song of the South?

JIM: I wanted to read a “Making of the Song of the South” book, but nobody else was ever going to write it. I wanted to know the history behind the production, why Walt made certain choices, and as many behind-the-scenes tidbits that could be told. I didn’t want to read a sociological thesis on racism.

Fortunately, over the years I had interviewed some of the people involved in the production, had seen the film multiple times, and had gathered material from pressbooks to newspaper articles to radio shows of the era.

There are a lot of misconceptions about Song of the South. I wanted to get the facts in print and let people make up their own minds.

Did you learn anything new when writing the book?

JIM: I thought I knew a lot after being actively involved in Disney history for over three decades, but writing this book showed me how little I really know.

For example, I learned that it was Clarence Nash, the voice of Donald Duck for decades, who did the whistling for Mr. Bluebird on Uncle Remus’ shoulder. I learned that Ward Kimball used to host meetings of UFO enthusiasts at his home. I learned that the Disney Company tried for years to make a John Carter of Mars feature. I learned that Walt himself tried to make a sequel to The Wizard of Oz. I learned that Disney operated a secret studio to make animated television commercials in the mid-1950s to raise money to build Disneyland. And so much more.

Even the most knowledgeable Disney fans will find new treasures of information on every page of this book.

What's the biggest takeaway from the book?

JIM: Walt Disney was not racist. That is one of those urban myths which popped up long after Walt died, and so he was unable to defend himself.

In my book, I make it clear that Walt had no racist intent at all in making Song of the South. He merely wanted to share the famous Uncle Remus stories that he enjoyed as a child, and he treated the black cast with respect and generosity.

Many people don't realize that the events in the film take place after the Civil War, during the Reconstruction. So many offensive Hollywood films made at the same time as Song of the South, even one with little Shirley Temple, depicted the Old South during the Civil War in an unrealistic manner. Walt's film got lumped in with them, and he was a visible target for a much larger crusade.

Books by Jim Korkis:

With John Cawley:

  • Animation Art: Buyer's Guide and Price Guide (1992)
  • Cartoon Confidential (1991)
  • How to Create Animation (1991)
  • The Encyclopedia of Cartoon Superstars: From A to (Almost) Z (1990)

In this excerpt, Jim shares a few of the many short "Mouse-ka-Tales" in the book; here, the focus is on "Mickey Mouse goes to war":

  • In 1930, the German Board of Film Censors prohibited the Mickey Mouse short Barnyard Battle because they felt the kepi-wearing Mickey Mouse shown in the film fighting the helmeted cats negatively portrayed the Germans and would “reawaken the latest anti-German feeling existing abroad since the War.”

  • Perhaps the most oft-reprinted quote about Nazis hating Mickey Mouse is this: “Youth, where is thy pride? Mickey Mouse is the most miserable ideal ever revealed. Mickey Mouse is a Young Plan medicine to promote weakness.

    “Healthy emotions tell every independent young man and every honorable youth that the dirty and filth-covered vermin, the greatest bacteria carrier in the animal kingdom, cannot be the ideal type of animal… Away with Jewish brutalization of the people! Down with Mickey Mouse! Wear the Swastika Cross!”

    This diatribe was reprinted in the October 1931 issue of The Living Age magazine on page 183 in a small news blurb section entitled “Against Mickey Mouse”, prefaced with: “one of their [Nazi] newspapers in Pomerania has published the following malediction attacking young people who decorate themselves with little emblems of Mickey.”

    The Nazis were well aware of the power of film and the popularity of Mickey Mouse, in particular, since young people wore images of Mickey including buttons and patches rather than swastikas.

  • In his diary entry for December 22, 1937, Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, wrote: “I am giving the Fuhrer…18 Mickey Mouse films (as a Christmas gift). He is very excited about it. He is very happy about these treasures which will hopefully bring him much fun and relaxation.”

    Goebbels chose to give this gift because he knew that during July 1937, in Hitler’s private screening room, the Fuhrer had watched five Mickey Mouse cartoons and laughed loudly.

In this excerpt, from Mouse-ce-llaneous, Jim reveals some Mickey Mouse merchandise magic:

In January 1930, Carolyn “Charlotte” Clark, who had been making her livelihood selling cookies and novelties during the Great Depression, came up with an idea of how to use her talents as a seamstress to earn extra money.

She sent her fourteen-year-old nephew, Bob Clampett, who later would become a legendary Warner Bros. cartoon director and the creator of Beany and Cecil, to the Alex Theater in Glendale, California. Clampett sat through three consecutive showings in order to see a Mickey Mouse short several times so he could sketch the character. There were no illustrations of Mickey Mouse available at that time other than on movie posters.

From those sketches, Clark made the first stuffed Mickey Mouse doll. Clampett’s father advised her to get Walt Disney’s permission before she started selling them. He drove her to the Disney Studio. Both Walt and Roy loved the doll. They rented a house near their Hyperion Studio, later nicknamed the Doll House, where Clark worked on making the doll in three different sizes.

Bob Clampett earned thirty cents per doll stuffing each one with kapok and brushing off the excess. Clampett’s father became the head salesman.

At first, the dolls were purchased by Walt and Roy to give to friends, business acquaintances, and special visitors to the studio. Clampett recalled:

“Walt Disney himself sometimes came over in an old car to pick up the dolls. One time, his car loaded with Mickeys wouldn’t start, and I pushed while Walt steered until it caught and he took off.”

In 1930, after a photo of Walt with one of the dolls appeared in Screen Play Secrets magazine and in several newspapers, the demand from the general public became overwhelming. Stores were swamped with calls from customers wanting a doll just like the one they saw in the photos.

By November 1930, Clark was producing 300-400 dolls per week for sale at two large Los Angeles area department stores, May Company and Bullock’s, for five dollars each. The department stores only paid two dollars and fifty cents per doll, and so made an amazing profit. Clark had to employ six full-time seamstresses to meet demand.

Roy O. Disney wrote in 1931:

“The doll we are having manufactured [by Clark] is, as many buyers have stated, the truest character doll of its kind that they have ever seen. You must realize that this means far more to [Walt and me] than the mere royalties involved in the sale of the doll.”

When demand continued to exceed what the overworked staff could make, the Disney brothers decided to release the Charlotte Clark doll pattern to the general public and let people make their own dolls. They were not concerned about the profit from the dolls being sold but rather with satisfying public demand for the dolls. Some families simply could not afford the price of the doll in those hard times, and Walt felt that every child who wanted a Mickey Mouse doll should have one.

The McCall Company of New York released Printed Pattern No. 91 in early 1932 with twenty seven pieces, one transfer, and one tissue sheet of directions at a cost of thirty-five cents. The pattern was printed in English, French, and Spanish, and it was sold from 1932 through 1939 in the United States and Europe. Although the pattern came with the warning that it was sold “for individual use only and not to be used for manufacturing purposes”, many out-of-work seamstresses during the Great Depression earned a nice living making and selling the dolls in quantity for a monetary “donation”.

In 1934, Knickerbocker Toy Company in New York started producing Mickey and Minnie dolls based on Clark’s patterns. Clark designed other dolls for the company, and when Gund Manufacturing took over the production of the dolls after World War II, Clark designed their Disney dolls until 1958. She passed away on December 31, 1960, at the age of 76.

In this excerpt, from the annotated filmography, Jim presents the entry for The Cactus Kid (in the book, EVERY Mickey Mouse film and television appearance is featured in the filmography):

The Cactus Kid
(May 15, 1930 | Director: Walt Disney)

Synopsis: Minnie is performing in a Mexican cantina when she is kidnapped by Pete. She is rescued by Mickey as Pete tumbles down a cliff.

Notes: This was the last Mickey Mouse cartoon officially crediting Walt Disney as director. It has the first appearance of Pete with a peg leg in a Mickey Mouse cartoon. Marcellite Garner remembers it as the first time she did Minnie’s voice, although she is heard doing that voice in earlier cartoons as well. Mickey’s warning to Pete of “When you say that… smile” is a parody of Gary Cooper’s line in the Western The Virginian (1929), and got a good laugh from the audience. Beginning in the 1980s, censors have repeatedly censored the film, including removing a beer glass and cutting out scenes of gunplay.

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