Mickey Mouse is 95 years old – and yet it seems as if the cartoon star just doesn’t age. Creator Walt Disney once said of his vast enterprise: “I just hope we never lose sight of one thing: It all started with a mouse.” Mickey was first seen on the world stage 95 years ago on Saturday (November 18th) in the animated film “Steamboat Willie”. Some birthday facts:

Mickey is the first fictional character to be inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The coveted star was given for his 50th birthday in November 1978. The little rodent was a pioneer, so to speak, as many other characters have now joined what is probably the most famous sidewalk in the world – such as Donald Duck, Kermit the Frog and Shrek.

Comics by Mickey Mouse and Co. were banned in the GDR. The socialist answer was the magazine “Mosaik”. The famous mouse also had a difficult time in other countries. Romania, for example, banned the Disney icon in the 1930s. The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York writes that the character was banned from cinemas because it supposedly could have frightened children.

In many countries, Mickey is known by her original name, Mickey Mouse. As in Germany, their name is only slightly changed elsewhere. In Italy, for example, this no longer has much to do with the original sound of the word. There the character is called Topolino, in German: Mäuschen. In China, Mickey is known as Mi Lao Shu, in Sweden as Musse Pigg.

Animation visionary Walt Disney got the idea for the character during a train ride from New York to Los Angeles. A competitor had just snatched away the rights to his previously successful comic book rabbit Oswald. “So I was alone and had nothing,” he said later. “But I had this mouse in the back of my mind. A mouse has a likeable character, even if most people – including me – are a little afraid of it.” His wife Lillian is said to have found the initially planned name Mortimer Mouse too old-fashioned.

In the first films, Mickey only made sounds and exclamations. “Hot dogs! Hot dogs!” The first real words were in the film “The Karnival Kid” (1929). It was spoken by Carl William Stalling at the time, who also composed the music for many of the cartoons. But Disney himself also lent his voice to the mouse from time to time in the early days. In Germany, the voice actor and actor Mario von Jascheroff has been doing this for many years.