Mickey Mouse Gang and Other Characters
Mickey Mouse is a funny animal cartoon character and the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company. He was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studios in 1928. An anthropomorphic mouse who typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves, Mickey has become one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world.
Mickey first was seen in a single test screening (Plane Crazy). Mickey officially debuted in the short film Steamboat Willie (1928), one of the first sound cartoons. He went on to appear in over 130 films, including The Band Concert (1935), Brave Little Tailor (1938), and Fantasia (1940). Mickey appeared primarily in short films, but also occasionally in feature-length films. Ten of Mickey’s cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, one of which, Lend a Paw, won the award in 1942. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Beginning in 1930, Mickey has also been featured extensively as a comic strip character. His self-titled newspaper strip, drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson, ran for 45 years. Mickey has also appeared in comic books and in television series such as The Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1996) and others. He also appears in other media such as video games as well as merchandising, and is a meetable character at the Disney parks.
Mickey generally appears alongside his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, his pet dog Pluto, his friends Donald Duck, and Goofy, and his nemesis Pete, among others (see Mickey Mouse universe). Originally characterized as a mischievous antihero, Mickey’s increasing popularity led to his being rebranded as an everyman, usually seen as a flawed, but adventurous hero. In 2009, Disney began to rebrand the character again by putting less emphasis on his pleasant, cheerful side and reintroducing the more mischievous and adventurous sides of his personality, beginning with the video game Epic Mickey.
Minerva “Minnie” Mouse is a funny animal cartoon character created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney. She was first drawn by Iwerks in 1928, as was Mickey Mouse. The comic strip story “The Gleam” (published January 19–May 2, 1942) by Merrill De Maris and Floyd Gottfredson first gave her full name as Minerva Mouse, although this is seldom used.
The comic strip story “Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers” (published September 22–December 26, 1930) introduced her father Marcus Mouse and her unnamed mother, both farmers. The same story featured photographs of Minnie’s uncle Milton Mouse with his family and her grandparents Marshal Mouse and Matilda Mouse. Her best known relatives, however, remain her uncle Mortimer Mouse and her twin nieces, Millie and Melody Mouse, though most often a single niece, Melody, appears. In many appearances, Minnie is presented as the girlfriend of Mickey Mouse, a close friend of Daisy Duck, and a friend to Clarabelle Cow.
Pluto, also called Pluto the Pup, is a cartoon character created in 1930 by Walt Disney Productions. He is a yellow orange-color, medium-sized, short-haired dog with black ears. Unlike most Disney characters, Pluto is not anthropomorphic beyond some characteristics such as facial expression, though he did speak for a short portion of his history. He is Goofy‘s pet. Officially a mixed-breed dog, he made his debut as a bloodhound in the Mickey Mouse cartoon The Chain Gang. Together with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Goofy, Pluto is one of the “Sensational Six”—the biggest stars in the Disney universe. Though all six are non-human animals, Pluto alone is not dressed as a human.
Pluto debuted in animated cartoons and appeared in 24 Mickey Mouse films before receiving his own series in 1937. All together Pluto appeared in 89 short films between 1930 and 1953. Several of these were nominated for an Academy Award, including The Pointer (1939), Squatter’s Rights (1946), Pluto’s Blue Note (1947), and Mickey and the Seal (1948). One of his films, Lend a Paw (1941), won the award in 1942. Because Pluto does not speak, his films generally rely on physical humor. This made Pluto a pioneering figure in character animation, which is expressing personality through animation rather than dialogue.
Like all of Pluto’s co-stars, the dog has appeared extensively in comics over the years, first making an appearance in 1931. He returned to theatrical animation in 1990 with The Prince and the Pauper and has also appeared in several direct-to-video films. Pluto also appears in the television series Mickey Mouse Works (1999–2000), House of Mouse (2001–2003), and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2013).
Donald Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934, at Walt Disney Productions. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor shirt and cap with a black or red bow tie. Donald is most famous for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and temperamental personality. Along with his friend Mickey Mouse, Donald is one of the most popular Disney characters and was included in TV Guide‘s list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002. He has appeared in more films than any other Disney character, and is the most published comic book character in the world outside of the superhero genre.
Donald Duck rose to fame with his comedic roles in animated cartoons. Donald’s first appearance was in 1934 in The Wise Little Hen, but it was his second appearance in Orphan’s Benefit which introduced him as a temperamental comic foil to Mickey Mouse. Throughout the next two decades Donald appeared in over 150 theatrical films, several of which were recognized at the Academy Awards. In the 1930s, he typically appeared as part of a comic trio with Mickey and Goofy, and was given his own film series in 1937 starting with Don Donald. These films introduced Donald’s love interest Daisy Duck and often included his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. After the 1956 film Chips Ahoy, Donald appeared primarily in educational films before eventually returning to theatrical animation in Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983). His most recent appearance in a theatrical film was 1999’s Fantasia 2000. Donald has also appeared in direct-to-video features such as Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004), television series such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2013), and video games such as QuackShot (1991).
Beyond animation Donald is primarily known for his appearances in comics. Donald was most famously drawn by Al Taliaferro, Carl Barks, and Don Rosa. Barks in particular is credited for greatly expanding the “Donald Duck universe“, the world in which Donald lives, and creating many additional characters such as Donald’s rich uncle Scrooge McDuck. Donald has been a very popular character in Europe, particularly in Nordic countries where his weekly magazine Donald Duck & Co was the most popular comics publication from the 1950s to 2009. Disney comics’ fandom is sometimes referred to as “Donaldism“, a term which originated in Norway (Norwegian: Donaldisme).
Goofy is a funny-animal cartoon character created in 1932 at Walt Disney Productions. Goofy is a tall, anthropomorphic dog, and typically wears a turtle neck and vest, with pants, shoes, white gloves, and a tall hat originally designed as a rumpled fedora. Goofy is a close friend of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and is one of Disney’s most popular characters. He is normally characterized as extremely clumsy and dimwitted, yet this interpretation isn’t always definitive; occasionally Goofy is shown as intuitive and clever, albeit in his own unique, eccentric way.
Goofy debuted in animated cartoons, starting in 1932 with Mickey’s Revue as Dippy Dawg, who is older than Goofy would come to be. Later the same year, he was re-imagined as a younger dog, now called Goofy, in the short The Whoopee Party. During the 1930s he was used extensively as part of a comedy trio with Mickey and Donald. Starting in 1939, Goofy was given his own series of shorts that were popular in the 1940s and early ’50s. Two Goofy shorts were nominated for an Oscar: How to Play Football and Aquamania. He also co-starred in a short series with Donald, including Polar Trappers, where they first appeared without Mickey Mouse. Three more Goofy shorts were produced in the 1960s after which Goofy was only seen in television and comics. He returned to theatrical animation in 1983 with Mickey’s Christmas Carol. His last theatrical appearance was How to Hook Up Your Home Theater in 2007. Goofy has also been featured in television, most extensively in Goof Troop (1992–1993), as well as House of Mouse (2001–2003) and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–present).
Originally known as Dippy Dawg, the character is more commonly known simply as “Goofy,” a name used in his short film series. In his 1950s persona, Goofy was called George Geef, or G. G. Geef, implying that “Goofy” was merely a nickname. In Goofy Gymnastics (1949) he fills out a coupon with the name James Boyd. Sources from the Goof Troop continuity give the character’s full name as Goofy Goof, or G. G. Goof, likely a reference to the 1950s name. In many other sources, both animated and comics, the surname Goof continues to be used. In other 2000s-era comics the character’s full name has occasionally been given as Goofus D. Dawg.
Pete (also called Peg-Leg Pete, Big Bad Pete and Black Pete, among other names) is an anthropomorphic cartoon character created in 1925 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. He is a character of The Walt Disney Company and often appears as a nemesis and the main antagonist in Mickey Mouse universe stories. He was originally an anthropomorphic bear but with the advent of Mickey Mouse in 1928, he was defined as a cat. Pete is the oldest continuing Disney character, having debuted three years before Mickey Mouse in the cartoon Alice Solves the Puzzle (1925).
Pete has appeared in more than 40 animated short films between 1925 and 1954, having been featured in the Alice Comedies and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons, and later in the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy cartoons. Pete’s final appearance during this era was The Lone Chipmunks (1954), which was the final installment of a three-part Chip an’ Dale series. He also appeared in the short films Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), The Prince and the Pauper (1990), Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004), and Get a Horse! (2013).
Pete has also made many appearances in Disney comics, and often appeared as Sylvester Shyster‘s dimwitted sidekick in the Mickey Mouse comic strip. In the Italian comic production he has come to be the central character in comics from time to time. Pete later made several appearances in television, most extensively in Goof Troop (1992–1993) where he was given more continuity, having a family and a regular job as a used car salesman. Pete also appears in House of Mouse (2001–03) as the greedy property owner who’s always trying devious ways and loop holes to get the club shut down.
Although Pete is often typecast as a villain, he has shown great versatility within the role, playing everything from a hardened criminal (The Dognapper, The Lone Chipmunks) to a legitimate authority figure (Moving Day, Donald Gets Drafted, Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip), and from a menacing trouble maker (Building a Building, Trombone Trouble) to a victim of mischief himself (Timber, The Vanishing Private). On some occasions, Pete has even played a sympathetic character, all the while maintaining his underlying menacing nature. (Symphony Hour, How to Be a Detective) He seems to have lost much of his antagonistic demeanor in his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse appearances and is today a largely friendly character, although his antics can occasionally prove an annoyance.
Daisy Duck is a cartoon character created in 1940 by Walt Disney Productions as the girlfriend of Donald Duck. Like Donald, Daisy is an anthropomorphic white duck, but has large eyelashes and ruffled tail feathers to suggest a skirt. She is often seen wearing a hair bow, blouse, and shoes. Daisy usually shows a strong affinity towards Donald, although she is often characterised as being more sophisticated than him.
Daisy was introduced in the short film Mr. Duck Steps Out (1940) and was incorporated into Donald’s comic stories several months later. She appeared in 11 short films between 1940 and 1954, and later in Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) and Fantasia 2000 (1999). In these roles Daisy was always a supporting character, with the exception of Donald’s Dilemma (1947). Daisy has received considerable more screen time in television, making regular appearances in Quack Pack (1996), Mickey Mouse Works (1999-2000), House of Mouse (2001–2003), and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–present). Daisy has also appeared in several direct-to-video films such as Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999) and The Three Musketeers (2004).
Daisy is the aunt of April, May, and June, three young girl ducks who act as Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s female counterparts. Daisy is a close friend of Clarabelle Cow and Clara Cluck in the comics, and Minnie Mouse‘s best friend.
Clarabelle Cow is a Disney fictional character within the Mickey Mouse universe of characters. Clarabelle Cow was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1928. Clarabelle is one of Minnie Mouse‘s best friends and is usually depicted as the girlfriend of Horace Horsecollar, although she has also been paired with Goofy occasionally. Clarabelle has never been anything more than a supporting character in the USA, her country of origin; only in Italy has she been treated as one of Disney’s leading lights. Nevertheless, the character remains famous in the United States, surprisingly so in light of her decades of relative disuse.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck are triplet cartoon characters created in 1937 by writer Ted Osborne and cartoonist Al Taliaferro, and are licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are the nephews of Donald Duck and the grandnephews of Scrooge McDuck. Like their uncles, the boys are anthropomorphic white ducks with yellow-orange beaks and feet. They typically wear shirts and colorful baseball caps, which are sometimes used to differentiate each character. Huey, Dewey and Louie have made several animated appearances in both films and television, but comics remain their primary medium. The trio are the 11th, 12th, and 13th most published comic book characters in the world, and outside of the superhero genre, second only to Donald.
While the boys were originally created as mischief-makers to provoke their uncle’s famous temper, later appearances showed them to be valuable assets to their uncles on their adventures. All three of the boys are members of the fictional Scouting organization, The Junior Woodchucks.
Maximilian “Max” Goof is a fictional character who is the son of the popular Disney character Goofy. He first appeared in the 1992 television series Goof Troop as a preteen. He later appeared as a teenager in the spin-off movie A Goofy Movie (1995) and its direct-to-video sequel An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000). He appeared as a child in the direct-to-video film Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999) and as a young adult in its sequel Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas (2004). He also appeared in the 2001 TV series House of Mouse as a teenage parking valet.
Horace Horsecollar is a cartoon character created in 1929 by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney. Horace is a tall anthropomorphic black horse and is one of Mickey Mouse‘s best friends. Characterized as a cheerful know-it-all, Horace helped Mickey on his sleuthing expeditions in the comics before Goofy assumed that role. Horace most commonly appears as a funny animal, although a common gag in his early appearances was his ability to change at will from being a regular horse to a more human-like character.
Horace first appeared as Mickey’s plow horse in the cartoon “The Plow Boy” in 1929. Later that same year, he appeared in The Jazz Fool, and afterwards he became a regular member of the Disney supporting cast, along with Clarabelle Cow, Clara Cluck, and other minor characters. In recent years, Horace has appeared in Mickey Mouse Works and Disney’s House of Mouse.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (also known as Oswald the Rabbit or Oswald Rabbit) is an anthropomorphic rabbit and animated cartoon character created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney for funny animal films distributed by Universal Pictures in the 1920s and 1930s. Walt Disney was eventually separated from the project and went on to create Mickey Mouse. Charles Mintz, and later Walter Lantz, took over production, creating new Oswald cartoons until 1943.
In 2003 Buena Vista Games pitched a concept for an Oswald-themed video game to Disney President and COO Bob Iger, who then became committed to bringing Oswald back to Disney. In 2006, nearly 80 years after Disney left Universal, The Walt Disney Company managed to acquire the intellectual property of Oswald and the catalog of Disney-produced Oswald films (with NBC/Universal effectively trading Oswald for the services of Al Michaels as play by play announcer on NBC Sunday Night Football).
Oswald returned to prominence in Disney’s 2010 video game, Epic Mickey. The game’s metafictional plot parallels Oswald’s real-world history, dealing with the character’s feelings of abandonment by Disney, and jealousy towards Mickey Mouse. He has since appeared in Disney theme parks and comic books, as well as two follow-up games, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two and Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion. More recently, Oswald made a cameo appearance in the 2013 animated short Get a Horse!. Oswald was the subject of the 2015 feature film Walt Before Mickey. Oswald also appears as a townsperson in Disney Infinity 2.0.
April, May, and June Duck are the triplet nieces of Daisy Duck. When they appear at family gatherings their parents are never present and they usually accompany Daisy. They presumably live in Duckburg. They were created by Carl Barks and were first used in a story published in February 1953, “Flip Decision”. “I don’t know how you knew I was here visiting my sister, but it’s about time you showed up!”, exclaimed Daisy to Donald in the first panel of its last page, making it clear that her nieces are daughters of some sister of her. In the comic story “Lady Lawmen” by Tony Strobl, Daisy and her nieces discover that Grandma has a secret in her past, and Daisy just pretends not to be interested in discovering this one, but then April, May and June catch her red-handed delving into a trunk of Grandma, and Daisy tries to justify it to her nieces by saying “It’s our duty as concerned relatives to pry… I mean, study the history of our families!”.
April, May and June Duck were clearly created by Barks to be Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck’s childhood sweethearts, therefore it’s very controversial to consider that the father of this set of triplet boys and the mother of this set of triplet girls are both Daisy’s siblings, since the two sets of triplets would be first cousins in this case. But there would be no controversy if Donald and Daisy were really second cousins, according to some Duck family trees, since their respective nephews and nieces would be third cousins in this case. The little girls eventually call her Aunt Daisy’s boyfriend ‘Unca Donald’, although Donald isn’t brother of their father, just like Donald’s nephews are shown treating Daisy as aunt in some comic stories, despite the fact that she isn’t officially sister of their father as well.
Thelma “Della” Duck (called Dumbella in Donald’s Nephews; born 1920) is the mother of Huey, Dewey, and Louie. She is first described as Donald’s cousin, but was later Donald’s twin sister. She was first mentioned in a 1937 Donald Duck Sunday strip on October 17, 1937 in which she writes a letter explaining to Donald that she is sending her sons to stay with him. She appears as a child in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck in which she and Donald are wearing identical sailor suits. Both she and Donald are linked to Scrooge McDuck in equal measure, and yet Donald is always referred to as Scrooge’s closest living relative, suggesting she has disappeared or died.
Mortimer “Morty” and Ferdinand “Ferdie” Fieldmouse are Mickey Mouse’s nephews. They first appeared in Floyd Gottfredson‘s Mickey Mouse Sunday strip story line titled “Mickey’s Nephews” (1932). Since then they have appeared in lots of comic strips and comic book stories starring Mickey Mouse and Pluto.
Millie and Melody Mouse are Minnie Mouse’s nieces. Minnie has had an inconsistent list of nieces. In Europe and Brazil, most often a single niece is depicted, even consistently named Melodia (Melody). She is a Disney Studio creation by Jim Fletcher in the mid-sixties whose primary “task” seems to be to drive Morty & Ferdie crazy.