On this day in 1928, Steamboat Willie debuted, unleashing mischievous character/globe conquering corporate mascot Mickey Mouse onto the world and freezing the notion of copyright for almost a century. Though he had technically first appeared in Plane Crazy earlier that year, that short didn’t find a distributor, so Mickey wasn’t seen by the public until Steamboat Willie came out on November 18th. The day is now celebrated as Mickey’s birthday, and boy howdy will Disney not let you forget it this year. There’s Oreos and everything.
The original Steamboat Willie is worth a watch if you haven’t seen it – it’s some weird shit. It’s fun to remember a time when Mickey was a plucky abuser of animals instead of an anodyne figurehead. I also like that he basically loses the central conflict of the short, and his only recourse is to spitefully do a purposefully shitty job peeling potatoes.
Also, on this day in 1995, I was born, and I now take one step closer to the grave while Mickey shall live on, eternal.