Walt Disney Didn’t Draw Mickey Mouse!

Whenever anyone asks us about Mickey mouse or who drew Mickey mouse, the very first name that comes to our minds is none other than Walt Disney, isn’t it?

But did you know, the Mickey Mouse who is loved and adored by everyone today wasn’t actually Disney’s creation? The creator and the story behind the creation of Mickey mouse are completely separate from each other and are different from what we know or what the Disney company went around telling the world.

The Whitewashed Story

You may have heard that “Walt had a pet mouse in his Laugh-O-Gram studio, in Kansas City, which inspired him to draw the popular rat Mickey Mouse”.

Many of you might have heard a different story that goes like “Walt created the character Mickey Mouse on a train when he was travelling from New York to California”.

Well, which one is it?

The Real Creator

In reality, none of these stories tells the actual truth behind how the character was developed and more importantly, who created it.  The real creator of Mickey Mouse was in fact Walt’s best friend, Ub Iwerks. But unfortunately, all the credit went to Walt Disney who became the famous Uncle Walt while the real creator remained behind the curtains.

Now, you might be wondering what exactly happened and how it came t this. To know the hidden story behind the creation of Mickey Mouse, we have to start at the very beginning.

Walt and Ub met in Kansas City in 1919, while working at an art studio named Kansas City Ad Co. and they became best friends. Walt was an ambitious person and pretty soon he left the Kansas City Ad company and started his own studio called Laugh-O-Gram, in 1922. As his loyal best friend, Ub also joined him and the two of them started working together. But luck was not on Walt’s side as his studio hit rock bottom and the business failed.

However, Walt was one to give up easily and so he went to Hollywood and started another company with his brother Roy, in 1923. It was called the Disney Brothers Studio. He called Ub to accompany him and without a doubt in his mind, Ub came to help his best friend. In the same year, Walt and Ub created a character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which was a big hit. Unfortunately due to disputes with the distributor, Walt lost his rights to Oswald The Rabbit and his animators too abandoned him and went to work with the distributor. But Ub stayed by Walt’ side and continued to work with him.

Walt discussed with Ub that they needed to create another character who would overshadow Oswald. So they went back to the drawing board and started wracking their brains for a new character. Ub worked really hard and used to draw 600-700 frames daily! He drew a multitude of animals starting from dogs to cats to cows and even frogs but nothing appeased Walt. One day Walt suggested Ub try drawing a mouse. Ub liked the suggestion and went back to his desk. After few hours he completed drawing the mouse and it seemed like they had found their new character at last. So finally, on 18th November 1928, Mickey mouse was born and in no time, he became a huge hit and was everyone’s favourite cartoon character.

Sadly, Walt took all the credit for creating Mickey Mouse and soon, Ub Iwerks was forgotten for the huge part he played in creating this character. Walt Disney even won many awards for creating Mickey Mouse. Ub, who didn’t get any credit for his hard work, felt miserable and soon parted ways with Walt and started his own company.

So now I hope you guys know who created the little mouse we grew up watching.

Summary

Most people think that the popular Mickey Mouse was originally Walt Disney’s creation. But in reality, it was created by Walt’s best friend and animator, Ub Iwerks. When Walt lost the rights for his character Oswald The Rabbit and his animators left him due to a dispute with the distributor, he decided to come up with another character. As his best friend Ub stayed with Walt and decided to help him. Ub worked day and night and finally came up with an amazing character called Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse became a super hit and won many awards. But ultimately Walt Disney got all the fame and recognition for creating a character which wasn’t his in the first place.

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