Thursday, 18 November 2010


Today is the eighty-second birthday of that veteran of the silver screen...


Twenty-two years ago, when Mickey turned 60, I was given an exclusive one-on-one interview with the most famous rodent in Hollywood for Animator magazine.

It was a fascinating experience and I was able to pass on to my readers a number of hitherto unknown facts about the Mouse and his relationships with Walt Disney, Donald Duck and, of course, Minnie Mouse.

Here's how the interview began...

He stands beside the pool, looking rather taller than I had imagined and casually dressed in slacks and a sports shirt with a Betty Boop motif. "Hi, there!" he calls in a sharp Brooklyn accent that takes me somewhat by surprise.

As I walk to meet him, he extends a white-gloved hand in welcome and gives me a broad, beaming smile. That famous Mickey Mouse smile. He grasps my hand with a firm grip and I can’t help noticing that he wears a Ronald Reagan wrist-watch.

"Come over to the yard, and I'll fix you a drink," he smiles and leads the way across a neatly manicured lawn to an Italianate patio behind the imposing pseudo-gothic villa that, mysteriously, has never been listed in The Starland Guide to Hollywood...

"Too early for a Sorcerer’s Apprentice?" he asks. I have to confess that I've never heard of the drink. He gives me a faintly patronizing smile and begins emptying the contents of various bottles into a cocktail-shaker. "They invented it for me at Musso & Frank’s on Hollywood Boulevard, back in 1940," he explains and pours out a large glass of vivid lilac-coloured liquid and hands it to me.

I take a sip and experience a sensation not dissimilar to a heavy blow on the back of the head. "Helluva kick, hasn't it?" Incapable of reply, I catch my breath and loosen my tie. "Have to watch them though," he adds, "I introduced Goofy to them and ever since it's been like Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend over at his place. Tragic!"

Click HERE to read the entire interview

I am not sure how Mickey will be celebrating this year's birthday, but here is how he partied back in 1931...

– and very many more!


Rob Cox said...

The thought of MM having an RR watch is enough for me!!! Classic!

Andy J. Latham said...

Happy Birthday Mickey!!

Now, we know Mickey's birth date, but do we know any of the other important dates in his conception?

I'm thinking primarily of the date he was given the name Mickey (after Mortimer was dropped), but there's also such occasions as his the Iwerks design that represented the Mickey we know and love. And then of course there's the date that he was first brought to life in an animated scene (presumably in Plane Crazy).

I can't imagine for one moment that these exact dates are known, but it'd be interesting to know! :)

Steven Hartley said...

Mickey's "as old as the hills" and we still love him and is still popular worldwide as he was 82 years ago!!

Neil-W said...

That's a great interview . I still have that edition of Animator it put me in mind of a Woody Allen Short story from Mere Anarchy called Surprise Rocks Disney Trial. We are given an imagined transcript to The Eisner vs Ovitz case . Mickey is called to the stand and reveals a host of revelations. Dalliances with Warner Bros characters Goofy's drug dependency and Donald Duck's problems with Anger management. Published well after your Interview though Brian ,so you got there first.