Retro Disney Mickey Mouse Watches
The Birth of Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse was born in 1928 and his parents were Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Iwerks was a talented animator and cartoonist and he was also one of Walt's oldest friends.The pair met while they were working in an art studio in Kansas City but later went on to form a business together.
Walt became interested in animation and his enthusiasm spread to Iwerks, who joined him in the venture and thus the Disney Studio was created. Originally Mickey was conceived to replace another Disney character; Oswald the Duck, which although popular, had to be dropped because of contractual complications.
In those early days the Disney Studio was made up of only three people; Disney, Iwerks and an apprentice artist, Les clark. Before the studio decided on Mickey, numerous animal characters were put forward as suggestions but Disney wasn't satisfied. The story goes that Disney had owned a pet mouse when he lived on a farm some years before, so he had a sentimental attachment to the little creatures and therein lay the inspiration for the new character.
Around 1925, another cartoonist called Hugh Harman had drawn some pictures of a mouse based on walt Disney - Iwerks liked Harman's drawings and developed a new mouse. Originally, he was called Mortimer but Disney's wife persuaded him to change it to the Mickey -the mouse we all know and love.
Mickey's first public appearance was in the short animation Steamboat Willie, screened in 1928 and Walt Disney provided the voice-over for Mickey, who was to become the most famous mouse in history. The film is recognized as a classic of it's kind as in 1994 was voted by animators as the thirteenth great animation ever.
Although the film has been preserved in its entirety, some scenes have been cut out from several versions , for 'cruelty to animals', as they were considered unsuitable for modern audiences -there was a scene where Mickey pulled a cat's tail and swing the poor creature around over his head, another where he played a duck like bagpipes and one where he plays the babies of a nursing sow like a piano accordian.
The Changes in Mickey Mouse
Over the years that followed his debut in Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse changed quite a bit. For one thing he got more colourful - the black knickerbockers with white buttons were replaced with bright red ones with yellow buttons and he was given a new pair of yellow shoes to match.
Mickey also transformed physically over the years - his snout got shorter and upturned, his head and eyes grew bigger and he got a little shorter an squatter. Some have suggested that this was to give him a more juvenile, appealing appearance.
However, if Mickey's features grew more immature, his behavior did not. Along with the physical evolution, Mickey became less rascally and more polite and grown-up in his attitude.
Mickey gets a Girfriend
Mickey's girfiend Minnie, the feisty gal with the over-sized shoes was created by Iwerks and Disney around the same time as Mickey, in 1928. Her full name is Minerva.
Minnie first appeared alongside Mickey in the 1928 cartoon Plane Crazy and she too, changed a great deal over time - her features becoming more juvenile like Mickey's. In the first animations featuring Minnie, she wasn't even wearing shoes!
Minnie too, was first voiced by Walt Disney but from 1930 onwards her character was taken over by a successsion of female voices.
Mickey Mouse Comic Books
The first Mickey Mouse comic books were produced in 1939 and featured his friends Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and his nephews, Morty and Ferdie.
Mickey was a law-abiding, honourable mouse and the comic stories often depicting him battling against criminals and getting out of nasty scrapes. One of his arch enemies was Black Pete and he was to Mickey what Moriarty was to Sherlock Holmes.
Mickey Mouse comic books declined in the second half of the 20th century and he was not as popular as Uncle Scrooge during this period. some have suggested it ws because he was a bit of a goody-two shoes, and that's just not as interesting as a character with shades of grey - especially to a more sophisticated audience.
Mickey Mouse Merchandise
Although Mickey's popularity might have faded as a comic book character, as an easily identifiable, iconic star, his status never wained. By the 1950s Mickey Mouse had a theme park, a newspaper comic strip, and The Mickey Mouse Club and he was ripe for merchandising.
Over the decades Mickey has made an appearance on Mugs, T-shirts, lunchboxes, hats, schoolbags, towels, watches and a plethora of other products. There's been Mickey puppets, soft toys, books, lamps and more.
According to Disney the ubiquitous mouse has a healthy 98% awareness rate among children aged between 3-11 worldwide.
Mickey Mouse Watches
Many of Mickey's early merchandising items are highly collectable, particularly Mickey Mouse watches, which are a classic piece of Disney merchandise.
The first Mickey Mouse watch model was made by the Ingersoll Waterbury Clock Co. as far back as 1933 resulting in a partnership being formed between the two companies. The watch deal with Disney rescued the Ingersoll company from imminent bankruptcy and the first boy's Mickey Mouse watches were launched at the Chicago Exposition later that year.
The original price for the watches was $3.25 but was later lowered to $2. 95 and for a mere $1.50, you could purchase a Mickey Mouse fob watch.
Mickey Mouse watches have never gone out of production -they are an iconic piece and still popular. At one point, in the 1960s, the watches were made with just the words Mickey Mouse and no picture.
Also in the 60's, Ingersill became US Time, which eventually became Timex. By 1972, manufacture of the wtches had been taken over by Bradley, who held the contract until 1987.
After that, the manufacturing rights went to Lorus. and these days several different companies produce Disney watches, including Fossil, Colibri and Time Works and Seiko.
A Timeless Classic
Thus for almost a hundred years, Mickey Mouse has been gracing the wrists of countless people from all over the world.
Today the watches come in a large variety of shapes and sizes but many are still reminiscent of the early styles and are often analogue, rather than digital. They're a classic of their genre.
- Mickey Mouse Watches Home
We buy and occasionally sell collectable Mickey Mouse Watches as illustrated on this site. We would gladly consider any worthy Mickey timepiece for valuation, sale or purchase
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