The Evolution, the Legend, the Phenomenon!Book - 2001
From the critics
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Most original viewers of the Mickey Mouse Club didn't face the crush of family and social problems children have today.
Mickey Mouse... is always there-he's part of my life. That really is something not everyone can call their claim to fame.
Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.
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Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a means to an end.
I still don't know precisely why The Mickey Mouse Club ended when it did.
Even in China. Children there, next to the Great Wall, who had never seen Mickey Mouse responded. So the studio did have that skill to communicate with images.
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Mickey Mouse was created as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an earlier cartoon character created by the Disney studio for Charles Mintz of Universal Studios. In the spring of 1928, with the series going strong, Disney asked Mintz for an increase in the budget. But Mintz instead demanded that Walt take a 20 percent budget cut, and as leverage, he reminded Disney that Universal owned the character, and revealed that he had already signed most of Disney's current employees to his new contract. Mintz owned Oswald and thought he had Disney over a barrel. Angrily, Disney refused the deal and returned to produce the final Oswald cartoons he contractually owed Mintz. Disney was dismayed at the betrayal by his staff, but determined to restart from scratch. The new Disney Studio initially consisted of animator Ub Iwerks and a loyal apprentice artist, Les Clark, who together with Wilfred Jackson were among the few who remained loyal to Walt. One lesson Disney learned from the experience was to thereafter always make sure that he owned all rights to the characters produced by his company.
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