Minnie Mouse is one of the anthropomorphic cartoon characters created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney. She and Mickey Mouse were first drawn by Iwerks in 1928. The Mickey Mouse comic strip story "The Gleam" (published January 19 – May 2, 1942) by Merrill De Maris and Floyd Gottfredson first gave her full name as Minerva Mouse, although this is seldom used.
|First appearance||Steamboat Willie|
(November 18, 1928)
|Full name||Minerva “Minnie” Mouse|
|Family||Minnie Mouse family|
|Significant other||Mickey Mouse|
The comic strip story "Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers" (published September 22 – December 26, 1930) introduced her father Marcus Mouse and her unnamed mother, both farmers. The same story featured photographs of Minnie's uncle Milton Mouse with his family and her grandparents Marvel Mouse and Matilda Mouse. Her best-known relatives, however, remain her uncle Mortimer Mouse (Mortimer was almost the name of Mickey) and her twin nieces, Millie and Melody Mouse, though most often a single niece, Melody, appears. In many appearances, Minnie is presented as the girlfriend of Mickey Mouse, a close friend of Daisy Duck, and a friend to Clarabelle Cow.
Origins of the character
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Minnie was initially created to be the love interest of Mickey Mouse; concept art for Mickey showed a female mouse alongside him.
Minnie was designed in the fashion of a flapper girl. Her main outfit consisted of a short flapper girl dress that often revealed her distinctive patched knickers. In the 1929 cartoon The Karnival Kid, it was also revealed that she wears black stockings which were also fashionable among flapper girls. Her shoes are probably her most distinctive article of clothing. For comedic effect, she wears oversized high heeled pumps that are too big for her feet. Her heels often slip out of her shoes, and she even loses her shoes completely in The Gallopin' Gaucho. When she walked or danced, the clip clop of her large pumps was usually heard clearly and often went with the rhythm of the music that was played in the background. Along with Mickey, she was redesigned in 1940. Her hat was replaced with a large bow, and bows were added to her shoes as well. Her eyes were also given more detail. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, her look and personality became more conservative. Minnie almost always wears red or pink, but in her early appearances, she could be seen wearing a combination of blue, black or green (when not depicted in black and white).
Minnie's early personality is cute, playful, musical and flirtatious. She often portrays an entertainer like a dancer or a musician whose affection Mickey is trying to win. Part of the comedy of these early shorts is the varying degree of success Mickey has in wooing Minnie. Unlike later cartoons after the redesign, Minnie often becomes a damsel in distress whom Mickey tries to rescue. She is also subject to a lot of slapstick and rubber hose animation gags. Over the course of the 1930s, Minnie's and Mickey's relationship solidified and they eventually became a steady couple.
Minnie was first seen in a test screening of the cartoon short Plane Crazy. Minnie is invited to join Mickey in the first flight of his aircraft. She accepts the invitation but not his request for a kiss in mid-flight. Mickey eventually forces Minnie into a kiss but this only results in her parachuting out of the plane. This first film depicted Minnie as somewhat resistant to the demanding affection of her potential boyfriend and capable of escaping his grasp.
Their debut, however, featured the couple already familiar to each other. The next film featuring them was The Gallopin' Gaucho. The film was the second of their series to be produced, but the third to be released, and was released on December 30, 1928. We find Minnie employed at the Cantina Argentina, a bar and restaurant established in the Pampas of Argentina. She performs the Tango for Mickey the gaucho and Black Pete the outlaw. Both flirt with her but the latter intends to abduct her while the former obliges in saving the Damsel in Distress from the villain. All three characters acted as strangers first being introduced to each other.
But it was their third cartoon that established the definitive early look and personality of both Mickey and Minnie, as well as Pete. Steamboat Willie, was the third short of the series to be produced but released first on November 18, 1928. Pete was featured as the Captain of the steamboat, Mickey as a crew of one and Minnie as their single passenger. The two anthropomorphic mice first star in a sound film and spend most of its duration playing music to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw".
Her next appearance was arguably more significant. Mickey's Follies (June 26, 1929), featured the first performance of the song "Minnie's Yoo-Hoo". "The guy they call little Mickey Mouse" for the first time addresses an audience to explain that he has "got a sweetie" who is "neither fat nor skinny" and proudly proclaims that "she's my little Minnie Mouse". Mickey then proceeds to explain his reaction to Minnie's call. The song firmly establishes Mickey and Minnie as a couple and expresses the importance Minnie holds for her male partner.
Damsel in distress
Her final appearance for the year was in Wild Waves, carried by a wave into the sea. She panics and seems to start drowning. Mickey uses a row boat to rescue her and return her to the shore but Minnie is still visibly shaken from the experience. Mickey starts singing the tune of "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep", a maritime ballad, in an apparent effort to cheer her up. Minnie cheers up and the short ends. This is the second time Minnie is placed in danger and then saved by her new boyfriend. It would not be the last.
In fact, this was the case with her next appearance in The Cactus Kid (May 10, 1930). As the title implies the short was intended as a Western movie parody, but it is considered to be more or less a remake of The Gallopin' Gaucho set in Mexico instead of Argentina. Minnie was again cast as the local tavern dancer who is abducted by Peg-Leg Pedro (Black Pete in his first appearance with a peg-leg). Mickey again comes to the rescue. The short is considered significant for being the last short featuring Mickey and Minnie to be animated by Ub Iwerks.
The Shindig (July 11, 1930) featured Minnie joining Mickey, Horace, and Clarabelle in a barn dance. Among them, Clarabelle seems to be the actual star of the short. Director Burt Gillett turned in another enjoyable entry in the series, proved that production could go on without Iwerks. This was arguably the first time Minnie was upstaged by a female co-star.
In The Fire Fighters (June 20, 1930), Minnie is trapped in a hotel during a fire. She spends the duration of the short in mortal peril but is rescued by firefighters under Chief Mickey Mouse. Horace Horsecollar is among the firefighters. An unnamed cow in the background is possibly Clarabelle making a cameo. The music of the short was, appropriately, the tune of "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight".
The next entry in the series is considered curious: The Gorilla Mystery (October 1, 1930). The short starts with Beppo the Gorilla escaping from a zoo. Mickey learns of it and panics. He phones Minnie to warn her about the dangerous gorilla wandering about. Minnie is unconcerned and plays tunes on her piano for Mickey to hear over the phone and know she is not afraid. Her tunes are interrupted by her scream and Mickey rushes to her house to save her. Meanwhile, Beppo has wrapped up Minnie in rope and holds her hostage. Mickey confronts the gorilla and once again rescues the damsel in distress.
Introduction of a pet
In The Picnic (1930), Minnie introduces her boyfriend to her new pet dog, Rover. This is actually Pluto making his first appearance as an individual character. Two unnamed bloodhound guard dogs strikingly similar to him had previously appeared in The Chain Gang (August 18, 1930) which featured Mickey incarcerated in prison without Minnie at his side. Otherwise the short features a typical picnic excursion harassed by forest animals and brought to a premature end by a sudden rain.
The final appearance of Minnie during the year was Pioneer Days (November 20, 1930).:63 The short featured Minnie and her mate as pioneer settlers heading to the American Old West driving a covered wagon in a wagon train. They are unsurprisingly attacked by Native Americans on their way, a stock plot of Western movies at the time. While their fellows are either subjected to scalping or running for their lives, Minnie is captured by the attackers. Mickey attempts to rescue her only to be captured himself. In a reversal of their usual roles, Minnie escapes her captors and rescues her mate. They then dress as soldiers of the United States Army. Their mere appearance proves sufficient to have the entire tribe running for the hills. The Mouse couple stands triumphant at the end. The short has been criticized for its unflattering depiction of Native Americans as rather bestial predators. The finale has been edited out in recent viewings for depicting the "braves" submitting to cowardice.
During the second half of the thirties, Minnie did not appear as often in Mickey cartoons. This was mainly due to the growth in popularity of Mickey's new sidekicks, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pluto, whose appearances in Mickey cartoons had more or less replaced Minnie's role. Minnie's appearances in Mickey cartoons thus became less numerous, but she did have a few major roles in some Pluto and Figaro cartoons during the 1940s. Minnie made a sort of comeback in the 1980s when she was re-introduced in Mickey's Christmas Carol and then got her own starring role in Totally Minnie.
- She starred in a 1988 musical television special on NBC called Totally Minnie and it was the first film to feature Minnie in a lead role. She also appeared in a line of merchandise called Minnie 'n Me in the 1990s. On September 18, 1990, the CD Minnie 'n Me: Songs Just For Girls was released.
- Minnie's return to animation came in Mickey's Christmas Carol (October 20, 1983). She was cast as Mrs. Cratchit. As with most Disney characters, she was given a small cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) but does not have any lines in the latter movie, despite her voice actress being listed in the end credits.
- Minnie Mouse makes an appearance in every episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
- Minnie runs a neighborhood in Disney's Toontown Online called Minnie's Melodyland. This is a powerful area with access to Toontown Central, The Brrrgh, and Donald's Dreamland.
- Minnie is available to sign autographs and take pictures throughout the day in various locations at the different Disney Resort Theme Parks around the world. She also appears in all of the daily parades that take place at the Disney resorts.
- In the 2013 Mickey Mouse television series Minnie was restored to her classic 1930s look with the flowered bowler hat and flapper girl outfit. Minnie also gained more character quirks and, like the older cartoons, was subject to more slapstick and rubber hose cartoon gags.
- On June 22, 2017, it was announced that Minnie, alongside "Weird Al" Yankovic, Zoe Saldana, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, would be receiving her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.
- In December 2019, both Minnie and Mickey served as special co-hosts of Wheel of Fortune for two weeks during Disney's Secret Santa while Vanna White served as the main host during Pat Sajak's absence.
In Mickey Mouse Works, she finally appeared in her own segments. Occasionally, she starred in Maestro Minnie shorts, in which she conducts an orchestra of living instruments that she usually has to tame.
In House of Mouse, Minnie is in charge of running the nightclub, while Mickey primarily serves as the host. In one episode of House of Mouse, "Clarabelle's Big Secret", Minnie reveals that she has gone to the movies with Mortimer Mouse, although it is not a date.
She appears in two children's shows on Disney Junior: the full-length educational Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the spin-off series of shorts Minnie's Bow-Toons, where she runs a "bow-tique" selling bows like the ones she and Daisy wear. In season 2 of Bow-Toons, she displays high physical strength and balance at least twice, able to balance her entire bodyweight in a 1-finger handstand.
In the 2013 Mickey Mouse television series, she exhibits the ability to survive her head coming off and doing a 360 degree flip and re-attaching itself, which can happen when she feels surprised. In 2017, as part of the launch of Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Minnie's Happy Helpers adventures appear in the second half of every new episode.
Minnie as a queen and princess
Kingdom Hearts series
Minnie appears in the Kingdom Hearts game series as the queen of Disney Castle, with Mickey serving as the king and her husband. She, at the suggestion of a letter left by the missing King, sends Donald Duck and Goofy on their mission to find Mickey and the Keyblade Master, Sora. During Kingdom Hearts II, when Pete's tampering of the past causes the Heartless to appear in Disney Castle, Minnie is forced to fall back to the library until Sora and company arrive. While Donald and Goofy head to get the other residents to safety, Sora serves as the Queen's bodyguard to get her to the Cornerstone of Light. During this time, Minnie shows powers as a sorceress of white magic, casting a holy light on the Heartless that attack. In the prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, she oversees the annually held Dream Festival in Disney Town, where Pete causes mischief until she banishes him to another dimension as punishment. She appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance in a role mirroring that in the film Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, where she is referred to as Princess Minnie and rules a world called the Country of the Musketeers. By this, it is inferred that she, not Mickey, is the rightful ruler of Disney Castle, which is why he leaves her in charge. She makes a brief appearance in Kingdom Hearts III, welcoming Mickey, Donald and Goofy back to Disney Castle.
Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers
In the 2004 direct-to-video film Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Minnie plays the role of the princess of France, who continually daydreams about her true love, Mickey. She's also the only monarch getting in the way of the plans of Pete, who can't take over the kingdom if he cannot get rid of her. For this particular film, Minnie is drawn with bangs, which do not appear in any later cartoons.
Wizards of Mickey
In the fantasy comic series Wizards of Mickey, Minnie is the princess of the kingdom of Dolmen whose people have been turned to stone, leading her to seek a magical Crystal to restore them. In her quest, she partners with her friends Daisy and Clarabelle as team Diamond Moon and eventually meets up with Mickey, the Supreme Sorcerer of Dolmen, and his group.
Minnie was first voiced by Walt Disney, who was also the original voice of Mickey Mouse. Marjorie Ralston, a Disney inker who joined the animation team as Disney's thirteenth employee, voiced her in the 1929 short Wild Waves, but did not further pursue the role out of shyness. Then, from 1930 until 1939, Minnie was voiced by Marcellite Garner. Then from 1941 to 1942, and on the radio program, The Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air, she was voiced by Thelma Boardman. Following this, from 1942 to 1952 Ruth Clifford provided the character's voice. Janet Waldo voiced Minnie in the 1974 Disneyland record album, An Adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Performed by The Walt Disney Players. Minnie would go without any spoken dialogue until 1986, when Russi Taylor inherited the role, which she performed until her death in 2019 (her husband, Wayne Allwine, voiced Mickey from 1977 until his death in 2009); to this day however, Taylor's voice is used in various TV series and theme parks via archival and posthumous dialogue. The replacement for Minnie's voice has not been officially announced yet as of August 2020. However, Kaitlyn Robrock has been credited as Minnie in the Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures episode “Mickey’s Roommate/Minnie’s Bow-tel!”.
Appearances in cartoon shorts
- Walt Disney anthology television series (1954–2008)
- The Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1959; 1977–1979; 1989–1994)
- Mickey Mouse Works (1999–2000)
- House of Mouse (2001–2003)
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2016)
- Minnie's Bow-Toons (2011–2016)
- Mickey Mouse (2013–present)
- Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures (2017–present)
- Mickey's 90th Spectacular (2018)
- "1928: Plane Crazy". Disney Shorts. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- ""Mickey's Christmas Carol" -". cartoonresearch.com.
- "Russi Taylor, Longtime Voice of Minnie Mouse, dead at 75". New York Daily News. New York Daily News. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- Minnie Visits Daisy Archived 2008-02-24 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- "Minnie Mouse honored with Hollywood Walk of Fame star". ABC News. ABC News. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- Gallopin' Gaucho Archived 2008-02-18 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- Steamboat Willie Archived 2008-03-27 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- Mickey's Follies Archived 2011-01-14 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- Wild Waves Archived 2008-07-04 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- Kaufman, J.B.; Gerstein, David (2018). Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History. Cologne: Taschen. ISBN 978-3-8365-5284-4.
- The Shindig Archived 2008-03-17 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- The Gorilla Mystery Archived 2008-04-26 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- The Chain Gang Archived 2008-04-10 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- Solomon, Charles (March 25, 1988). "Television Reviews 'Disney's Totally Minnie': Live Action, Animation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
- Mickey's Christmas Carol Archived 2008-04-30 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on May 8, 2008.
- Vulpo, Mike (June 22, 2017). "Hollywood Walk of Fame's Class of 2018 Revealed: Steve Irwin and More Set to Receive Stars". E! Online. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- Bucksbaum, Sydney (December 10, 2019). "Vanna White hosts Wheel of Fortune for first time while Pat Sajak recovers from emergency surgery". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- Maestro Minnie Archived 2011-02-07 at the Wayback Machine. The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
- "Piano Movers and Shakers". Minnie's Bow-Toons. Season 2. Episode 1 (11 overall). November 12, 2012.
- "A Good Sign". Minnie's Bow-Toons. Season 2. Episode 2 (12 overall). November 19, 2012.
- "Movie Time". Mickey Mouse. Season 3. Episode 4 (41 overall). September 11, 2015.
- Desk, Cox Media Group National Content. "Mickey Mouse turns 87 years old". Dayton Daily News.
- "Kaitlyn Robrock Voicing Minnie Mouse in 'Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures'". DapsMagic.com. July 19, 2020.
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