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Did Walt steal the idea of mickey

Discussion in 'Walt Disney: The Man Behind the Mouse' started by Dizneyworld4430, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Dizneyworld4430

    Dizneyworld4430 Member

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    i heard from someone today that walt stoled the idea of mickey mouse from someone? does anyone have any insight on this? i kept arguing that it was want true just like him being frozen. im sry if there is another thread on this.
     
  2. imagineer boy

    imagineer boy Well-Known Member

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  3. Dizneyworld4430

    Dizneyworld4430 Member Original Poster

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    thats what i thought but this person was presitant that this was true and she saw it on the history channel
     
  4. disnyfan89

    disnyfan89 Well-Known Member

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    He might think walt stole the idea from another cartoon Oswald the lucky rabbit. They do look alike but it still wouldn't be stealing as Walt created Oswald as well.
     
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  5. Dizneyworld4430

    Dizneyworld4430 Member Original Poster

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    i brought that up as well and she continued to say no thats its not true serisouly my aunt and i got into a huge fight aout this lol.
     
  6. Mr.MouseFan

    Mr.MouseFan Active Member

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    If anyone stole anything, it was Universal stealing Oswald.
     
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  7. Connor002

    Connor002 Active Member

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    They owned the rights, fair and square.
     
  8. haveyoumetmark

    haveyoumetmark Member

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    Yea. I think someone copied mickey mouse from Walt, but Walt originally made Mortimer Mouse. At the suggestion of his wife/fiance at the time, he changed it to Mickey, because Mortimer sounded funeral home ish or something to that effect.
     
  9. Woody13

    Woody13 New Member

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    Yes, he did steal the idea for Mickey Mouse from Universal Pictures to wit:

    "A New York film distributor by the name of M.J. Winkler, bought Disney’s early cartoons, which were the original versions of “Alice in Wonderland”. When the demand waned for the Alice series, Walt created a new character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. As Oswald’s popularity grew, Walt decided to negotiate a higher price for the contract. Unbeknownst to Walt, Charlie Mintz (M.J. Winkler’s husband) had recruited most of Walt’s staff by offering them more money and creative freedom. Walt also did not know that Charlie Mintz and Universal Pictures owned the legal rights to Oswald. Mintz demanded that Walt Disney give up his business and go to work for him, but Walt refused.

    It was on this train ride back to Los Angeles from New York City that Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse. He knew he had to come up with a new character and created a mouse. (It is interesting to note that this mouse looked quite similar to Oswald the Rabbit. The main differences being Mickey Mouse had short round ears instead of long bunny ears, a longer nose, a long skinny mouse tail instead of a bunny tail, and skinnier legs and arms. The face, eyes, mouth and hairline were very similar.) Walt wanted to name the mouse character “Mortimer”, but his wife, Lilly, didn’t like that name and suggested “Mickey Mouse”."


    As you can see, Walt simply changed "Oswald" into 'Mickey". He stole the character, pure and simple even though he knew he didn't own it any longer. :wave:
     
  10. Connor002

    Connor002 Active Member

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    Thanks Woody, I was just about to start typing something of similar concept, myself.
     
  11. warlord

    warlord Well-Known Member

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    Well the Disney owns both now so I guess it doesn't matter anymore.
     
  12. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    creatively, Walt did not steal Mickey from anyone else as he created Oswald..... :D
     
  13. CaptainMichael

    CaptainMichael Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, and that is what is important.
     
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  14. Woody13

    Woody13 New Member

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    Artists are free to violate the law? :wave:
     
  15. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    well, it's not like Walt kept producing Oswald or rabbit cartoons or anything.... he just created a new character just so happened to resemble a bunny.... aside from being a synchronized-with-sound rodent :D thankfully, Mickey doesn't receive the gruesome fates Oswald did in some of his cartoons....that is, before our bunny was miraculously put back together within seconds....
     
  16. Woody13

    Woody13 New Member

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    It was a direct theft of the character. No one disputes that Mickey is an Oswald rip off. Walt was angry and decided to get his revenge. Walt also learned a valuable lesson. You don't sell your rights to a distributor (as did Pixar). :wave:
     
  17. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    yes, indeed he did! but despite the direct resemblance, I think we'd all agree it turned out swell :D :D
     
  18. Woody13

    Woody13 New Member

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    I agree. I really liked Walt. He was a great guy. However, he was not the super nice guy that the Disney PR machine puts forth. Walt was a movie producer and he engaged in a lot of cutthroat and dishonest tactics in his time. I don't fault him for this behavior. His studio would have failed if he didn't resort to unethical and illegal tactics on many occasions. Film production has always been a very tough business and only the strong survive.

    The bottom line is very simple. Walt was under contract to create a cartoon for the distributor. The distributor owned all rights to the characters in the cartoon. Walt was young and didn't realize that he "sold" Oswald away. It was a youthful indiscretion. Walt learned a valuable lesson.

    Indeed, it all turned out swell. It took a lot of dishonest and illegal practices to make it all turn out swell. The creation of Mickey was only the first step! :wave:
     
  19. WeLComeHomE OKW

    WeLComeHomE OKW Active Member

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    You seem to know alot about Mr. Disney. I have been wanting to do some more reading on his life. What are the top 3 books on his life? Or the must haves?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  20. Tahu

    Tahu Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind though that Oswald was a knockoff of many cartoon characters of the time, most notably Felix the Cat. But yeah, it was ownership disputes that lead to Walt loosing Oswald and most of his artists to Universal, essentially leaving Ub Iwerks the only animator left on Walt's staff. Mickey was created in the Oswald/Felix/a good chunk of animal cartoons formula and the rest is history. But Disney got Oswald back now, so now we just gotta wait and see what Disney will do with him.
     

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