Friday, July 31, 2009

July 31: Mickey Finds His Voice

In previous Disney shorts, Mickey Mouse had laughed, cried, grunted, and made all types of noises ... but his first spoken coherent words were uttered in The Karnival Kid, released on this day in 1929.
The Karnival Kid featured Mickey selling hot dogs at a carnival - hence his first words: "Hot dogs!" Ironically it is often reported that Carl Stalling (Disney's first musical director) supplied the voice for Mickey in this particular short - not Walt himself, who originated the voice. (Stalling's Mickey seems to have had a rougher, deeper quality than Walt's.)
One of the many gags featured in this short is one in which Mickey takes off his "ears" and tips his "hat" to a smiling Minnie Mouse - the Shimmy Dancer. Gag writer and illustrator Roy Williams (also known as one of the adults on TV's Mickey Mouse Club) was later inspired by this scene to create the famous Mouse Ears that are today sold in Disney theme parks all over the world.
Also appearing in The Karnival Kid was Clarabelle Cow (one of Minnie's best friends in a cameo) and Kat Nipp (a villainous cat making his third and last appearance).

Click HERE for more July 31 Disney History.

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