The Rise of Mickey
Wherever and whenever you grew up, you are sure to recognise Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney and his colleagues worked on a series of films in the 1920s that integrated real people with animated drawings. The first was Alice’s Wonderland made in 1923 and a further 56 Alice comedies followed.
By 1928 Mickey Mouse (and also Minnie Mouse) stared in Steamboat Willie – this was the first animated movie with properly synchronised sound, and it became an instant success.
By 1930 an increasing quantity of merchandise was starting to flood out into the high street shops: books, jigsaws, soft toys, playing cards, helter skelters, board games, ceramic mugs, printing outfits, table tennis sets, cameras and even a toy lantern outfit with full colour slides (the animations were in black and white).
Mickey Mouse was also used to promote many products, from breakfast cereal and biscuits to candles and toffee.
By 1939 there were about a hundred cartoons.
If you want to see some of the wide range of Mickey Mouse material, you should visit the Museum of Brands in Notting Hill, London.
Discover the fascinating history of consumer culture from Victorian times to the present day at the Museum of Brands.