Minnie Mouse

Minnie Mouse

Minnie Mouse is an animated cartoon of the Mickey Mouse universe featured in animated cartoons, comic strips and comic book by The Walt Disney Company. The 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. Minerva has since been a recurring alias for her. Minnie is currently voiced by actress, Russi Taylor.

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 her grandparents Marshall Mouse and Matilda Mouse. Her best known relatives however remains her uncle Mortimer Mouse and her twin nieces, Millie and Melody, though most often a single niece, Melody, appears. In many appearances, Minnie is presented as a close friend of Daisy Duck, Donald Duck's girlfriend and occasionally a friend to Clarabelle Cow. Minnie's sister Mandie Mouse was a recurring character early on.

Origins of the character

In 1928, Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse to act as a replacement to his previous star Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But Mickey could not fill the void alone. Among the few consistent character traits Oswald had developed before moving on to Universal Studios was his near-constant pursuit of potential sweethearts. So for Mickey to have a chance to emulate his predecessor at flirting, someone had to replace Oswald's many love interests. This replacement to Miss Rabbit, Miss Cottontail, Fanny and an uncertain number of unnamed nurses and dancers was to become Minnie Mouse.

Minnie, who at the time was not yet named, was designed in the fashion of a "flapper" girl. She was so probably intended to follow the trends of then-modern youth culture in an effort to add to her audience appeal.

Mickey and Minnie debuted together in Plane Crazy, first released on May 15, 1928. 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 as the barmaid and dancer of 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.

They appear together again in Steamboat Willie, the third short of the series to be produced but released second 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".

A recurring co-star

The commercial success of Steamboat Willie helped introduce Mickey and Minnie into the audience. Twelve more films featuring Mickey were produced in 1929. But Minnie only co-starred in seven of them and was mentioned in an eighth. The first of them was The Barn Dance, first released on March 14, 1929. Minnie stands at the center of attention as Mickey and Pete rival each other in order to win her favor. Both offer to pick her up for the dance but she chooses Pete's newly purchased automobile over Mickey's horse-cart. When the automobile breaks down she resorts to go with Mickey. The latter proves a clumsy dancing partner, repeatedly stepping on her feet, and so she turns to Pete again. She is surprised when Mickey asks for another dance and seems to be light on his feet. However she is disgusted when Pete points that his rival had placed a balloon in his shorts. She resumed dancing with Pete. Minnie proves to be rather demanding as a partner in a romantic relationship. Mickey obviously has yet to claim her as his girlfriend by this point. Their attempt at farming life would prove short-lived. Their next appearance in The Karnival Kid (May 23, 1929) casted Mickey as a hot dog vendor and Minnie as a carnival Shimmy Dancer. Minnie then appears as a fiddle player in Mickey's Choo Choo (June 26, 1929)

Minnie's Yoo Hoo

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 in explaining 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. Soon it would become the theme song to all of their series.'

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 arguably the first 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 (April 12, 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 (August 6, 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. The short ends with Minnie and Mickey jointly wrapping up the gorilla in rope. Modern audiences have commented on elements of bondage apparent in the short and the mysterious motivation of Beppo. Note that the theme of kidnapping by a gorilla is present here three years prior to the King Kong film of 1933.

Introduction of a pet

In The Picnic, (November 14, 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 (December 10, 1930). 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. Their depiction as being part Jewish is not particularly fondly seen by modern audiences either. The finale has been edited out in recent viewings for depicting the "braves" submitting to cowardice.

Marriage to Mickey

Walt Disney said in a 1933 interview, "In private life, Mickey is married to Minnie. A lot of people have written to him asking this question, because sometimes he appears to be married to her in his films and other times still courting her. What it really amounts to is that Minnie is, for screen purposes, his leading lady. If the story calls for a romantic courtship, then Minnie is the girl; but when the story requires a married couple, then they appear as man and wife. In the studio we have decided that they are married, really."

Also, in House of Mouse, Mickey mentions his and Minnie's anniversary, which may imply that he and Minnie are married. However, it likely means the anniversary of their first date, as mentioned in the 1995 short Runaway Brain.

Contemporary appearances

Since then she has been co-starring with Mickey Mouse, Pluto, and Figaro, Minnie's own cat who debuted in Pinocchio.

She starred in a television special called Totally Minnie and she also appeared in a line of merchandise called "Minnie 'n Me".

Minnie returned 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).

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, and appears in the Playhouse Disney children's television series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

She 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. In the third game in the series, Kingdom Hearts II, there is a mission where the main characters must travel through Disney Castle while serving as the Queen's bodyguard. During this time, Minnie shows prowess as a sorceress in the arts of white magic, casting a holy light on the Heartless that attack as well as a powerful combination with Sora that unleashes a huge beam of light all around her.

In the 2004 direct-to-video movie 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. Interestingly, for this particular film, Minnie is drawn with hair bangs, which do not appear in any later cartoons.

In the "Disney on Ice" play Disney Presents Pixar's The Incredibles in a Magic Kingdom Adventure, Mickey and Minnie are both taken hostage by an android replica of Syndrome, who seeks to construct "his" own idea of The Happiest Place on Earth in Walt Disney World's place. They are briefly imprisoned in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction's prison cell before an assault on the robot Syndrome by the Incredible Family forces "him" to lock them up in LASER prisons, but not without using a flamethrower in a botched attempt to incinerate their would-be superhuman saviors. After the robot Syndrome is congealed by Frozone, Mickey and Minnie are finally liberated, the Walt Disney World Resort is restored to its former glory, and the Incredibles become Mickey and Minnie's newest friends.

References

External links

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