The black and white years saw the development of Mickey Mouse as a character through so many film released, changes and transformations.

Mickey Mouse has not always been portrayed as a strong, secure and hardy character. In fact, in the early years, Mickey was more of a weak character in comparison to Minnie Mouse, who was introduced shortly after Mickey himself.

For instance, Mickey Mouse’s vulnerability showed clearly in the early short black and white films but this was according to some made up by the studio to create empathy around the character.

In “The Barn Dance” (March 14, 1929), Mickey Mouse was shown feeling very disappointed and vulnerable when Minnie chose Pete – Mickey’s nemesis – instead of him. This again, was according to many who worked at the studio at the time of the early black and white films were made, designed to make Mickey a very likeable character.

The “Opry House” which was released in March 1928 was the first film in which Mickey Mouse could be seen wearing his white gloves for the first time. This had been decided to help the audience differentiate the hands of the character since they all appeared in black. The studios soon agreed to add gloves to most of their characters for the same reason.

In the “When the Cat’s Away” film, which was released in April 1929, drastic changes were made, and Mickey and Minnie were for the one and only time sketched as ‘normal” mice. Their environment were also adapted to their new characters as they could be seen living like “normal pests”.

This departure from the original idea was soon put away by the Disney creative studios, and in all of the subsequent cartoons and films, Mickey and Minnie where sketched as realistic people living in their usual human-being like environment.

The very first time Mickey was heard speaking was in the “Karnival Kid”, which once again was released in 1929. Prior to this film, Mickey’s means of expression had only been through whistling and laughing. In fact, the very first words uttered by Mickey were the followings; “Hot dogs! Hot dogs!”

The famous song “Minnie’s Yoo-Hoo” first featured in “Mickey’s Follies” (1929) and would serve as the official theme song for quite a few years afterwards.

New characters were also introduced during the black and white years. The iconic Pluto the Dog which had appeared in 1930 as Minnie’s dog officially became Mickey’s own pet in 1931 in “The Moose Hunt”. Others such as Goofy, Donald and Daisy Duck also started to make short appearances.

Changes and Milestone at the Disney Studios…

Ub Iwerks, who after many years of collaboration with Walt Disney left in 1930 after making his last film called “The Cactus Kid”. Financial troubles between the two creative geniuses ensued for years after he left especially after Disney discovered that his former distributor had funded Iwerks’ new studios.

Doubts were raised over the future of the booming entertainment giant after Walt Disney was left without his creative ally who had been working with him for such a long time.

However, Walt Disney didn’t give up, and soon found worthy replacements for his former friend and working colleague. A team of creative people and animators were hired and the production of the Mickey Series resumed.