Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kel's Fun Fact: Steamboat Willie

In honor of the 83rd anniversary of the release of Steamboat Willie, today's fun facts are all about Steamboat Willie!

Steamboat Willie is considered the debut of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse (no relation), even though they were both in a previous short called Plane Crazy that was a silent film. Plane Crazy failed to be distributed and was eventually released after Steamboat Willie became popular.

Walt Disney did all the voices for the short.

In 1998 Steamboat Willie was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry for being culturally and historically significant.

The villain in the story, Pete is a cat in the short and beyond, but originally was a bear.

By the copyright acts of the time, Steamboat Willie should be in the public domain by now, but isn't due to the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, also known as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. The act makes works made in 1923 and after that were still protected by copyright 1998 not available for public domain until 2019 or after.

The full cartoon was officially put on YouTube by the Disney Animation studio on August 27, 2009. And really, you should go watch it right now.

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