How Mickey Mouse Has Changed Over the Decades

How Mickey Mouse Has Changed Over the Decades

For Mickey’s in-color debut, Disney created Parade of the Award Nominees. Produced for the 1932 Academy Awards, Mickey and his friends lead a parade of celebrity nominees for the awards. Mickey is at the head as grand marshal, Minnie Mouse leads the marching band, and Clarabelle Cow rolls out the red carpet for the celebrities, and Pluto brings up the rear of the parade.

With this first use of color in depicting Mickey Mouse, Disney did not shy away from going all out. Although the background is muted and almost looks like a watercolor painting, Mickey himself is vibrant: he keeps his signature black nose, ears, eyes, and legs, but his face has become a nude shade, almost anthropomorphically human. He wears yellow shoes and gloves with their signature black lines, and his costume is filled with reds, greens, and yellows.

It was in 1929 that Mickey began an era of what is known now as his “pie-cut eyes.” The black circles for uses were mostly used in print cartoons in the 1930s and was not typical for animation. This style goes hand in hand with the “rubber hose” look of their limbs, where Mickey and the rest of the character’s limbs are like a floppy hose, and can be stretched like rubber. This lends to a more slapstick, nonsensical, and fun cartoon.

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