LIFE Magazine, the chronicler of American moments throughout the 20th Century, has recently published a 90-year retrospective of Mickey Mouse over the decades. Disney fans and Mickey lovers around the world will want to pick up this keepsake magazine, Mickey Mouse at 90.
Split into eight sections and consisting of 96 pages, the history and legacy of Mickey Mouse is explored throughout the magazine. With titles like ‘Mickey’s Universe’, ‘A Mouse is Born’, ‘A Mouse Takes Off’, ‘Mickey & The Presidents’, ‘The House That Mouse Built’, ‘Mickey & Sports’, ‘Thoroughly Modern Mickey’, and ‘Mickey & Art’, readers get a full chronicle of Mickey Mouse and how he was created as a replacement character, to becoming the juggernaut that Mickey would be for Walt Disney and his fledgling movie studio.
Mickey Mouse has started from humble beginnings to a global reach. The LIFE: Mickey Mouse at 90 offers fans of any age a chance to catch up on where Mickey started and read about his journey through the decades.
There are a lot of commemorative products available that celebrate Mickey’s 90th Birthday. From clothes, jewelry, and every kind of collectible figure, it’s hard to go anywhere and not find something that is all about Mickey Mouse. When I saw this LIFE magazine, I knew this was one of those mementos of the birthday celebration that I needed to have.
I wasn’t disappointed in the quality of the text, and the amazing photos that celebrate the decades of Mickey Mouse. LIFE has always been great at telling a story through visuals, and whether you are reading through ‘A Mouse is Born’ where we learn about the creation of Mickey and how Walt came to refine and improve Mickey through both sound and colour, or ‘A Mouse Takes Off’ when we learn about how successful Mickey was to Walt in the early 1930’s, readers are given the backstory through text and pictures in the way only LIFE can do.
What better way to capture the early days of the Walt Disney Studio than with candid pictures of the staff hard at work. Page 15 features a picture of legendary animator Ub Iwerks with a wild stare, hair everywhere, with his drawing of Mickey Mouse. Or gaze on the picture of the choir at the Disney Studios as they rehearsed the lyrics for a soon to be completed animated short. Page 25 shows you that everyone wore a suit in those days, even when you sat at the piano.
While the magazine chronicles the rise of Mickey from birth to the modern day, what I expected to happen was the story to diverge into more about Walt Disney. Sure, Mickey is on the cover, but when dealing with Mickey, I assumed that this would be another story about Walt. I was wrong. Walt, Roy, and even Shirley Temple can be found in the images, but the narrative is all about Mickey, as it should be. From his early days to meeting the Presidents of the United States, Mickey Mouse is not just an ordinary mouse. He has the power to influence culture, support the growth of theme parks, and propel a fledgling movie company into one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Mickey Mouse may not star in the upcoming tentpole blockbusters that the Walt Disney Studios is known for now, but without Mickey, there would be no company of today. Walt Disney once said that he hoped that everyone will remember that this all started because of a mouse. Reading through LIFE: Mickey Mouse at 90, you will see how and why Mickey is still relevant and making an impact on the world today.
I highly recommend you pick up this edition of LIFE: Mickey Mouse at 90 and read it for the sheer joy of the story, treasure it for the wonderful pictures detailing the life of Mickey, and keep it as a souvenir that pays homage to the mouse that started it all.