This day in history: Mickey Mouse debuts in his first cartoon

We all know Mickey Mouse -- he's the cheerful rodent with white gloves, circular ears and bright red shorts.

The iconic character was co-created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. He was originally conceived as a replacement for their earlier and strikingly similar character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. In fact, Mickey Mouse was created out of necessity once Oswald became the primary property of Universal Studios, since he was produced on that company's payroll. This not only spurred the creation of the iconic mouse but also ensured that Disney would only work on characters to which he owned the rights.

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This day in history: Mickey Mouse debuts in his first cartoon
American animator and producer Walt Disney with one of his creations Mickey Mouse. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

"Plane Crazy," the first creation of the character Mickey Mouse which debuted in a test screening to a theater audience on May 15, 1928.

(Photo by Mary Evans/WALT DISNEY PICTURES via Ronald Grant/Everett Collection)

397155 08: Mickey Mouse rides in a parade through Main Street, USA with Cinderella's castle in the background at Disney World's Magic Kingdom November 11, 2001 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, UNITED STATES: Mickey Mouse and Roy Disney look upward as fireworks are launched during the rededication of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, 01 October, for 25th Anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World. AFP PHOTO Tony RANZE (Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Volunteers help inflate a Mickey Mouse flotation for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 2011 on West 77th Street in New York City. The parade which started in 1924 is celebrating its 85th year. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Mickey Mouse waves during announcement naming him as the Grand Marhsall of the 2005 Tournment of Roses Parade on November 16, 2004 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Disney character Mickey Mouse (C) exchange greetings with guests at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, suburban Tokyo on January 1, 2014. Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, is expecting to attract 30.7million visitors for their fiscal year ended March 2014, the first time to mark over 30million guests as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
An employee of Mitsukoshi Department Store intoduces a pure gold Mickey Mouse at the head store in Tokyo on April 3, 2010. The department store started selling the only figure in Japan, which is 20cm tall and weighs 2kg, at 225,800 USD to commemorate the second anniversary of Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. AFP PHOTO/Toru YAMANAKA (Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)
Walt Disney characters Mickey Mouse (R) and Minnie Mouse pose for photographs in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon on September 25, 2014. The Disney characters, icons of the US entertainment industry, were making their debut in Myanmar, which has emerged from being a highly reclusive state. AFP PHOTO / Ye Aung THU (Photo credit should read Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)

Mickey Mouse first appeared on May 15th in 1928 in the unfinished short "Plane Crazy."

The character was officially unveiled to the public six months later in "Steamboat Willie," co-starring Minnie Mouse.

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