But what a mouse!
Mickey Mouse made his film debut in 1928's Steamboat Willie, a hero who made music squeezing barnyard animals. The film, directed by Walt Disney, was a landmark cartoon, that featured daring technology with synchronized sound.
Disney liked mice so much, he kept live ones in his desk drawer to sketch. He created the first sketches of Mickey Mouse on a five-day train trip from New York to Los Angeles.
"He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad... at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner."
Mickey Mouse to the rescue! Fellow cartoonist Ub Iwerks reworked Disney's sketches for easier animation and the mouse was an instant hit. "All our dreams can come true," the optimistic Disney said, "if we have the courage to pursue them."
Inspired by Charlie Chaplin, Disney gave Mickey the resilient personality to keep trying to do the best he could, whatever the challenges. The cheerful rodent became a beloved light during the bleak Great Depression. Some of Mickey's biggest fans were President Franklin Roosevelt, Britain's George V, and Italy's Mussolini.
"When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it's because he's so human; and that is the secret of his popularity," Disney believed. "You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality."
Remember your roots. And celebrate them!