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The 'Real' Man Behind The Curtain

5 Posts from November 2008

Filmdom's favourite rodent turns 80


By Bruce Deachman, CANWEST NEWS SERVICE, The StarPhoenix

In 1928, aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly accross the Atlantic, an iron lung was used for the first time, the only Academy Award was given for Best Title Writing and Gordie Howe was born.

As well, a small rodent -- "a little fellow trying to do the best he could," according to creator Walt Disney. -- made his debut in American Theatres.

It is Mickey Mouse's 80th birthday today! "Yay! Mickey!!

Here is some trivia:

1. Which of the following was not a Mouseketeer?
A. Christina Aguilera
B. Annette Funicello
C. Ryan Gosling
D. Britney Spears
E. Justin Timberlake

2. How many people are credited for providing the voice of Mickey Mouse in the past 80 years?
A. 1
B. 3
C. 5
D. 8
E. 15

3. Mickey Mouse's first appearance was in Plane Crazy on May 15, 1928. The Walt Disney Company considers today Mickey's birthday, commemorating the release of what cartoon?
A. The Barn Dance
B. The Opry House
C. The Gallopin' Gaucho
D. Mickey's Follies
E. Steamboat Willie

4. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse to replace which animated character?
A. Felix the Cat
B. Dog the Bounty Hunter
C. Minnie the Moocher
D. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

5. To whom did Walt Disney give credit for the inspiration for Mickey's personality?
A. Charlie Chaplin
B. Woodrow Wilson
C. Shoeless Joe Jackson
D. Hoagy Carmichael
E. Stan Laurel

6. What were Mickey's first spoken words?
A. "Put her down!"
B. "Jeepers!"
C. "Eeek! A cat!"
D. "You know what they say about big hands, Minnie!"
E. "Hot dogs!"

7. On March 28, 1929, what happened to Mickey for the first time?
A. He met Minnie
B. He asked Minnie out
C. He kissed Minnie
D. He danced with Minnie
E. He wore gloves

8. The first piece of Mickey Mouse merchandise appeared in 1929. It was:
A. A lunchbox
B. A beanie cap with large ears
C. A school writing tablet
D. Suspenders
E. A video game

9. In 1932, Walt Disney received a special Academy Award for creating Mickey Mouse. How many Oscars has Mickey won?
A. 0
B. 1
C. 2
D. 3
E. 5

10. Who said: "Brake! Brake! Brake now, you Mickey Mouse piece of s--!"
A. Charles Lindbergh
B. Neil Armstrong
C. Sylvester Stallone
D. Henry Ford
E. Minnie Mouse

11. Match the event with the year:
1. The first Mickey Mouse watch is sold
2. Mickey gets his own entry in Encyclopedia Britannica
3. Minnie first turns down Mickey in favour of Peg Leg Pete
4. Mickey's eyes get pupils
5. Mickey leads Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York

a. 1929
b. 1933
c. 1934
d. 1935
e. 1940

12. Who once famously put a black bra on top of his head to imitate Mickey, and said "I'm the mascot of an evil corporation."
A. Walt Disney
B. Scrooge McDuck
C. John Belushi
D. Dan Aykroyd
E. Bart Simpson

13. True or False: In a 2007 children's television show titled Tomorrow's Pioneers, the Hamas used a Mickey Mouse clone named Farfour to encourage children to use AK-47 assault rifles and grenades, telling them that "We will return the Islamic community to its former greatness, and liberate Jerusalem, God willing, liberate Iraq, God willing, and liberate all the countries of the Muslims invaded by the murderers." Following intervention by the Palestinian government, the character was beaten to death by an Israeli and replaced by Nahoul, his bumblebee cousin.

14. Another first: 30 years ago today, Mickey became the first cartoon character to:
A. Receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
B. Win an Emmy Award
C. Sing during the Super Bowl halftime show
D. Be charged for impaired driving
E. Appear in a porn film

15. Has Disney's Mickey Mouse ever appeared in the same film as Warner Brothers' Bugs Bunny?

16. Who said:
"Well, it's time they got their act together. They're ruining the whole league. They had better stop running a Mickey Mouse organization and put somebody on the ice."
A. Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner
B. Hockey Night in Canada analyst Don Cherry
C. Emilio Estevez, in the movie The Mighty Ducks
D. Bugs Bunny
E. Wayne Gretzky

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008



Below are the answers.

1. None. All five were Mouseketeers.

2. B. Three. Walt Disney voiced Mickey from 1928-47, when Jim MacDonald took over. In 1977, Wayne Allwine, the current voice of Mickey, took over from MacDonald.

3. E. Steamboat Willie. Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho preceded Steamboat Willie, which was the first Mickey film with sound.

4. D. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

5. A. Charlie Chaplin. Said Disney: "I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea. We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin -- a little fellow trying to do the best he could."

6. E. "Hot dogs!" In 1929's The Karnival Kid, Mickey sells hot dogs.

7. E. Mickey first wore gloves in The Opry House.

8. C.

9. B. Mickey won his only Oscar for 1941's Lend A Paw, which starred not Mickey, but Pluto.

10. C. In the movie Demolition Man, Stallone shouts those words to his police car.

11. 1b; 2c; 3a; 4e; 5d

12. E. Bart Simpson in The Simpsons Movie.

13. True.

14. A.

15. Yes, they appeared together in 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

16. E. Gretzky said it in 1984 after his Edmonton Oilers defeated the New Jersey Devils 13-4.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

Visit Mickey Mouse on


Winnipeg Zoo Says Goodbye To Debby - The Oldest Polar Bear In The World

Zoo staff mourns Debby's passing 

A wreath has been placed in front of the Assiniboine Park Zoo's empty polar bear enclosure to commemorate the passing of Debby, the longest-living member of her species.


Many Winnipeggers felt a special connection with Debby, the polar bear who died at the zoo on Monday.

Readers are encouraged to publicly share their feelings about Debby in words and pictures. Please email submissions to

Myself, The Wizard, remembers the highlight of all my trips to the Zoo in Winnipeg was Debby the Polar Bear. The zoo will go on... but it won't be the same.

 Video Link

Beautiful Boy

The light is fading, we’re all alone
I sing you a lullaby
Stars winkin at us, a smile from the man on the moon
I look you in the eye, and every single time time
My heart is a bird in the breeze
Flyin far out from me, roundin you, and landing between

If I only had breath for one more sigh
I’d be callin it out to you
Singin’ bout, what you do —– oh

My beautiful boy , You take me, To a place
Far beyond the point
Where my doubts, can hold on
My beautiful boy

I’m a little boat in the water, the rain in the summer,
You’re my river and I’m comin down
If storms blow on in- You’re my bright sky, oh so blue
And it feels kinda funny, like I’m dancin in the stars
when I’ve got you on my mind,
Sing your song to the northern lights, they’re dancing with us too

If I only had music for one more song,
I’d be singin it out to you
A little verse, ’bout what you do —– oh

My beautiful boy , You take me, To a place
Far beyond the point
Where my doubts, can hold on
My beautiful boy

© Jeff Straker, 2005
All rights reserved. SOCAN 

What does the election of Barack Obama mean to me?

The Americans have now elected their first Afro-American President. I was a Barack supporter from the beginning. I think that the United States has made a brave, and bold choice in electing him their Commander-in-Chief.

Not only does Obama represent a visible minority, he also represents a progressive, forward moving country. No longer do the minorities, visible and the invisible (to which I belong), take a back seat, indeed, the doors are now open and what's done cannot nor should not be un-done.

Barack Obama has spoken up for ALL minorities: Black, Native Americans, Hispanic, Gays and others. The fact that he belongs to a minority group speaks volumes about the new America. I am proud today to say that The US is my neighbour.

I am hopeful, that in the ensuing 4 year term, The Americans see, above all else, (besides a stable economy), that GLBT folks down there get the right to marry and stay married.

My hat is off to the American people! Now if we can only get Harper out of 24 Sussex!


A long due THANK-YOU for saving my life...

I was talking with my therapist the other day, and I realized I have never thanked my best friends for saving my life.

One day, I had decided I had enough pain of the rapid cycling that my bi-polar disorder was causing me and I was in a very deep depression.

I had taken an overdose of my medications and was waiting for the end to come... when my friends, Jack and Vince broke the door in and called 911. I know I was quite out of it, but the paramedics arrived and I went to the hospital. I drank the epicac and soon was out of danger.

Until now, I was actually pissed off at them for interfering with my plans to die.

I realize now, that they did it out of love.

So, a REALLY BIG THANK-YOU, Jack and Vince for saving my life that day.

Love cannot be measured, but it can be felt through devotion of loved ones. I love you both and I am forever in your debt.


A Friend Like You

You are two of the best friends that I've ever had.
For the past six years, you've known everything about me,
My secrets, my lies, my faults, my triumphs, my joys and my fears.
You know me inside and out; like the back of your hand.
I've never been as honest with anyone as I have been with you.

When I was weak, you were strong.
When I stumbled, you led the way.
When I was blind, you could see.
When I was silent, you spoke.

When I needed advice, you were there.
When I needed a shoulder to cry on, you were there.
When I needed someone to cheer me up, you were there.
When I needed a friend the most, you were there.

You've always been able to bring a smile to my face and make me laugh.
Through thick and thin, you've always been there for me.
Whenever I'm with you, I have a good time.
It seems like you always understand my feelings and identify with my thoughts.
When I first met you, I knew we'd be friends for life.

Don't ever leave me here all alone,
In this world full of hatred.
I fear so much, and confront so little.
I need you and your strength,
To be with me always.

Don't leave me here all alone:
Without true friends, real friends, friends like you.