The Disney empire didn’t start with Mickey Mouse.
Disney Studio’s first animated character wasn’t Mickey Mouse, as many believe. In fact, it was a similar-looking character who would mark the studio’s beginnings: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
A total of 27 animated Oswald shorts were produced in the 1920s and 1930s, voiced, at one time, by Mickey Rooney and, later on, Mel Blanc. Walt Disney proclaimed Oswald to be “a younger character, peppy, alert, saucy and venturesome, keeping him also neat and trim.” It was during the time of producing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit that Walt Disney expressed a thought that would grow his company to epic proportions: “I want the characters to be somebody. I don’t want them just to be a drawing.”