Colony Theater in New York shows Mickey Mouse in “Steamboat Willie” for first time

“Steamboat Willie” is an animated short film directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.  The film was produced in black-and-white and is known for being one of the first cartoons with synchronized sound in that it featured a fully post-produced soundtrack.

It was on this day, November 18, 1928, that the Colony Theater in New York showed Mickey Mouse in “Steamboat Willie” for the first time.  The film is considered as the debut of Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, although both of the characters had been used in other films prior.

“Steamboat Willie” was controversial because of its humorous depiction of animal cruelty, but it received wide critical acclaim overall.  The film led to international fame for both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse and was selected to be preserved in the United States’ National Film Registry in 1998.