Friday, February 27, 2015

Who Was the First Lead Black Cartoon Character in a Sound Cartoon?

Black History Month

Mickey Mouse appeared in Steamboat Willie in 1928. The cartoon was directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. It was produced in black-and-white by Walt Disney Studios and was released by Celebrity Productions. The cartoon is considered the debut of Mickey Mouse, despite appearing several months earlier in a test screening of Plane Crazy.

This is the first cartoon with synchronized sound, including character sounds and a musical score. Steamboat Willie was the first cartoon to feature a fully post-produced soundtrack which distinguished it from earlier sound cartoons such as Inkwell Studios' Song Car-Tunes (1924–1927) and Van Beuren Studios' Dinner Time (1928).

Before some of you get your panties in a knot. Readers of this blog already know about blacks who passed for white. Go ahead. Check it out and come back. I'll wait.

Back? Yeah, that's right. Just keep looking at the picture below. You'll see it.

See Steamboat Willie and other shorts with this historic black character.

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