The home video release of Fun and Fancy Free (1947)—featuring Walt Disney's final theatrical performance as the voice of Mickey Mouse—is a delightful reminder that Walt's most famous character was also his alter ego I always felt Walt's presence very strongly when I worked with Mickey.' says animator Ollie Johnston Animator Frank Thomas puts it simply Mickey was Walt, and Walt was Mickey."

The life and ventures of Mickey Mouse,' said Walt himself, "have been closely bound up with my own personal and professional life." Walt's deep connection with his brainchild was most evident in his performance of that famous falsetto The young filmmaker first cast himself as Mickey because there was no time or money to hire a professional actor for Steamboat Willie (1928) Later, when dialogue increased beyond a few squeaks, auditions were held to find the perfect voice actor. Walt continually corrected the performers, demonstrating in a shy. boyish falsetto exactly how Mickey should sound At last. Disney's artists suggested that Walt do the voice himself.