MICKEY MOUSE was once just an ordinary little gray mouse, of which there have always been plenty. But he had most extraordinary experience. I understand that he lived in a building where a young artist had a studio. The artist seemed friendly and Mickey became quite intimate, watching him work with brush and pencil. The artist, in turn, grew interested in Mickey and made drawings that looked just like him; in fact, he gave him the name of Mickey and probably taught him few tricks.
The most remarkable thing, however, was that Mickey not only got into the artist's studio; he got into his mind, which proved to be a more exciting place than any mouse ever dreamed of. He entered, of course, through the observation department and soon found himself pictured on the walls of the artist's memory. But beyond this there opened up the most wonderful, brilliantly lighted place of all. It was the artist's imagination, and here Mickey loved best of all to be. Here he became livelier than anywhere else; he met dozens of other animals and they all felt the same amazing thrill of life.
Mickey never was the same again; he never looked quite the same as the little gray mouse he used to be. He even took to wearing clothes and sometimes he talked and acted quite like a human being, or even more so. He kept on living longer than any other mouse had ever done. In fact, he is very much alive today. He is known all over the world because the artist, Walter Disney, invented a way of drawing and painting pictures which can be put into a moving- picture machine to show just how Mickey looks and how he acts. You can even hear what he says. So now he lives in your imagination and in mine. He is a favorite with Chinese children and probably speaks Chinese; he is a favorite with many other foreign children and probably speaks their languages as well as English. He really is a wonderful mouse. Here is just one picture of him which keeps still long enough for you to have good look at him.
BUT, you say, I thought you were going to talk to us about Art! Well, so am. I chose to write about Mickey Mouse because he illustrates perfectly the way in which a work of art happens. Let me explain.