While Mickey Mouse may be the most famous Disney rodent, he is surprisingly not the first. In fact, some of Mickey’s early ancestors are currently getting some time in the spotlight at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the window displays at Sunset Boulevard’s “Reel Vogue,” appearing alongside other characters from Walt Disney’s early silent cartoons. On the side of the building facing the neighboring DVC booth, much of the artwork in that window, including that in the above photo, was originally created for a fanciful promotional image that depicted Walt Disney directing the stars of his “Alice Comedies” series.
Produced between 1923 and 1927, the “Alice Comedies” centered on a live action little girl (initially portrayed by Disney Legend Virginia Davis) who finds herself in an animated world surrounded by a cast of animal characters, most notably her friend Julius the Cat. Various groups of nameless mice and rats also appeared in many of the “Alice Comedies” and occasionally even played major part, such as in 1925’s “Alice Rattled by Rats,” which featured a group of rats overrunning Alice’s house while she’s away. While not the most recognizable characters in the Disney stable, the inclusion of the characters from the silent “Alice Comedies” in Disney’s Hollywood Studios give a small peek back to the humble beginnings of The Walt Disney Company.