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Plane Crazy

Plane Crazy (first released on May 15, 1928) was the first cartoon to feature Mickey Mouse as well as Minnie Mouse (Mickey's flapper girlfriend).

The short was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Iwerks was also the main animator for this short and reportedly spent six weeks working on it. Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising were credited for assisting him; these two had already signed their contracts with Charles Mintz, but he was still in the process of forming his new studio and so for the time being they were still employed by Disney. This short would be the last they animated under this somewhat awkward situation.

The plot of Plane Crazy was fairly simple. Mickey was apparently trying to become an aviator in emulation of Charles Lindbergh. After building his own aircraft, he proceeds to ask Minnie to join him for its first flight, during which he repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempts to kiss her, eventually resorting to force. Minnie then parachutes out of the plane. While distracted by her, Mickey loses control of the plane. This becomes the beginning of an out-of-control flight that results in a series of humorous situations and eventually in the crash-landing of the aircraft. A non-anthropomorphic cow that briefly becomes a passenger in the aircraft is believed to be Clarabelle Cow making her debut.

Mickey as portrayed in Plane Crazy was mischievous, amorous, and has often been described as a rogue. Modern audiences have occasionally commented on this version of Mickey as being somewhat more complex and consequently more interesting than his later self. At the time of its first release, however, Plane Crazy apparently failed to impress audiences. Though understandably disappointed, Walt went on to produce a second Mickey short (The Gallopin' Gaucho) and then a third (Steamboat Willie). The latter was actually the second Mickey short to be released but the first to become commercialy successful.