When Walt Disney was originally creating Mickey Mouse, he was actually debating naming him Mortimer, after a mouse he owned as a child, but Walt decided against this name after some discouragement from his wife Lillian Disney. Lillian believed, rightly so, the name sounded too pompous for a cartoon character and recommended Walt change the name to Mickey, and believe it or not the name stuck. The beloved mouse we all know today debuted in November 1928, but the idea of Mortimer the arrogant mouse remained in the back of Walt’s mind for years.
Although the idea behind Mortimer was already in the mind of Walt, it wasn’t until 1936 that Mortimer was brought to life as Mickey’s distinct opposite in the short “Mickey’s Rival,” however he originally appeared in the Mickey Mouse comics under the alias Mr. Slicker. The only distinct similarity between Mickey and Mortimer is their affection for Minnie. There’s even a rumor that Mortimer was Minnie’s former boyfriend, but Mickey and Minnie’s love is much stronger. I mean they have been together for 88 years! Beyond this similarity though, their traits diverge.
Mickey had been established as a short, silly and loving mouse, so to visually create Mortimer as Mickey’s opposite he was manifested as tall, slick and cunning. Mortimer is said to be a mouse, but because of his long snout, whiskers and defined front teeth, he resembles an animal closer to a rat fitting for his personality.
In “Mickey’s Rival,” Minnie enjoys the company of Mortimer in the midst of a date with Mickey, but after Mortimer releases an angry bull, Mortimer flees. Mickey is left to protect his true love with the help of his car and saves the day.Mortimer ran so far, he didn’t appear again in a cartoon again until “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas” in 1999; over 60 years later! After the Disney Christmas special, Mortimer gained popularity allowing him to be brought into future Mickey cartoons. Mortimer first came to Mickey Mouse Works in the short “Mickey’s Rival Returns.” In addition, Mortimer frequently appeared on the House of Mouse, often being seen attempting to seduce the woman at the House of Mouse. Even though he’s one of Mickey’s main villains, Mortimer was widely disliked by the other Disney villains. Even Mickey’s arch nemesis Pete didn’t care for the rodent.Next Mortimer is seen as Megamort in Mickey Mouse Club House in the episode “Super Adventure.” Megamort attempts to take over the Clubhouse world, but Mickey stops his villainous behavior!
Most recently, Mortimer has appeared in the series Mickey Mouse. In the episode “No” he uses Mickey’s inability to use the word “no” to pursue Minnie Mouse, but by the end of the episode he explains Mickey can have her.
Over the past few years, Mortimer has become a staple of Mickey Mouse cartoons and has shown time and time again that he is sleazy and doesn’t hold any regard for the feelings of Mickey Mouse or the ladies he attempts to impress, but hey I would be frustrated too if I could’ve been Mickey Mouse.