It was 80 years ago today that the cartoon short Steamboat Williepremiered at the 79th Street Theater in New York City. Created and directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, the film introduced the world to Mickey Mouse, who in a few short years would become one of the most famous cartoon characters in the world. Although it had been released as a silent a few months earlier, the version that bowed on this date contained the first fully synchronized music, dialogue and sound-effects soundtracks.
More recently, the film has generated some controversy when it was suggested by some legal analysts that the Walt Disney Company’s copyright claim on the film may be in doubt. As such, we feel on reasonably solid legal ground to present to you Steamboat Willie. Enjoy.