Mickey Mouse's first speaking role

While watching vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons on YouTube, my son and I happened upon this 1929 delight. The Karnival Kid is Mickey's first ever speaking role, finding his voice with the powerful words "Hot dogs!" Of course, "Hot dog!" would go on to become one of Mickey's trademark catchphrases. The Karnival Kid also stars the lovely and talented Minnie Mouse, as the Shimmy Dancer.


  1. These early Mickey cartoons are the best; he could fight giants or go to an island full of cannibals or hop “through the mirror”. He had so much personality and charm in those days – I understand why they made him much more bland (or yes, boring), but it’s a darn shame.

    1. I agree! We have a lot of fun just going through the YouTube archives watching (and rewatching) them.

  2. This would be the last Mickey Mouse that Ub Iwerks would direct. After “The Karnival Kid” only “The Skeleton Dance” (of Iwerks) would be released by Disney before Iwerks would leave Disney to form his own studio. The next Mickey Mouse, “Mickey’s Follies,” would be directed by Wilfred Jackson.

  3. This was much better than I expected it to be. At some point, it evoked the slow, smooth, deliberate physics of a Mario style platformer. I think he scored a 1UP on 2:17. Mickey’s talents are truly wasted in JRPG’s.

    What was the line at 1:50?

  4. For copyright wonks… notice that the visible copyright date is not part of the original artwork at the beginning. It has none of the film weave that the rest of the image has. It has been added at some later date, most likely for this DVD release.

  5. Thanks, Pesco! That’s so awesomely… Fleischer… I especially liked when Mickey takes the top of his head off and you can look into his empty skull.

  6. Wow, how great. Very Fleischeresque indeed. Cartoons from the early days seem to revel in the joyous possibilities of the medium.

  7. “Odd bit of synchronicity, just yesterday I was watching this cartoon where Bosko was selling hotdogs.”

    Actually a lot of the business with the hot dog comes from an earlier Disney cartoon with Oswald, the proto-Mickey rabbit that Walt didn’t own the rights to and was fired from, leading him to create and own his own characters. (Disney finally won him back a couple of years ago and issued an Oswald compilation DVD which is quite good.) It’s called All Wet:

    There’s tons of cool cartoons on YouTube from that era… check out Balloon Land:

    or Bottles:

  8. …Two points:

    1) Wasn’t Steamboat Willie Mickey’s first talking role?

    2) this obviously was created before Greyscale Tables were researched and adopted, whereas certain shades of grey corresponded to certain shades of color. This is clearly evidenced in the fact that even if it’s Grey Poupon, the mustard was so dark that it would have been more believable as ketchup.

  9. Steamboat Willie was the first Disney cartoon with fully syncronized sound, but Mickey doesn’t speak in that one.

    This one and the Skeleton Dance do this thing I’ve come to associate with Ub Iwerks, where the same gag is played two times in a row. Am I right to associate it with him, or would all the Disney cartoons do it around this time?

  10. i know mickey rocks, but did i also see the first instance of devil’s horns in this cartoon? predating ronnie james dio by several decades? check out the shimmy dancer barker around 1:45.

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