- Mortimer Mouse
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Mortimer Mouse is Mickey Mouse’s rival and secondary arch-nemesis in animation, after Pete. He is a sleazy, obnoxious mouse who openly berates Mickey.
Mortimer first appeared in the Mickey short Mickey’s Rival and has been battling Mickey for Minnie’s affections ever since.
When Walt Disney was in the process of creating Mickey Mouse, he suggested the name of his new character to be Mortimer Mouse. However, his wife, Lillian Disney, felt the name sounded too pompous, and suggested Mickey, instead. Years later, when developing a new short, the name Mortimer was put to use for a new character, an antagonistic rival of Mickey’s for Minnie’s affections. Mortimer only appeared in the cartoon “Mickey’s Rival” and was never seen in animation again until 2000, when his popularity skyrocketed and landed him roles in several Mickey Mouse related material.
Since then, in most of his appearances, Mortimer’s voice has been provided by Maurice LaMarche, which is said to be an exaggerated impression of comedian Jon Lovitz.
Mortimer is essentially a taller version of Mickey Mouse, and seems a bit more human-like. Unlike his rival, Mortimer has whiskers, perhaps referencing how he has a ratlike persona. He has feet the size of Goofy’s. Unlike most of the other mouse characters, however, you can see two large teeth close together, like a rat. He is usually wearing jeans and a shirt, but sometimes he also wears a hat.
He is said to be Minnie’s ex-boyfriend and she possibly left him due to his nature. He is very arrogant and rude, the total opposite of his rival. While he claims he loves Minnie very much, he shows to be incredibly selfish as seen in the cartoon “Mickey’s Rival” where he leaves Minnie to be attacked by a bull that he provoked. Not only that, he attempts to flirt with any female character on screen which might also indicate the reason the relationship between him and Minnie was abolished. Also, Mortimer can be rather sexist as seen in “Mickey’s Rival Returns” where he feels that Minnie is only a prize to be won. When he’s not tiring to get Minnie affections he tries to flirt with other female characters in “House of Mouse”.
Interestingly, a different side of Mortimer was showcased in the cartoon Mickey’s Mix-Up, where Mickey accidentally sent a heartwarming fax to Mortimer (which was actually meant for Minnie) having Mortimer believe Mickey wanted to make amends, which he immediately agreed to. This shows that, perhaps, Mortimer does hold a softer side, and wouldn’t mind becoming friends with Mickey if the latter also wanted to let bygones be bygones. However, this softer side was never revealed again, due to either Mickey revealing the truth about the mix up, infuriating Mortimer, or more likely because the entire thing was used as a comical gag.
Aside from his cocky and sexist attitude, Mortimer proves to be, time and time again, rather intelligent and crafty. He’s, on many occasions, managed to manipulate Mickey into a scheme that’d end in the downfall of his relationship with Minnie. For instance, in Big House Mickey, Mortimer managed to fool the town’s government into arresting Mickey. In Mickey and the Culture Clash, he manipulated Mickey into believing Minnie desires a more sophisticated boyfriend, resulting in the mouse changing his persona to the point where Minnie believes he’s out of her league, leaving her in the hands of Mortimer.
Walt was originally going to name Mickey Mortimer, but his wife insisted on a new name. Mrs. Disney felt that the name was not good enough and suggested a name which was more suitable with Walt’s home in Midwestern: Mickey.
The name itself derives from the name of Disney’s former pet mouse, Mortimer.
Although Mortimer hasn’t been used that much in the cartoons, he has been used a lot in the comics particularly the comics from overseas, the most popular ones being Brazil, Italy and France.
According to Mortimer Mouse himself, Minnie use to be his former girlfriend who left him.
Mortimer bears resemblance to an obscure character, Ruffhouse Rat, who is a cousin of Minnie’s from an early Mickey Mouse newspaper comic.
In the Berke Breathed strip Bloom County, there is a Mortimer Mouse, who is a stubbly, surly mouse who wears the same outfit as Mickey’s, but more disheveled. He is annoyed that he was drafted during the Second World War, during one battle he suffered an injury where a Panzer tank ran over his foot, while at the same time Mickey went on to fame and fortune. This parody was ended after Breathed was threatened with a lawsuit from Disney for unauthorized parody in 1988. Interestingly, Disney had better relations with Berke Breathed twenty years later when they based a film on his children’s book Mars Needs Moms.
Like Gaston and Chi-Fu, Mortimer has very negative opinions towards women and girls that border on misogyny.
According to voice actor, Maurice LaMarche, his voice of Mortimer is an exaggerated impression of comedian/actor, Jon Lovitz.
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