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Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse turns 91

Monday marks more than 9 decades since release of Steamboat Willie

Tennis legend Roger Federer poses with Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the Magic Kingdom park March 17, 2014 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Disney Parks via Getty Images) (2014 Disney Parks)

He might not look it, but Mickey Mouse is getting a little bit long in the tooth.

The iconic mouse and face of the Walt Disney Company turned 91 on Monday, which comes almost a century after the premiere of Steamboat Willie, the animated short film that made him a star.

As TIME reports, the company didn’t waste any time capitalizing on Mickey’s stardom with merchandise and branding that turned the mouse into a cash cow despite his diminutive frame.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Fast-forward to present day and it’s hard to imagine a world without the mouse’s outsize influence.

So, how do we celebrate this lovable rodent’s birthday? Just watch one of your favorite Mickey movies, which are even easier to find now thanks to Disney+.


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