Students of Walt Disney history know that Mickey Mouse is not Walt’s first major successful animated character. That distinction belongs to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. In the early days of the Disney Brothers Studio, Walt, Roy, and their small crew of animators were successfully turning out Oswald cartoons and Alice comedies for distributor Margaret Winkler. Ms. Winkler had married a shark named Charles Mintz, who was managing the Oswald contract. Mintz tricked Walt into signing a bad contract, and systematically swiped most of his animators right out from under him, leaving him with almost nothing. This may make Charles Mintz Disney’s first villain!

Never one to be beat by failure, Walt pulled himself up, created a little someone named Mickey, and the rest is magical Hollywood history.

Today’s trivia question is focused on Charles Mintz.  Can you tell me which animated Disney character name was inspired by Charles Mintz? Hint – it’s a Pixar character.

And the answer is:

Charles Muntz (Image: Pixar)

One little letter separates the names of these two Disney villains.

In Disney-Pixar’s Up, Charles Muntz was a famous explorer and adventurer in the 1930s, who provided inspiration to Carl Frederickson and his future wife Ellie when they were kids. Carl was starstruck to meet Muntz 70 years later, and was heartbroken to find that Muntz was not the inspirational hero he was thought to be.

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