Who Was the First Non-Human to Win an Oscar?

In 1932, Disney's Mickey Mouse was the first non-human to win an Oscar. The Oscar was received by Walt Disney for the creation of Mickey Mouse as an Academy Honorary Award. That year, Disney's Mickey's Orphans was also nominated in the Best Animated Short Film category, but the Oscar went to another Disney film: Flowers and Trees.

More about the Oscars:

  • The first Oscars were presented in 1929 in a ceremony that lasted only 15 minutes.
  • The statuette awarded to winners is 13.5 inches (34 cm) tall and weighs 8.5 pounds (3.85 kg).
  • In 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won all 11 categories in which it was nominated.
More Info: The Journal

Discussion Comments

Last year, when many people saw Disney's Frozen in theater, little did they know that a Mickey Mouse short would be playing before it. Known as Get a Horse, while it might not be as good as the classics, it still does a decent job of capturing the feel of the older Mickey Mouse shorts. Combining new and old techniques, it really added to the theater experience. My point is that, after watching the short, it's easy to see why Mickey Mouse won an Oscar. Even though his old cartoons might be a bit dated, the new technology can combine with the old ones, to create an experience that would appeal to a newer generation just as much as it would to those who grew up in the early 1900's.

@Hazali - While you do make some very good points, what caught my attention the most was when you mentioned that every main character needs a supporting cast. I wholeheartedly agree, especially with your references to Donald and Goofy.

Speaking of supporting characters, one thing that I've always thought possible was that Minnie was originally created as nothing more than a damsel in distress, and Pete was nothing more than Mickey's rival and foil.

After all, back in those days, there were a lot of black and white cartoons that centered around the main character having to rescue a female from train tracks, while the villain attempted to run her over. Perhaps Pete and Minnie were inspired from this.


While I do enjoy reading these tidbits, some of this actually confuses me a bit. The article discusses the first non-human to win an Oscar, Mickey Mouse himself. However, this kind of leads me to wonder how this is possible, if he's not even alive in the first place. However, maybe I'm just over analyzing things. It might just be referring to the character and its inspiration winning an Oscar.

Regardless of whether I agree with this article or not, I'm not surprised that he won an Oscar, and even more so, he definitely deserved it. Love him or hate him, Mickey Mouse is certainly one of the most iconic characters in animation history.

It really makes you wonder what the animation industry would be like had Mickey Mouse never been created. Speaking of which, I do wonder when Donald Duck and Goofy came into play, as they're always seen tagging along with Mickey. Perhaps these characters came around after inspiration for the mouse. After all, every main character needs a supporting cast.

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