If you were asked to name the oldest Disney original character, would it be safe to say an educated guess would be to answer “Mickey Mouse!” Yeah, I thought so too. But interestingly enough, Mickey Mouse is not the oldest Disney character. I know what you’re thinking, and it isn’t Donald Duck, either. Nor Minnie, or Goofy, or even Pluto. So, who do we have left?
…Believe it or not, it’s Big Pete!
He made his debut in the 1925 cartoon Alice Solves the Puzzle, three years before Steamboat Willie (November 1928) premiered. And if you’re a real smarty and know that technically Mickey’s very first appearance was actually in a screen testing for Plane Crazy (May 1928), a cookie for you!
Big Pete was originally drawn as an anthropomorphic bear, but with the success of Mickey Mouse, was changed to a cat as a more natural enemy. Because in reality, bears and mice are cool, ya know?
So let’s give a round of applause to Big Pete. While he is portrayed mostly as a villain in his long list of roles, we still have some Disney love for this big guy!