Mickey Mouse’s new birthday portrait was revealed today at San Diego Comic-Con. Titled “Spreading Happiness Around the World,” the painting by legendary Walt Disney Animation Studios animator Mark Henn honors Mickey’s 90th anniversary. The unveiling of the new work—the latest in a longstanding series of Mickey birthday portraits—took place during the panel “Celebrating 90 Years of Mickey Mouse with D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.”
Since his big-screen debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, Mickey has been the global ambassador for The Walt Disney Company. From the beloved Mickey Mouse Club to today’s Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, Mickey’s optimistic outlook and endearing personality continue to delight fans around the world every day. D23 and the Walt Disney Archives, in partnership with Walt Disney Animation Studios, commissioned Henn to paint Mickey’s official birthday portrait. Henn follows in the footsteps of artists such as Disney Legend John Hench, who crafted five of Mickey’s official portraits.
“It is one of the great honors of my career to be asked to paint Mickey’s 90th birthday portrait,” says Henn. “I was greatly inspired by the portraits painted by John Hench. I wanted to capture some of the same style and sense of youth that John achieved in his portraits.” The painting will appear on the Fall 2018 cover of Disney twenty-three, the quarterly publication sent exclusively to Gold Members of D23.