is now three quarters of a century old, but whatever you do, don't tell him
that. As animated as ever, the adorable rodent has filled up his schedule with more photo ops and marketing meetings than the cast of Friends
. But, even as he looks forward to the summer '04 video release of The Three Musketeers
— believe it or not, his first full-length feature with Donald
, et al — he kindly allowed TV Guide Online to bend his ear long enough to ask him Seven Silly Questions.
TV Guide Online: Mickey, how is it that after 75 years, you still look as young and spry as you did when we first met you — or rather, when our parents did? Plastic surgery? Botox? Clean living? What's your secret?
Mickey Mouse: Aw, gee, thanks, pal. Let's see... I try to eat right, and I mousercise. Oh, and for the occasional wrinkle? A good old-fashioned eraser. Works every time!
TVGO: Think fast — cheddar, Gouda or provolone?
Mickey: You know what they say — provolone's pretty Gouda, but cheddar's even better! Sorry. Pretty cheesy, huh?
TVGO: The cheesiest. I can see you've read my stories before. Moving right along, who was a perkier Mouseketeer, Britney Spears or Annette Funicello?
Mickey: Gosh, that's a tough one. Those Mousketeers had so much energy — Annette, Jimmy, Britney, Christina [Aguilera], Justin [Timberlake]... all of 'em! And talk about talent! But if I had to pick just one of 'em, I guess I'd have to go with one of our honorary Mouseketeers. Yep, definitely Minnie Mouse. She always has a smile on her face!
TVGO: And she certainly puts one on ours, too. Since you brought up your significant other, I have to ask: While so many celebrity couples, from Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, have fallen apart, you and Minnie have remained admirably tight. To what do you attribute your relationship's longevity?
Mickey: Aw, I guess you could say our hearts were born outta the same inkwell. I'm a pretty lucky guy, huh?
TVGO: Lucky and then some, if you ask me. Nobody wears a bow like Minnie! Now then, if Mighty Mouse challenged you to an arm-wrestling contest, who would win?
Mickey: If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's this: Never arm-wrestle a fella who wears a cape and flies around savin' folks from danger. Ya prob'ly won't win, and ya definitely won't look as stylish!
TVGO: Words to live by. At Disney's resorts, your picture is everywhere. Does that make you think twice about ever changing your image... you know, getting dreadlocks or taking up wearing a Stetson?
Mickey: Bein' an actor, I get to change my image with every role! I just head down to Wardrobe, and next thing ya know, I'm a steamboat pilot or a sorceror's apprentice or a safari guide or the guy next door. No dreadlocks yet, but I have worn a cowboy hat — 10-gallon, I think. No, wait — with these ears, it was prob'ly 20.
TVGO: What's left for you to accomplish in your career? Any chance you'll bring Of Mice and Men to Broadway? I hear there might be a part in that for you.
Mickey: Hmm... how about a musical? Like The Goof and I or Thoroughly Modern Minnie... or maybe Les Mouserables?
TVGO: Yeah. Well, um, maybe.
Mickey: OK... maybe not. Actually, it's sorta hard to think about the future right now — big holiday doings goin' on: the radio show, the TV special, the tree-lighting, the parade. Gosh, wasn't it just July? But let's see... For next year, we're workin' on a swashbucklin' epic and a holiday movie, too. Oh, and somebody told me we're gonna be on a postage stamp next summer!
TVGO: I think it's safe to say you've got this showbiz thing — ahem — licked. Sorry. You know like cheese, too. You were saying?
Mickey: Ya know, the best part of the job has been meetin' all the swell folks out there. They sure have been good to me over the years. And since there's a bunch more to meet, I guess I'd better get back to work! Bye now!
TVGO: It was the stamp joke, wasn't it? Too cheesy? You can tell me. (Pause.) Hello? Mickey? (Dial tone.) Rats.