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Mickey Mouse Birthday: Star Celebrates 81 Years (PHOTOS)

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Mickey Mouse is celebrating his 81st birthday!

The Disney icon had his debut in the cartoon short "Steamboat Willy" on November 18, 1928, according to Disney.

Since he premiered at the Colony Theater in New York 81 years ago, Mickey Mouse has traveled the world; hobnobbed with celebrities and children; been reincarnated into figurines, avatars, stuffed animals, and t-shirts; and enjoyed numerous makeovers.

The cartoon character's "look" has grown with technology, and the celebrity mouse has morphed from a hand-drawn, black-and-white figurine, to a sleeker, colorful, computerized cartoon.

In the upcoming video game "Epic Mickey" the iconic mouse is expected to get yet another makeover.

From initial drawings and creenshots of the game, the Mickey in "Epic Mickey" looks like he'll be getting a tougher image.

In "Epic Mickey," the "formerly squeaky clean character can be cantankerous and cunning, as well as heroic," the New York Times reports.

In celebration of Mickey's 81st birthday, we've put together a slideshow that takes a look back at the Disney character -- and previews where he's going.

See Mickey in one of his original cartoon shorts in the video below!

Mickey Mouse History
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