The popular rodent is recognised the world over as the defining character of Disney. In fact, artists who have put pen to paper and brought the humble mouse to life have often called him Walt Disney's "alter ego". Others say he "represents the world of animation", and a poll found he was more recognisable than Santa Claus. Mickey Mouse turns 90 this year and to mark the occasion, here are some facts you may, or may not, know about the rodent.

1. Mickey's debut

Mickey Mouse made his debut on November 18, 1928 in Steamboat Willie at the Colony Theatre, New York City. Steamboat Willie was the world's first cartoon with synchronised sound and featured Walt Disney's own voice for Mickey's squeaky noises.

2. He nearly wasn't called Mickey

Walt Disney wanted Mickey to be called Mortimer Mouse but changed his mind after his wife Lillian said it sounded too "arrogant" and suggested a name that was more humble and fun.

3. Charlie Chaplin was an inspiration

Walt Disney said silent film star Charlie Chaplin was an inspiration for Mickey Mouse. "We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin... a little fellow trying to do the best he could."

4. It takes more than you think to draw Mickey

Creating Mickey is not as simple as drawing the famous large circle and two small circles. One cartoon could include 10,000 drawings for just seven and a half minutes and could take anywhere from six months to two years to finish.

5. Those white gloves

Mickey started wearing those popular white gloves in the short video When the Cat's Away in Opry House on March 28, 1929. Since then he's carried on wearing them in most of his appearances.