Uncle Mortimer & Aunt Agatha

KNOWN RELATIVES: Minnie Mouse (Mortimer's niece); Mickey Mouse (Agatha's nephew); Morty & Ferdie (grandnephews); Madeline Mouse (cousin).
KNOWN PETS: Hoppy the Kangaroo.
KNOWN CONFIDANTS: Minnie Mouse; Mickey Mouse; Morty & Ferdie Fieldmouse; Madeline Mouse.
KNOWN RIVALS: Sylvester Shyster, Bad Pete.
1st PRINT APPEARANCE: Uncle Mortimer in "Mickey Mouse" daily strip serial: "Mickey Mouse in Death Valley" (Apr. 1, 1930); Aunt Agatha in the daily strip serial "Mickey Mouse in Love Trouble" (Apr. 14, 1941).
SIGNATURE: unknown
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS: Unlike Donald Duck, a very small number of relatives belonging to the Mouse Family have ever appeared more than once. Among the few exceptions are the "Twins" Morty & Ferdie (sons of Mickey's sister Felicity Fieldmouse), Minnie Mouse's inconsistently named nieces, Millie & Melody, Mickey's Aunt Agatha, and Minnie's wealthy Uncle Mortimer. While one story may relate that the relative is specific to Mickey or Minnie, subsequent stories tend to blur that line (especially those by Paul Murry who was rarely ever consistent in his portrayals of Mickey's relatives). Morty & Ferdie, in some stories, seem to be Minnie's blood-relatives, and she is depicted as their caregiver rather than Mickey. When Grandpa Mouse appears he is both Minnie's and Mickey's grandfather. The same is true of Aunt Agatha. Most stories involving Uncle Mortimer continue the tradition that he is specifically Minnie's uncle, though he treats Mickey as family. Uncle Mortimer is a cattle rancher and possibly a widower. In his introductory tale he supposedly had died and willed his ranch to his niece, Minnie. Sylvester Shyster was Mortimer's lawyer, and executor of his estate. Shyster had tried to cheat Minnie out of her inheritance, but with Mickey Mouse's and a mysterious cloaked figure's help Shyster's plot was uncovered. The mysterious stranger turned out to be none other than Mortimer who was testing Shyster in order to confirm his fears about him being a crooked lawyer. Uncle Mortimer appeared many more times over the years. Once he sent a kangaroo named Hoppy to Minnie. Uncle Mortimer's physical appearance has changed since his initial introduction where he looked very similar to Mickey, though possessing a moustache. Later he was depicted as much older, taller and heavier, loosing his moustache and gaining two distinguishing tufts of white fur posing as sidedeburns.

Aunt Agatha - Mickey's aunt has appeared in at least four stories (perhaps more?). Whether these "Aunt Agathas" are actually all the same character is a matter of speculation. In the first tale (of which I am aware) she makes a brief appearance in the classic "Mickey Mouse in Love Trouble" (reprinted in "WDC&S" #36-39, Sep. - Dec. 1943, and "Mickey Mouse Birthday Party" #1, Sep. 1953). Here she is being visited by another relative, Mickey's sweet-natured, and very refined cousin Madeline Mouse (a.k.a. Millicent van Giltmouse: playing the role of "City Mouse" to Mickey's "Country Mouse") who helped Mickey when he wanted to win back his ladylove from the notorious Montmorency Rodent (Mortimer Mouse).  It is apparent that, like Mickey's sister Amelia, Aunt Agatha is much taller than Mickey and much heavier, however her coloration is a brownish-gray. Her second appearance is in perhaps the "Pluto" story called "Uninvited Guest" from Dell's "Four Color: Stormy, the Thoroughbred" #537 (Feb. 1954) where she has black fur like Mickey with a Grandma-type mop of white hair on top. She's about 1-1/2 times Mickey's height, wears glasses, and has a long, skinny nose. Her next appearance (to the best of my knowledge) is in "Mickey Mouse" #99 (Feb. 1965) in "Dogs Will be Dogs" where Pluto is having some behavioral problems so Mickey seeks out his eccentric Aunt Agatha, who happens to be a "World Famous Lady Animal Trainer," for help. Again she is much taller than Mickey and also much heavier, though now her coloration is similar to Mickey's (black ears, white face), though she does have a mop of brown hair under her Safari hat. Her last known appearance is in the story "WDC&S" #415 (Apr. 1975) in "To the Point" where, this time, she is said to be Minnie's aunt who has come to visit her and the twins, Morty & Ferdie, who also call her "Aunt Agatha" (there being no distinction made by the fact that they are actually Mickey's nephews). In this tale she looks very much like an older version of Minnie (once more wearing spectacles), and since there is only one picture of Aunt Agatha, with her sitting, it is unclear how tall she actually is compared to Minnie (though she is definitely taller than the Twins). How, or even if, Uncle Mortimer and Aunt Agatha might be related is unclear.

HISTORICAL FACTS: There have been four prominent characters known as "Mortimer Mouse." First, Mickey Mouse's original name was "Mortimer Mouse" until Walt Disney's wife Lillian convinced him to change it to the friendlier "Mickey." Second, there was the arrogant "Mortimer Mouse" who was a former beau of Minnie's from a time before Mickey. Called "Mickey's Rival" in both the animated short (June 20, 1936) and in the Gottfredson serial (Jan. 5, 1936), he was later identified with another similarly arrogant former beau of Minnie's called "Montmorency Rodent."   And aside form Minnie's Uncle Mortimer, there is Mickey's nephew, Morty, whose full name is also "Mortimer Mouse" (a.k.a. Mortimer Fieldmouse).

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