10 Things You May Not Know About Pete
1: Quick, who is the oldest current Disney character? Mickey? Oswald? Donald? Nope! That distinction goes to Pete, who made his debut three years before Mickey and two years before Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. His first appearance was in the Alice cartoon Alice Solves the Puzzle in 1925.
2: Back then Pete wasn’t a cat, he was actually a bear! He didn’t become the lovable (?) cat we know today until Mickey came on the scene in 1928.
3: Speaking of Oswald, when Walt Disney lost the rights to Oswald in his infamous meeting with Charles Mintz of Universal Pictures, where Walt learned he didn’t have the rights to Oswald, Pete went with him. Sort of. Pete went on to appear in the Oswald films directed and produced by Walter Lantz until 1937, but he also continued to appear in Disney’s cartoon shorts. This made him the only cartoon character at the time to appear in shorts produced by two rival animation studios!
4: Curiously, Pete didn’t have a name in his first few appearances in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series, but he was finally given the name Peg-Leg Pete in 1930.
5: One of Pete’s early animators was Norm Ferguson (best known for developing Pluto). Ferguson referred to the actor Wallace Beery as the inspiration for Pete’s look. Curiously, Beery’s most famous role was that of Bill in the 1930 film Min and Bill. Disney fans will realize that you can find an homage to Min and Bill at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner in Disney’s Hollywood Studios! And of course Pete isn’t far away, as he’s now part of the cast of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
6: Just like Mickey and Minnie, Pete’s early voice was provided by none other than Walt Disney himself. He would later be voiced by such stellar names as Pinto Colvig, Clarence Nash, Will Ryan, and Jim Cummings, his current voice actor.
7: Before his arrival at Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Pete didn’t have much of a presence in Walt Disney World. In Mickey’s Toontown Fair, you could find Pete’s Garage (with a notice saying “Trust Me With Your Car” painted on the side of building, though we’re not sure if we believed him!). Today you can find Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Storybook Circus. Though the attraction is a character meet-and-greet, Pete isn’t one of them. Instead, over the years you could meet Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Minnie, and Pluto.
8: Pete and Goofy are the only characters from the classic Disney shorts to have a child. (Don’t forget that Huey, Dewey, and Louie are Donald’s nephews). Goofy’s son Max is well known, but did you know that Pete has a couple of kids? Yep…P.J. and Pistol!
9: Pete’s full name has been variously given as Peter Pete Sr. (in Goof Troop) and Percy P. Percival (in the comics). Go ahead, we dare you to call him Percy!
10: Although not as prominent as the Fab Five, Pete does have one great distinction none of the others have. His portrayal of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in the Disney adaption of A Christmas Carol was one of the rare times that the character actually spoke! (Normally this character is silent.)