Six Fun Facts About Clarabelle Cow
While Minnie Mouse, Daisy, and the vast assortment of Disney Princesses seem to get the most attention (and not without good cause), I’ve always thought that the uncrowned Disney queen is Clarabelle Cow. She is the diva par excellence. She’s sassy, gossipy, and has a set of pipes like a prima donna of the opera. She’s an especially beloved part of the Christmas season at Walt Disney World. She can be seen currently in the Christmas character cavalcades in the Magic Kingdom and plays a prominent role in Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Still, who is Clarabelle Cow? Where did she come from? What does she enjoy? What does she want for Christmas? As a powerful investigative publication, we here at Celebrations set out to uncover the truth.
Here’s a look at six things you may not know about Clarabelle Cow.
1. She’s Been Around Since 1930
The first confirmed appearance of Clarabelle was in the Mickey Mouse short called The Shindig. In the film, Mickey, Minnie, Horace Horsecollar (more about him later), and Clarabelle go to a Barn Dance.
Clarabelle’s appearance in the film even caused a bit of controversy. When we first see her, she is undressed and reading a notoriously saucy romance novel called Three Weeks. As a result, the short was actually banned in Ohio.
Now, there were a handful of anthropomorphic cows that appeared in Mickey Mouse shorts before The Shindig, but they were unnamed. Whether or not they are the same character is open for debate.
2. She Was Created by Walt Disney, Roy Disney, and Ub Iwerks
Her creators are listed as Walt and Roy Disney, along with Ub Iwerks. However, it seems the idea for a cow character may very well have started with Ub. An unnamed cow character appears in the 1926 short Plane Crazy and was essentially there as a prop for one of the gags Ub had planned.
3. Her Sweetheart is a Horse and Her Best Friend Is a Mouse
Like Mickey and Minnie or Donald and Daisy, Clarabelle has a sweetheart who appears in cartoons with her. His name is Horace Horsecollar. He made his film debut a little before Clarabelle, appearing in both The Jazz Fool and The Ploughboy in 1929.
Clarabelle’s best friend hardly needs an introduction. It’s Minnie Mouse. The two have been BFFs since Clarabelle’s early appearance and there’s no reason to suspect that will ever change.
4. She’s Been Voiced by a Few Actresses Over the Years
As a character who has been around for just under a hundred years, Clarabelle has naturally had a few different actresses provide her voice. Marcelitte Garner (a voice actress who also worked in Disney’s Ink and Paint Department) provided the early voice for Clarabelle. She also voiced Minnie Mouse. Clarabelle has also been voiced by Elvia Alman and Jane Withers. However, these days she is most associated with the actress April Winchell (a voice actress who has also provided her talents to projects like Disney’s Amphibia, DuckTales, and Gravity Falls, among many others).
5. She Disappeared for Awhile
In 1942, Clarabelle appeared in the short film Symphony Hour. However, after that time she would not be seen again for several decades. Her next significant appearance would be a brief cameo in 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, followed by an appearance in 1990’s The Prince and the Pauper. She returned to prominence in 1999’s Mickey Mouse Works and has maintained a relatively regular Disney presence since with roles in programs like House of Mouse and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
6. All She Wants For Christmas Is You
Of all the incarnations of Clarabelle, my favorite is unquestionably her role in Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Aside from appearing in the Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (where her float pumps the smell of gingerbread through the air), she has a show stealing turn in Mickey’s Most Merriest Christmas Celebration. In it, she comes out on stage dressed to the nines and belts out the classic Mariah Carey Christmas hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
While I’m sure everyone in the crowd thinks that Clarabelle is singing to them, I’m pretty sure it’s meant just for me. I can’t imagine a better Christmas gift.