Mickey Mouse was created as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an earlier cartoon character created by the Disney studio for Charles Mintz, a film producer who distributed product through Universal Studios. In 1928, with the series going strong, Disney asked Mintz for an increase in the budget. But Mintz instead demanded that Walt take a 20 percent budget cut, and as leverage, he reminded Disney that Universal owned the character, and revealed that he had already signed most of Disney’s current employees to his new contract. Angrily, Disney refused the deal and returned to produce the final Oswald cartoons he contractually owed Mintz. Disney was dismayed at the betrayal by his staff but determined to restart from scratch. The new Disney Studio initially consisted of animator Ub Iwerks and a loyal apprentice artist, Les Clark, who together with Wilfred Jackson were among the few who remained loyal to Walt. One lesson Disney learned from the experience was to thereafter always make sure that he owned all rights to the characters produced by his company. 
Minnie was designed in the fashion of a flapper girl. Her main outfit consisted of a short flapper girl dress that often revealed her distinctive patched knickers. In the 1929 cartoon The Karnival Kid, it was also revealed that she wears black stockings which were also fashionable among flapper girls. Her shoes are probably her most distinctive article of clothing. For comedic effect, she wears oversized high heeled pumps that are too big for her feet. Her heels often slip out of her shoes, and she even loses her shoes completely in The Gallopin’ Gaucho. When she walked or danced, the clip clop of her large pumps was usually heard clearly and often went with the rhythm of the music that was played in the background. Along with Mickey, she was redesigned in 1940. Her hat was replaced with a large bow, and bows were added to her shoes as well. Her eyes were also given more detail. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, her look and personality became more conservative. Minnie almost always wears red or pink, but in her early appearances, she could be seen wearing a combination of blue, black or green (when not depicted in black and white).