Obviously, Walt was deeply hurt by the combination of Charles Mintz’s actions -- and the fact that his animation staff, with the exception of Ubbe Iwerks, had deserted him. In the week and a half that followed, Walt continued to have discussions with Mintz while he met with others in the film distribution and animation business. As Walt desperately looked for a solution, a series of disgruntled telegrams flew back and forth between the Disney brothers.
But by the time Walt and Lilly boarded the train back to Los Angeles on March 13, 1928, it looked as if the Disney studio had run out of options with respect to Oswald. Typically, by this point Walt seemed ready to move on. Before they boarded the train, he telegrammed his brother, Roy, “Don’t worry. Everything OK. Will give details when arrive.”
Lillian remembered that now-famous train ride: “He was taking about different things, kittens and cats and this and that. Well, a mouse is awful cute, and he just kept talking about a mouse. So that’s where he originated Mickey Mouse.“
Walt had originally thought about calling his mouse Mortimer, but Lilly said, ‘I don’t think that would be good for a mouse’s name. Let’s call it Mickey.”
When they arrived back in California, Walt and Ubbe, along with other members of Walt’s family, worked in secret to refine the design of the star-to-be.