Butch Rigby

Laura Spencer / KCUR

In the early 1920s, when Walt Disney was in his early 20s, he was heading up a struggling animation studio on Kansas City’s east side.

A small field mouse became his pet, lived in a drawer in his office, and shared his food. That mouse would later provide the inspiration for Mickey Mouse. Disney's studio, where early animators cut their teeth making black-and-white silent cartoons, is still struggling. There are now plans for a green future.

Paying Tribute in Missouri