Happy Birthday, Mouse! "Die Sendung mit der Maus" turns 50 and everybody is celebrating

by Eyes & Ears of Europe

On 7 March the time had come: "Die Sendung mit der Maus" ("The Programme with the Mouse") from WDR celebrated its 50th birthday - and hasn't stopped since! A very special birthday song and its own website included.

Everyone knows it, everyone loves it: "Die Sendung mit der Maus" has taught several generations of children in Germany a lot already. Whether on the subject of space, different professions, countries or even the various forms of energy production, the Mouse had stories to tell about numerous topics. Now the orange mouse and its funny and factual stories turn 50, and that is a reason to celebrate, not only for the little fans. 

Eyes & Ears of Europe
© Mark Forster/Robert Winter; Figur I. Schmitt-Menzel

Musical birthday present from Mark Forster

Of course, a birthday also needs the right music, and so German pop musician Mark Forster serenades the mouse. He recorded the song "ICH FRAG DIE MAUS" ("I'll ask the Mouse") with musicians from the WDR Big Band, among others. The song was released on 26 February.

For the music video, the singer himself became a cartoon character and experiences adventures together with the mouse and the elephant. Before Mark Forster catches the space rocket on which the Mouse and Elephant are travelling with a mountain of pillows, the Mouse again shows what it's made of: the trampoline on which the Mouse and the singer are happily bouncing sinks under the weight of the Elephant. True to the motto "The Mouse can help itself", the Mouse quickly forms a spring out of its tail, which finally allows the Elephant to jump along. During their adventures, Mark Forster asks the Mouse a lot of questions - because his 132,229.5 questions want to be answered. So the music video is not only a special gift but also a tribute to 50 years of adventures and questions with the mouse.

50 years past & 50 years future

In addition to very special congratulations from young and old on the website maus50.de, there are interactive craft ideas, the Mouse in 3D and in the section "We celebrate #mitdermaus" special ideas with which fans can give the mouse a treat on its birthday. From now on, everyone is invited to join the big virtual mouse dance group as well. 

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© WDR/Michael Schwettmann

In "Time Travel with the Mouse", you can look at the most beautiful stories from 50 years of the Mouse from the 70s to the present day, or in the non-fiction series "Former & Present Stories with the Mouse", you can marvel at the difference between "Sitting in the back of the car" from the 70s and today, as an example. Above all, looking into the future is the theme of the Mouse's birthday: the Mouse team (Christoph Biemann, Johannes Büchs, Ralph Caspers, Clarissa Corrêa da Silva, Siham El-Maimouni, Jana Forkel, André Gatzke, Laura Kampf, Armin Maiwald) wanted to find out what there will be to experience with the Mouse in the next 50 years. The children had sent good ideas for future factual story topics to the Mouse team in advance. For "Die Sendung mit der Maus zum Hören" (The programme with the Mouse to listen to), more than 1,500 children from Germany, but also from other European countries, took part in the competition "Dein Hörspiel #mitdermaus" (Your audio play #withthemouse). The diverse and imaginative stories that reached the Mouse team tell of everyday life or the school of the future, of journeys into space, of adventures or superheroes. Seven of these stories can be listened to as radio plays on the website maus50.de.

Eyes & Ears of Europe
© WDR/Michael Schwettmann

Everyone joins in the celebration

Companies, associations, clubs and institutions also took part in the Mouse's birthday. For instance, an aerial tramway in Wuppertal runs #mitdermaus and in many places in Germany, the orange-clad waste disposal workers are on duty on waste collection vehicles #mitdermaus. Hospitals are also taking part in the campaign, and several ambulances of the Malteser-Hilfsdienst in Cologne have recently been on the road with the Mouse anniversary logo.

Header image: © WDR/Michael Schwettmann