Disney+ shared the teaser trailer and key art for its upcoming feature documentary, Mickey: The Story of a Mouse from Disney Original Documentary, set to premiere globally on the streamer on 18 November – the eponymous mouse’s birthday. The announcement comes out of D23 Expo in Anaheim, which launched the official kick-off to the 100th anniversary celebration of The Walt Disney Company.
Mickey Mouse, recognised as a symbol of joy and childhood innocence in virtually every corner of the globe, is now one of the world’s most beloved characters. Dreamed up at a low point in Walt Disney’s burgeoning career, Mickey became an overnight sensation when he starred in the first sync-sound animated short, Steamboat Willie. Through the decades that followed, the character evolved into strikingly different versions that reflected both his creator’s remarkable career and dramatic societal shifts in the nation he came to represent.
Director Jeff Malmberg and Academy Award-winning producer Morgan Neville (who previously teamed up for Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) examine the cultural significance of the nearly 100-year-old cartoon mouse. The film also features a brand-new Walt Disney Animation Studios hand-drawn animated short, Mickey in a Minute.
“94 years ago, Walt Disney created a mouse that would become one of the world’s most beloved characters,” said Disney Original Documentary VP Marjon Javadi. “We are excited for the world to see Mickey Mouse in a way they’ve never seen him before. Our award-winning team of filmmakers captures ‘Mickey’s’ journey through the years and reminds us why he has had such an impact on us.”
Mickey: The Story of a Mouse features renowned Disney animators Eric Goldberg, Mark Henn, and Randy Haycock, as well as animation artist and Disney legend Floyd Norman. Additionally, the film features art historian Carmenita Higginbotham, director of Walt Disney Archives Rebecca Cline, and archivist Kevin Kern. With exclusive archival footage and interviews, the film examines the ongoing artistic and cultural significance — as well as the controversies — surrounding the nearly 100-year-old cartoon mouse.
“Mickey Mouse is a symbol we see every day of our lives,” Malmberg says. “We all know Mickey, but he means different things to different people. We felt like Mickey deserved a documentary that was joyful but also honest. I’m glad that Disney allowed us to delve so deeply into the evolutions and meanings of the world’s most famous mouse.”
Malmberg directed Mickey: The Story of a Mouse with Neville producing under his company, Tremolo Productions. Chris Shellen and Meghan Walsh served as producers, and Caitrin Rogers as executive producer. The film was edited by Jake Hostetter and Aaron Wickenden, cinematography by Antonio Cisneros, sound design by Lawrence Everson, and music by Daniel Wohl. The film premiered at the 2022 South by Southwest Film Festival and screened at this year’s Sun Valley Film Festival and Newport Summer Film Series.