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Disney+ Drops ‘Mickey: The Story of a Mouse’ Teaser and Art

The Disney Original Documentary film examines the cultural significance of the nearly century old icon; movie includes new short, 'Mickey in a Minute,' and will hit the streamer on Mickey’s birthday this November 18.

Happy birthday “Mickey!” Disney+ just 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 November 18 – 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,” recognized 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.
“Ninety-four years ago, Walt Disney created a mouse that would become one of the world’s most beloved characters,” said Marjon Javadi, vice president of Disney Original Documentary. “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 is a documentary filmmaker whose debut film, Marwencol, won more than two dozen awards, including the SXSW Grand Jury Award, and was named a Cinema Eye Decade Film as one of the 20 best documentary films in the last 10 years. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his second film, Spettacolo, a Critics’ Choice nominee for Best Documentary. Most recently, his co-directing and editing Shangri-La, a four-part series for Showtime about Rick Rubin and the creative process, earned Malmberg a Grammy nominated.
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.

Check out the short teaser trailer:

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Whitney is a freelance writer focusing on VFX-driven fantasy film & TV as well as preschool animation.