An old friend says ‘hello’.
Mickey Mouse will be celebrating his 90th anniversary and he is back on the screen.
There is no better place than the Disney studios in Los Angeles to feel some nostalgia and meet the new Mickey with ‘Mickey and the Roadster Racers’ which started off to introduce the old friend to younger generations.
Ali Tufan Koç
Do you know anyone who has not been somehow related to Mickey Mouse, whatever the age, race or nationality? The day before I met the creators of the new Mickey Mouse in Los Angeles, I was at New Beverly, one of the well-known ‘art-house’ movie theaters movie theaters of the city. This place shows only 35-mm movies and it was personally bought and is taken care of by Quentin Tarantino to help it stay in business. Before the evening screening of Mickey Roadster Racers, I was surprised to see one of the first screen viewings of Mickey Mouse. Black-and-white, a simple story, a short sequence from the 40’s. I start to peek the faces of highly intellectual and international people around me; Indian, European, LA resident, the same warmth and smile on all faces. They are all back to their childhood.
An office that looks like a toy museum
On pure coincidence, the next day’s Disney interview sessions start with the sentence “We are talking about a character who has been in the childhood of every generation for the past 90 years.” I am with Rob LaDuca and Mark Seidenberg, the producers of the show ‘Mickey and the Roadster Racers’ which started on Disney Channel this year.
We are in an office, all around us we can see ‘Mickey and Friends’ toys from various countries and time periods. Those who work here are used to curious and excited eyes. They say: “They are all for inspiration. We never play with them! ”But only a few moments ago, I personally saw the scenario team racing with Mickey cars. Seidenberg almost whistles not to let anyone know: “They pay us to put the child in us on the screen, unfiltered. Can anyone get any luckier?”
Everyone’s personal Mickey
The new-generation ‘Mickey and Friends’ are quite different than the ones we remember as children. They do not work on nostalgia. These first cartoon characters, who are almost ninety years now, have somehow gone through a process of rejuvenation to be friends with the new generations. Their language is contemporary… They know about ‘Selfie’ or ‘Face Time’.
In the new show, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie and Daisy are ready to race in their convertible sport cars. In each of these new episodes, the team visits a different country to reflect the Disney version of ‘episode guest’ cultures. For example; Italy is as pink and sympathetic as we have never seen.
For those who are curious, Turkey episode is not in the agenda yet. I believe that the respond ‘Why not’ to my question was not just an automatic reaction. They say ‘Really, why not’ for the second time and continue: “Mickey and Friends are very good at adapting to the culture they are in. The fact that they are loved this much in Turkey is a testimony to this.” I feel the soundness of the slogan ‘Everyone’s personal Mickey Mouse’ when I buy cool and funny t-shirts for my friends and a cute Mickey & Minnie set for my 4-year-old niece at the Disney store. I am happy to see that some characters and stories from my childhood have changed a little, but continue to live on…