Mickey Mouse remixed: The cartoon icon returns in new Disney shorts - Features - TV & Radio - The Independent

Mickey Mouse remixed: The cartoon icon returns in new Disney shorts

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

After 85 years in the fame game, the world’s most famous mouse has had a makeover. Laura Davis charts the changing face of Disney’s leading man

Today’s Disney stars grow up in the spotlight – and then leave the House of Mouse to pursue their serious acting/singing/falling-out-of-nightclub careers. Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears are long gone, Lindsay’s in rehab, Miley’s doing a nice line in undercuts and sideboobs, and Selena Gomez recently indulged in armed robbery and drug taking. For her part in the film Spring Breakers, of course. But there’s one Disney name who, in his 85 years, has never fled the Magic Kingdom for the fleshpots of Hollywood. And while he’s been a bit quiet of late, this summer he’s on the comeback trail. Mickey, we’ve missed you.

Next week, Mickey Mouse is set to return to our screens in a series of 2D shorts. But while his wild-child colleagues tend to go for makeovers that are designed to break their ties with all things childish, it’s good to see Walt Disney’s 1928 creation return to his retro roots.

Since his debut in 1928 ’s Steamboat Willie, generations have grown up with Mickey as he’s starred in countless films, television shows, comic books and video games. Now, as well as the cartoon that starts showing on the Disney Channel on 12 July, he’ll be entertaining a new, tech-savvy generation on their iPads, with the launch of Where’s My Mickey? It’s the latest in the puzzle-solving Where’s My...? series, which features animation based on the cartoon shorts.

The original face of Disney was the first cartoon character to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in 1978 – but he hasn’t let the success go to his ears. Instead of hanging out on yachts with Leonardo DiCaprio, the latest incarnation of Mickey is all about cultural experiences, with the new cartoons showing his travels around the world. Fortunately, Disney decided against taking the easy route of appealing to children by having Mickey poking Goofy on Facebook, or sending selfies to Minnie. Instead, we’ll see him delivering croissants to a café Minnie works at in Paris, visiting Beijing Zoo, and going to a football match in Brazil – plus Fantasia fans will be relieved to know there’s a musical episode. That’s how you stay classy, Disney kids of 2013.

But maybe he does have something in common with his young colleagues. Back in the heyday of his fame, there were some complaints that Mickey was too naughty, though there will be “no cigarettes, guns or animal cruelty” this time round, says artist and director Paul Rudish. However, we will see cheeky Mickey in the nuddy in the fantastic “No Service” episode by a beachside snack shack.

Having seen exclusive previews of the shorts, it’s clear these are intricately crafted cartoons that hark back to a bygone era, when artwork and slapstick comedy in storytelling was key. Each of the 19 three-and-a-half-minute cartoons has a very different look and feel – drawing on inspiration from former Disney visual highlights, such as artist Mary Blair’s Alice in Wonderland, or Ken Anderson’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Mickey may have spent the best part of a century in the spotlight, but he’s still going strong – and there’s not an edgy video shoot or bad-boy boyfriend in sight. Let’s hope the current Disney starlets are taking note…

Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts premiere on the Disney Channel on Friday

Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week