To celebrate Mickey Mouse’s big birthday, Disney is bringing their magic to New York City with Mickey: The True Original Exhibition, an incredible new immersive experience that celebrates the history and legacy of Mickey Mouse through contemporary art and archival pieces from the Walt Disney Archives in California. Creating Mickey: The True Original Exhibition is an entirely new endeavor for The Walt Disney Company, and this new experience is the first of its kind, blending art with history to celebrate the mouse that shaped The Walt Disney Company and the entertainment industry around the world.
After a brief welcome video, guests enter into Mickey’s humble beginnings with the Black and White rooms, Hello Mickey, Iconic Design, and It’s Black and White, in which guests step into the world of Mickey’s comic strips and cartoons in their earliest forms. Through these portions, Mickey’s most iconic earliest designs and characteristics come to life through brand new creative concepts, including an entirely new re-imagined short, Steamboat Willie Redux, which is a collaborative short that recreates Steamboat Willie with close to thirty new artistic styles from artists from all over the world. To chronicle Mickey’s career, there would obviously be no better place to start than his humble beginnings, and there to greet guests is the iconic Academy Award presented to Walt Disney for the creation of Mickey Mouse, generously on loan from the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
Brilliantly designed through Mickey’s on-screen career, this exhibition moves through Mickey’s most iconic works and achievements, beginning with his humble black-and-white beginnings and into an explosion of color and sound, and continuing down a vibrant, colorful, legacy spawning Fantasia, The Mickey Mouse Club, and beyond. Each room represents both a landmark achievement in Mickey Mouse’s influence on pop-culture and artistry, as each artist combines their unique talents to showcase how Mickey has influenced their work.
Mickey: The True Original Exhibition separates itself from being a traditional museum setting, through its blend of interactive photo opportunities, visual eye-candy, and of course, it’s incredible archival items it has on display. With the twenty-five artists recruited to create pieces inspired by Mickey Mouse’s legacy, from art sculptures to interactive media, this exhibition pushes the boundaries of museum-style storytelling to put the guest in the center of Mickey history. Unsurprising to Disney-fans in the Purple Wall-era, Disney is no stranger to creating amazing photo opportunities and Mickey: The True Original Exhibition is truly built with the Instagram age in mind. From photo opportunities aboard the Steamboat Willie, amazing Mickey sculptures, or just hanging out on the set of the 90’s Mickey Mouse Club, this experience will definitely require you to have your camera out and ready at all times.
Supporting the artistic focus of this exhibition chronicling Mickey’s career is, of course, the monumental archival pieces on loan from The Walt Disney Archives in California. The collaboration of both the Archives and the Consumer Products team behind Mickey: The True Original ensured that this amazing contemporary experience would not forget about its historic roots. Not only is it fascinating to see all these pieces together on display for the first time (particularly in the case of the Mickey Mouse Club pieces on display), but to see the legacy created in part to their existence.
After ninety years, Mickey Mouse continues to inspire audiences around the world, and his popularity only continues to grow in new ways. Far more than a brand or a character, Mickey Mouse has arguably earned his status as a true icon, and his unforgettable iconography and personality has helped shape the way we view artistry, fashion, and especially in our consumption of pop-culture. Mickey is far more than a mouse, he’s the fundamental pillar of The Walt Disney Company and the innovation and originality the company is founded upon. The legacy built by Walt Disney has always been supported by one of his most famous quotes, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing–it was all started by a mouse”. This exhibition is not only a tribute to Mickey Mouse, but it’s also a tribute to Disney, to innovation, inspiration, and creativity in all of it’s finest forms.
Mickey: The True Original Exhibition is a must-see experience for Disney fans young and old, artists, Instagrammers, families, and everyone in-and-between. Disney has successfully brought their signature magic right to the heart of New York City and created a memorable experience that will connect fans with their favorite Mickey memories–and create a whole set of new ones. Mickey: The True Original Exhibition runs in New York City from November 8th 2018-February 10th 2019, and it is an experience not to be missed.
Tickets to Mickey: The True Original Exhibition can be purchased here.