Disney today announced that ‘Mickey: The True Original Exhibition,’ an interactive art exhibit, will open in New York in honor of the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse. To begin the 90-day countdown, new brand and product collaborations spanning fashion, food, consumer electronics, toys, accessories and more are now available worldwide.
“As Walt said, ‘I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse’,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “From ‘The True Original Exhibition’ to a year-long celebration in our parks around the world, we are honoring the deep connection that families and fans have made with Mickey and Minnie Mouse for nearly a century.”
‘Mickey: The True Original Exhibition’ is an immersive, pop-up art exhibition inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture and art. From his beginning in black and white inSteamboat Willie to the technicolor world of more than 100 cartoon shorts, exhibition guests will step into an unforgettable journey of Mickey moments reimagined.
“We hope guests will enjoy the exhibition’s larger-than-life multimedia art installations, photo-worthy experiences and even a few surprises,” says Ken Potrock, President, Consumer Products Commercialization, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “We’ve partnered with the best muralists, sculptors, artists and designers to create original works that convey Mickey’s optimism and imagination.”
Curated by designer Darren Romanelli, the exhibit will feature exclusive original artwork from contemporary artists including Kenny Scharf, Amanda Ross-Ho and Shinique Smith, with more artists to be announced in the coming weeks. The experience will captivate the senses to surprise and delight guests, evoking the inspiration, creativity, and true original spirit of Mickey Mouse.
Romanelli is an LA-based based designer and creative director known for creating series of customized, limited-edition clothing, furniture, and collectibles under the DRx moniker. “To me, Mickey is reminiscent of everything good from my childhood,” said Romanelli, “As I’ve come into my own as designer, I feel a true sense of passion for this project. Every inch of the experience – from the artists participating to the different mediums featured to the building layout, was thought through with a level of detail and creativity we could only achieve with Mickey Mouse as our muse.”
About “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition”
Running from November 8, 2018 – February 10, 2019, ‘Mickey: The True Original Exhibition’ will be open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 60 10th Avenue, New York. Tickets are available for $38 per person at Disney.com/MickeyTrueOriginal.
The 16,000 square-foot interactive experience will feature original work from renowned and emerging contemporary artists. Before the official opening in November, three artists will preview their installations in three pop-up locations across the country. The installations pay tribute to three iconic pieces of Mickey Mouse merchandise that have withstood the test of time – the Mickey Mouse watch, tee-shirt, and plush.
- Kenny Scharf – Scharf rose to prominence in the early 1980s as a New York street artist and muralist. His interdisciplinary practice consisted of design, sculpture, installations, performance, and video as well as painting. From now until September 1, Kenny’s installation will be on display at the Minnesota Street Project, located at 1275 Minnesota St in San Francisco. Inspired by one of Disney’s first licensed products, the Mickey Mouse watch, this Cosmic Cavern is an immersive, day-glo, fluorescent black light world. Kenny Scharf’s work is a surreal journey into his personal connection with the character and the timelessness of both Scharf and Mickey’s contributions to visual culture. Fans at home can experience a 360° tour of the installation at Disney.com/MickeyTrueOriginal.
- Amanda Ross-Ho – Ross-Ho is a Los Angeles-based artist who has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions at Cherry and Martin and The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. She has presented large-scale commissioned public work at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, City Hall Park New York City and the Parcours Sector of Art Basel Switzerland. She will create a larger-than-life classic Mickey tee to be on display during Art Expo in Chicago in September.
- Shinique Smith – Known for her monumental sculptural works of bundled fabric and clothing, and her exuberant calligraphic collaged paintings, Smith has been featured in exhibitions and collections of prestigious venues such as Brooklyn Museum, Denver Art Museum, LACMA, MFA Boston, The Frist Center, Kemper Museum and The Whitney Museum among others. Shinique’s installation will honor the impact of the Mickey Mouse plush through decades and will be on display in Los Angeles in October.
For details on the exhibition and behind-the-scenes content, visit Disney.com/MickeyTrueOriginal and follow @MickeyTrueOriginal on Instagram with #MickeyTrueOriginal.
New Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Product Launches
New collections launching this week and beyond include collaborations with fashion and footwear brands like Forever 21 and Vault by Vans, luxury candy boutique Sugarfina, Brooklyn-based ice cream company Ample Hills Creamery, along with new capsule collections available exclusively at Disney stores and shopDisney.com, commemorative titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, a line of plush and toys by Just Play and a new Mickey Mouse Brickheadz figure from LEGO. Earlier this year, Target released a Mickey Mouse collection that spanned apparel for the entire family, treats for pets, toys, summer entertaining pieces, bedding, beach and beauty gear and more, and just last month Marc Jacobs released a series of pieces all inspired by the world’s most iconic mouse.
Walt Disney Animation Studios will celebrate Mickey’s cartoon legacy with the release of “Celebrating Mickey” featuring 13 classic short films on Digital and Blu-ray this fall.
Celebrations at Disney Parks & Resorts
Disney Parks & Resorts will also celebrate Mickey’s 90th birthday with a series of events at all sites around the world, including World’s Biggest Mouse Party – a limited-time, global celebration of Mickey and Minnie:
- Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will celebrate Mickey’s birthday from November 16-18 with special merchandise and food & beverage items as well as the chance for guests to celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park during the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party, sing “Happy Birthday” along with the Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A., and join in a special birthday dance party at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. Then in 2019, Walt Disney World will continue celebrating when World’s Biggest Mouse Party comes to the resort.
- Disneyland Resort in California will host a celebration cavalcade for Mickey Mouse on November 18, featuring some of his special friends and the Disneyland Band, starting at “it’s a small world” and pausing for a special moment at Sleeping Beauty Castle before continuing down Main Street, U.S.A., to Town Square. The party continues when World’s Biggest Mouse Party begins at Disneyland Resort in 2019.
- Disney Cruise Line will join the celebration when World’s Biggest Mouse Party takes to the seas in 2019.
- Shanghai Disney Resort will be the first to kick off World’s Biggest Mouse Party with a brand-new Mickey-themed float at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Tourism Festival on September 15 to commemorate the Shanghai launch of World’s Biggest Mouse Party. At Shanghai Disneyland, a giant birthday card will be installed next to “Storytellers” statue, featuring birthday wishes from Mickey’s pals. From November 16-18, guests will enjoy themed food and merchandise offerings as well as the opportunity to sing “Happy Birthday” to Mickey just before the nighttime spectacular show each evening, all culminating with a special nighttime birthday spectacular at Enchanted Storybook Castle on November 18.
- Hong Kong Disneyland will begin its World’s Biggest Mouse Party activations on Mickey’s birthday, November 18, with commemorative park tickets, special food & beverage and merchandise, a hotel room overlay and “We Love Mickey” projection show through the end of the year. And Hong Kong Disneyland guests will receive special birthday stickers, available only on November 18.
- Tokyo Disney Resort will join the celebration this fall with special decorations and merchandise.
- Disneyland Paris will celebrate the World’s Biggest Mouse Party this fall and into winter with new holiday season entertainment and special surprises.
About Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Celebration
Since his big-screen debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, Mickey has become the global ambassador for The Walt Disney Company. From the beloved Mickey Mouse Club to today’s Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, Mickey’s optimistic outlook and endearing personality continue to delight fans around the world every day. The 90-year celebration of Mickey will continue across the Company with a star-studded special on ABC airing November 4, a new season of Mickey Mouse animated shorts on Disney Channel, and more.