Gosh, Mickey Mouse’s legacy sure is swell.
The true story behind the Walt Disney character that became the signature symbol for a century-old conglomerate is told in the upcoming Disney+ documentary, “Mickey: The Story of a Mouse,” debuting November 18 on the streamer to celebrate Mickey’s birthday.
“Marwencol” helmer Jeff Malmberg directs the documentary, which Oscar winner Morgan Neville (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”), Meghan Walsh, and Chris Shellen produce. “Mickey” centers on Mickey Mouse’s ongoing artistic and cultural significance while unpacking the controversies surrounding the nearly 100-year-old cartoon mouse.
A quarter and two dimes construct the most “universal symbol ever created by man,” we’re told in the trailer. “Never lose sight of one thing, and it was all started by a mouse,” Walt Disney says in a 1954 clip shown in the trailer.
Per the official synopsis for the film: “One of the world’s most beloved icons, Mickey Mouse is recognized as a symbol of joy and childhood innocence in virtually every corner of the globe. It has been a remarkable journey for a character dreamed up at a low point in the career of Walt Disney, an ambitious young artist who moved to Hollywood from Kansas City, Missouri. Disney’s groundbreaking short “Steamboat Willie,” the first synchronous-sound animated film, turned Mickey into an overnight sensation and made shorts featuring the plucky mouse a staple of moviegoing during the height of the medium’s popularity. In the decades that followed, Mickey was transformed into strikingly different versions of himself, reflecting both the trajectory of his creator’s stunning rags-to-riches career and dramatic societal shifts —positive and negative — in the nation he came to represent.”
Legendary Walt Disney artist Floyd Norman (“Sleeping Beauty,” “The Jungle Book”) is featured in “Mickey” after making history as the first Black artist to be hired long-term at Walt Disney Studios in 1956. Norman later developed various television projects such as “Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s Fat Albert,” “Sesame Street,” and “Soul Train” before returning to Disney to animate on “Robin Hood” and joining the story team on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Mulan,” and other animated features.
“Mickey: The Story of a Mouse” premieres November 18 on Disney+.
Watch the exclusive trailer below.