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Mickey Mouse (film)

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Mickey Mouse is an American traditionally animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, and was released on November 21, 2018 in Disney Digital 3D, RealD 3D, and traditional 2D formats. The film is based on the Mickey Mouse character originally created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, and was announced by Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger at the 2015 D23 Expo. It is the 56th entry in the Walt Disney Animated Classics canon, and marks the 90th anniversary of the character's creation. It was written and directed by Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, the creators of Phineas and Ferb, and executive produced by Burny Mattinson (who came up with the original idea, and also helped Povenmire and Marsh co-write the script) and John Lasseter, with original music provided by Randy Newman. The film focuses on Mickey as he moves into a small town in California and befriends Donald Duck and Goofy, falls in love with Minnie Mouse, meets Minnie's friend Daisy Duck (who happens to own a diner named "Daisy's Diner"), and also makes enemies with the notorious criminal Peg Leg Pete. Most of the entire voice cast for Mickey and his friends (Bret Iwan as Mickey, Russi Taylor as Minnie, Tony Anselmo as Donald, and Bill Farmer as Goofy and Pluto) reprise their respective character roles, while Tress MacNielle has been replaced by Selena Gomez of Wizards of Waverly Place fame as the voice of Daisy. China Anne McClain, who is perhaps known for playing Chyna Parks in the Disney Channel sitcom A.N.T. Farm, sings her own rendition of Mickey Mouse March (the theme song to the original Mickey Mouse Club television series) for the film's end credits and soundtrack album. The film was a huge box office success, and was praised by critics, garnering a 95% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A sequel, Mickey Mouse 2, is set for release on November 20, 2023.

Plot

In the late 1920s, Mickey Mouse moves to a new neighborhood in Southern California after being tired of life on a farm in rural Missouri. While making the big move, Mickey doesn't think he will fit in at first, but later makes friends with some new neighbors, Minnie Mouse; whom later becomes his girlfriend, her best friend Daisy Duck; a diner owner, Daisy's boyfriend Donald, and Donald's best friend, Goofy. While trying to get settled in his new home, Mickey also finds a job as an apprentice at a local pet shop, where he befriends a little puppy; and makes a promise to his boss to take care of him and the rest of the animals at the pet store while he is on vacation. He decides to take the puppy to his house and let him spend the night there. Overnight, Mickey is awakened by a combination of wimpering and scratching on the door being caused by the puppy he is taking care of; he later lets him sleep with him for the rest of the night.

The next morning, Mickey finds out the puppy is gone, and nervously looks for him all over town; only to find out the little canine had returned to the pet shop on his own and made a horrible mess in the process. Mickey later puts him back into the spot where he first met him while he cleans up the shop. Unknownst to Mickey, he gets some help from all the other animals in the shop, even the puppy he promised to take care of. When the boss returns to work from his vacation later that afternoon, he is surprised by how Mickey made the place so clean. Mickey ends his shift at the pet shop satisfied with the good job he did, but the puppy he befriended later wimpers, and he responds saying that he'll miss him too. Seeing how the puppy is so lonely and how Mickey really wants to look over him, the pet-shop owner decides to let Mickey adopt the puppy, whom he would later name Pluto.

Meanwhile, a ruthless criminal, the notorious Peg Leg Pete, has escaped from prison after being arrested for robbing a bank; police search all around town to find him, but can't seem to find a way to catch him. As a result, "Wanted" posters of him being captured dead or alive are posted. Meanwhile, Mickey gets to know Minnie a little better and goes on a date as friends at a local restaurant. and at the end of the date as friends, they share a hug hinting that Minnie may has a crush on him but Mickey is secretly in love with Minnie. Later, Pete is trying start a plot to kidnap someone, and it turns out that the subject he's targeting is Minnie Mouse. Mickey hears screams from his house and he and Pluto - who is now a fully grown dog - search to find Minnie. His newfound friends Donald and Goofy later tag along on the mission. Pete tries to take Minnie to a warehouse outside of town wanting to marry Minnie, but she refuses to kiss him and slaps him across the face. Pete takes more drastic measures and locks her up in a treasure chest, planning to send her on a train headed for Shanghai, China, but Mickey arrives in the nick of time.

Then a battle insues, where Pete try's to defeat Mickey with his size advantage. However, Pete gets distracted by the gang and Minnie escapes. The gang - including Minnie - takes advantage and puts Peg Leg Pete onto a cop car and he escapes before they actually call the cops. They get there in time, but end up chasing Pete into the sunset. The gang reunites, and Mickey and Minnie share a kiss proclaiming their love for one another with Donald and Daisy also sharing a kiss. The movie ends with Mickey's history and impact on the world after Walt Disney had created him.

Characters

Mickey Mouse (Bret Iwan; Chris Diamantopoulos in flashback scenes and end credits sequence) - The main protagonist; he is a newcomer to a small town in Southern California after moving from the countryside of rural Missouri

Minnie Mouse (Russi Taylor) - Mickey's next-door neighbor, and soon-to-be girlfriend; she is known to be one of the nicest girls in Mickey's neighborhood.

Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo) - Mickey's neighbor and best friend; he is perhaps notorious for his wild temper.

Goofy (Bill Farmer) - Mickey's second best friend; Goofy is incredibly clumsy, and almost never careful about anything.

Pluto (Bill Farmer) - The dog Mickey adopts as a little puppy.

Daisy Duck (Selena Gomez) - Minnie's best friend and Donald's love interest; she is the owner of Daisy's Diner, one of the most popular breakfast spots in town.

Clarabelle Cow (April Winchell) - Goofy's love interest; she is only seen in a flashback during the film.

Peg Leg Pete (Jim Cummings) - The main antagonist; he becomes a fugitive after escaping a 2-year prison sentence for robbing a bank.

Pet Shop Owner (Craig T. Nelson) - Mickey's unnamed boss at the pet shop where he works. He is considered tough, but fair to Mickey during his daily shifts; and is strict when he needs to be without resorting to rudeness according to Mickey in the film.

Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) - The creator of the Mickey Mouse character, who makes a cameo in a CGI animated prologue.

Veteran voice actor Tom Kenny and Disney-Pixar's Chief Creatve Officer and executive producer, John Lasseter, also make brief voice cameos in the film as customers at Daisy's Diner. Actress Lindsay Lohan wanted a voice role in the film, but Pixar alumni Ed Catmull rejected her from having any involvement due to her past criminal record. Lohan would later die of drug abuse at the age of 32.

Production

The idea for a Mickey Mouse feature film came about in 2011 when Disney Animation veteran Burny Mattinson hinted to the British website BleedingCool.com that he was working on an idea for a hand-drawn animated action-adventure film featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy, and pitching it to John Lasseter for approval. Lasseter was enthusiastic about the idea of a feature-length Mickey Mouse film, as the character has not been in the limelight on the big screen since 1995's Runaway Brain. However, he felt the idea Mattinson had was too dark for the character, and gave Mattinson the task of doing a more light-hearted origin story for the character instead. Both Mattinson and Lasseter would later agree that the film needed outside co-directors for this particular project. They later contacted Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, perhaps best known for creating Phineas and Ferb, and asked them if they wanted to direct the feature seeing how they both got fired from Disney Channel due to their show getting cancelled in 2014. The film uses the character designs made famous in the 1940s by legendary Disney animator Fred Moore, and the end credits sequence, using the character designs for the 2013 Mickey Mouse short series for Disney Television Animation, was directed by that series' executive producer, Paul Rudish.

Many of the official voice actors for Mickey and his friends, including Bret Iwan, Russi Taylor, and Bill Farmer reprised their respective roles for the particular project, while Selena Gomez, perhaps best known for starting her career at Disney in the fan-favorite Disney Channel original series Wizards of Waverly Placetakes the role of Daisy Duck from veteran voice artist Tress MacNielle due to MacNielle being busy with other projects.

Release

The film was originally announced in 2013 as an untitled film for a release date of November 21, 2018, then at the 2015 D23 Expo, the film's title and premise were revealed by Disney and Pixar's Chief Creatice Officer, John Lasseter during their Walt Disney Animation Studios panel. The theatrical release was accompanied by the short film, Frozen Ever Afterbased on the 2013 computer-animated feature Frozen.

Marketing

The first trailer for Mickey Mouse was released on June 16, 2017, debuting with Popeye and The Avengers: Revenge of Galactus. Before this, a teaser was revealed at the 2015 D23 Expo, The Walt Disney Company's official convention; Disney had also set up meet-and-greets for Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy as a celebration. Disney also released a comic book tie-in from its Marvel Comics subsidiary. A second trailer was released on June 11, 2018, coinciding with Curious George and The Croods 2and a third and final trailer was released on August 20, 2018, coinciding with Liv & Maddie: The Movie and Woody Woodpecker.

Reception

Critical

Mickey Mouse received universal critical acclaim. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 95% percent of critics gave the film positive reviews, with an average rating of 8.6 out of 10, the consensus saying "Despite its sitcom-like execution, Mickey Mouse is charming, heartfelt, and is a great addition to Disney's animation legacy. With beautiful animation and a fantastic story, it is a welcome return to form for Walt Disney's lovable rodent that is sure to win new fans, as well as please longtime Disney traditionalists".

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film an A+, stating "In this strange, sad world where tweens only know the Disney brand for their bad kid-coms and teenybopper starlets rather than their great legacy in the animation industry, it's good to know there are people out there who need those who are new to the brand to be familiar with the mouse that started our love for all things Disney. They let Mickey Mouse do just that, and I think Walt Disney himself would be smiling in heaven if he ever saw this film". Film critic and animation fan Leonard Maltin stated "If there was a film that I think would help people feel good in tough times, make the world laugh, and of course let people know that there is still such a thing as "wholesome family entertainment", Mickey Mouse is definitely the answer. Dan and Swampy, who gave us the whimsical world of Phineas and Ferb, did a fantastic job of not only getting the character and his friends back to their 2D roots, but keeping him relevent to newer generations so he can win new fans". Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote in his column, "The film has the look and feel of a classic Mickey Mouse cartoon short. All the whimsy, all the fun, and all the humor and heart of those old cartoons Mickey was in from the 1920s to the 1950s returns in this feature film. Like The Muppets before it, it manages to bring back the character and the aspects that make the said character popular, rather than soullessly making the character "hip", cashing in on his/her name, and catering that character or franchise to the lowest common denominator (in the case of The Smurfs and Alvin and the Chipmunks)". Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News gave the film 5 stars out of 5, and concluded "Not only is this one of the greatest comebacks for an animated character in history, but it's also Disney's best hand-animated triumph since The Princess and the Frog! It never talks down to kids unlike most reboots of classics characters (Alvin and the Chipminks being the worst offender of this), and good gravy, hand-drawn animation! Something we rarely see in bringing back familiar cartoon franchises to current audiences!"

Awards

The film earned a Best Original Score (Michael Giacchino) and Best Animated Feature nomination at the 89th Academy Awards. It lost in both categories to Robopocalypse, and DreamWorks' Trollhunters respectively.

Box office

The film was a massive box office success, grossing over $650,409,594 domestically, and landing at #1 on opening weekend (the first hand-drawn animated offering from Disney to do so since 2009's The Princess and the Frog). The film ended up earning $359,583,790 overseas, brining the film's total earnings to $1,009,993,384 worldwide. This makes it the first traditionally-animated film to reach the $1 billion mark, overtaking Disney's own The Lion King as the highest-grossing traditionally animated film of all time; the film's success also makes up for the colossal (critical & commercial) failure of the romantic comedy, Tux, a live-action/CGI hybrid based on a Japanese manga series that became one of the biggest box-office bombs in history and was universally panned by every film critic.

The film's budget was $30 million.

Sequel

Povenmire and Marsh hinted that if Mickey Mouse was successful at the box office, a sequel would be developed by the same team who helped make the first film possible, as long as they can come up with a story as good as or better than the first. On July 11, 2020, the sequel, titled Mickey Mouse 2, was confirmed by voice actor Bret Iwan at the San Diego Comic-Con International.

In an interview with IGN, Selena Gomez was less definite, saying they had talks about a possible sequel being in development. Povenmire and Marsh also plan to return as co-directors and co-writers, while Burny Mattinson has confirmed he will not have any involvement with the sequel. Mickey Mouse 2 is set for release on November 20, 2023.

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