Prior to its launch in 2019, Disney+ announced an impressive slate of nonfiction original series that were being developed for the streaming service. One of the more notable titles was a documentary about Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse. The project has been described as a “look at the mouse that started it all, focusing on his deeper significance and what his cultural impact says about each of us and about our world.” Morgan Neville, whose credits include the critically-acclaimed Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, is set to produce, while Jeff Malmberg will direct the feature.
Beyond the creative team, virtually no information has been revealed about the documentary since its initial announcement. That is until Bret Iwan, the official voice of Mickey Mouse since 2009, recently mentioned his involvement with the project during an interview in September of 2021. When speaking with the “Love of the Mouse” podcast about his preference for 2D animation, Iwan revealed the following:
“Actually, I am going to be a part of—Mickey’s getting a special documentary feature that’s going to be on Disney+. I think it’s releasing in November, but don’t quote me on that. But yeah, I got to voice Mickey. Eric Goldberg, actually, is going to animate Mickey in two dimension for that special. So I can’t wait to see that.”Bret Iwan
And there you have it. Mickey is returning to his traditionally-animated roots under the masterful hand of animator Eric Goldberg (best known for creating the Genie in 1992’s Aladdin). Fans of the hand-drawn technique should keep their excitement in check, however. We don’t know the context or the extent of these animations. Realistically, their total runtime could amount to mere seconds—especially if Goldberg is the only animator assigned to the project. Regardless, this is another recent example of Disney showing love for the art form. Earlier this year, we saw Goofy return to 2D in a brand-new series of “How To” shorts on Disney+. Walt Disney Animation Studios also released an entirely hand-drawn short film, Dinosaur Barbarian, through their Short Circuit series on Disney+.
The untitled Mickey Mouse documentary is set to premiere on Disney+, though a release date has yet to be announced.