March 12, 2013 12:00pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Disney Goes Old School With New Mickey Mouse Cartoon Shorts
Mickey Mouse is making his return to 2D animation.
Disney Channel has ordered a new shortform series of comedy cartoons, titled Mickey Mouse, that aims to merge "classic comedy" with "contemporary flair." The series of 19 shorts will begin rolling out Friday, June 28, on Disney Channel, Disney.com, WATCH Disney Channel and other platforms.
Disney Channel also is home to the hit CG-animated series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, aimed at kids ages two to five, but the shorts will be produced entirely in 2D animation and geared toward kids ages six to 14 and families. They will debut on Fridays and air throughout the day, with a special preview now available at Disney.com.
An online game, Mickey Delivery Dash, also is debuting Tuesday on Disney's website.
Disney Channels Worldwide president and chief creative officer Gary Marsh is set to make the announcement at Tuesday night's upfront presentation in New York.
"By bringing Mickey's comedic adventures to life with vitality, humor, inventiveness and charm, the entire Disney Television Animation team of artists, animators and directors have worked to capture the essence of what Walt Disney himself created 85 years ago," Marsh said in a statement.
Disney said the direction and pacing of the new Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts are fresh and contemporary but also pay homage to the art direction and storytelling of Walt Disney and his animators in the 1920s and '30s. Elements of the cartoons will borrow from Disney's early designs, while some characters will feature a "rubber-hose" cartoon style for more exaggerated animation. Background designs closely reflect the graphic design sense of 1950s and '60s Disney cartoons. Meanwhile, the shorts also will include homages to other Disney icons.
Each cartoon short finds Mickey in a different contemporary setting, including Santa Monica, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Venice and the Alps, facing a silly situation, a quick complication and an escalation of physical and visual gags. Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto also appear. In the first short, Croissant de Triomphe, Mickey must deliver croissants to Minnie's cafe, battling street traffic and other Parisian obstacles along the way.
Emmy winner Paul Rudish is the executive producer and director. Aaron Springer and Clay Morrow are directors, and Joseph Holt is the art director. The series is produced under the supervision of senior vps Eric Coleman and Lisa Salamone at Walt Disney Television Animation.