Meghan Trainor, Tori Kelly Perform at Mickey's 90th Spectacular

Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse attend Mickey's 90th Spectacular-Getty-H 2018
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The televised special, celebrating the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse, is set to premiere Sunday, Nov. 4 on ABC featuring performances by Sofia Carson and Josh Groban, among others.

The Shrine Auditorium hosted Mickey Mouse and friends to celebrate Mickey’s 90th Spectacular with a two-hour television event honoring 90 years of the internationally beloved character.

The birthday celebration included musical performances from artists such as Meghan Trainor, Tori Kelly, Leslie Odom Jr., Josh Groban, the Zac Brown Band, Luis Fonsi, NCT 127 and Sofia Carson all paying homage to the iconic Disney character by performing classic songs — including “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, “When You Wish Upon A Star” from Pinocchio, “Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin which featured a drum solo from Mickey — from Disney films.

The producers of the show, Charlie Haykel and Don Mischer, shared with THR the process for planning Mickey’s 90th Spectacular.

Haykel noted the various traits that Mickey has become associated with such as pluckiness, perseverance, optimism and loyalty and, in identifying those traits, “we try to just find examples of those in his films and then go out to musical artists or to different celebrities and try to find a connection and build these moments that celebrate all of his personality traits,” he said. “That’s how we got into the beginnings of the creative direction of the show.”

Mischer spoke of the universality of Mickey as a character and a symbol in explaining the importance for throwing a birthday bash for the famous mouse, “The world loves Mickey. I don’t care what color your skin is, what language you speak, where you live. You love Mickey. Language is not a barrier for him,” Mischer said. “And this character has endeared himself to all of humanity. It sounds like an overstatement but we’ve done the research and it’s really true. He is one of the most popular symbols in the history of humanity.”

Meghan Trainor, who performed “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story with her father Gary Trainor, shared with THR how emotional this particular performance was, “My mom watched the rehearsals and she cried her eyes out. Lot of emotions,” Trainor said. “It’s gonna bring you back to Toy Story, which is great. Everyone loves Toy Story.” Mr. Trainor shared that he was “very flattered that she asked me to do it.”

Trainor also spoke of her upcoming album Treat Myself, set for release in January 2019 “I wrote new bangers. I wrote new songs that are bops and I’m so proud of them. And I’m really just trying to find a lot of features. I’m such a fan of all these new artists coming up.” Trainor shares who specifically is on her radar, “I’m obsessed right now with Lennon Stella. She’s from the Nashville show. She’s like 19 and finally starting her music career and I’m obsessed with her. And a girl named Sasha Sloan. She goes by Sad Girl Sloan. She’s such an amazing songwriter. She grew up in Boston, so I feel like I’m close with her.”

Tori Kelly spoke exclusively with THR on her performance choice for Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, “I get to perform "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas. I’m stoked. I’ve only gotten to perform this song one other time, so to get to do it here for Mickey’s 90th birthday is super special to me,” The one other time she performed "Colors of the Wind" was in the 2015 compilation album We Love Disney. She explained her decision for choosing it, “I chose it to be on the album because Pocahontas always spoke out to me as a kid for her adventurous spirit, and I always really loved her as a kid. She was my favorite. Tonight, I think they just wanted me to do it because of the album and I’m honored to do it.”

Kelly, who recently released her first gospel album, Hiding Place, shared that the gospel music genre is “a passion project. Just something that I felt I wanted to do and I never had any expectations for it. I just wanted to put it out and people are loving it, which is amazing. No matter what you believe in, there’s something for everyone on the album. And I just really poured my heart into it.” Kelly also shared that she will be going on tour within the next couple weeks, with a stop in Los Angeles set for November 16 and 17.

Saturday’s birthday celebration was full of personal testimonies on what Mickey Mouse meant to them. One who exclusively shared with THR their personal Mickey connection was theatre actress and singer Stephanie Styles. Styles, who’s set to star in Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart, released summer 2019, performed in the North American tour of the musical Newsies, which she referred to as her “first professional introduction into the Disney family,” Styles said. “I am so excited because he is the reason why I do what I do today. My first forms of movies I saw were Disney movies.”

Styles also shared with THR the upcoming release of Booksmart, “It’s one of those movies that I think is gonna be like the Freaks and Geeks of this generation in that it’s such an amalgamation of such young talent. It’s these two girls' last night of high school and they realize they didn’t party their whole entire high school experience, so they’re gonna do that tonight and so you’re gonna be a long for the ride.”

Additionally, the night included personal stories of childhood memories of Mickey Mouse from stars such as Josh Gad, Tony Hale, Sarah Hyland, Wendi McLendon-Covey, John Stamos, Skylar Astin, Kelsea Ballerini, Kristen Bell, actor Miles Brown, Anna Camp, Sofia Carson and Sage Steele. Bob Iger also made a special appearance during the evening’s festivities.

Mickey’s 90th Spectacular is set to air Nov. 4 on ABC at 8 p.m.