‘Mickey: The Story of a Mouse’ uncovers the story behind the beloved character

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse has been a globally beloved figure for the past 100 years, but how did this little mouse become an icon? Find out in the new documentary Mickey: The Story of a Mouse, which debuts Friday on Disney+.

Director Jeff Malmberg describes the ins and outs of the beloved character in the project, which he tells ABC Audio would be a good explanation of what’s going on if aliens ever visit Earth.

“I always kind of shared that thing that Shanique Smith says in the film. She and I were joking about it and she says it on camera, is ‘Aliens are going to come down and they’re going to see Mickey on all this stuff and go, What is happening? What happened here?’ So this would be like the decoder ring to that for them.”

Aliens aside, Malmberg says the film is for rabid fans and non-fans alike.

“The more you are a fan of Mickey, the more you might appreciate it. But I hope that anybody can look at it and learn something new and see something new inside of it,” he shares, adding that Mickey is a “phenomenon” that we’ve all agreed represents joy.

Even so, the documentary attempts to cover multiple iterations of Mickey, not just Disney-sanctioned ones.

“I find some of the off-brand Mickey stuff, for instance, the Milton Glaser short, Mickey Mouse in Vietnam, some of those kinds of things to be on equal footing with some of the things that Disney has done,” Malmberg shares.

So why does Malmberg like Mickey?

“It’s like shorthand to joy,” he says. “It’s just so bizarre that this little mouse binds us in this weird, short, brief, almost meaningless, but still somewhat meaningful connection.” (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

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