It's Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday, and he's on hand for a star-studded tribute in front of a live audience.
Admittedly, I'm outside of the target demographic for this special at 41 years-old -- some of the younger stars were completely foreign to me (presumably the current crop of Disney Channel brats) -- but I've always been a sucker for a good Disney show. Unfortunately, I can't say that this was one.
There were a few skits with Mickey and Minnie Mouse (actors in costumes with impressive animatronic heads) which were generally cute. Folks like Kristin Bell and Leslie Odom Jr provided some history on the beloved vermin, while Tony Hale, Josh Gad and others delved into painfully unfunny comedy monologues (though Wendi McLendon-Covey's story about having a childhood crush on Mickey was both sweet and amusing). A handful of stars submitted short birthday greetings (Neil Patrick Harris, Kelly Rippa, Dwayne Johnson, etc.), plus Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake sent in reminiscences of their stints on '90s The Mickey Mouse Club. Original Mouseketeers Sharon Baird and Bobby Burgess were also on hand. These two are getting up there in years and seldom make public appearances anymore, so it seems thoroughly disrespectful that they weren't allowed to utter a single word! They're introduced, sit down next to Mickey, and then that's it! Why did they even bother to show up?
Some of the musical performances were exceptional (Odom, Sofia Carson, The Zac Brown Band) but others didn't fare as well... and why were Josh Groban, NCT 127 and Luis Fonsi performing non-Disney songs (furthermore, why was Fonsi singing a Spanish song in an English-language special)?!! Groban's song was okay despite being out of place, but I felt like I a victim of aural assault by the other two.
The thing that I found perhaps the most disconcerting was the array of clips that were utilized, since the title outright tells us that we have 90 years of Mickey Mouse footage to choose from. Yes, 'Steamboat Willie' was shown, along with a variety of clips from 'The Sorcerers Apprentice' (featured in virtually every one of the MANY montages) and other familiar classics... but the vast majority of clips seemed to be from the modern crop of Disney Channel Mickey Mouse shows, which are frankly very cheap-and-ugly looking.
It wasn't a total waste, but I wish I hadn't watched it live since there were WAY too many moments that I would've preferred to have fast-forwarded. If I'd been in the audience, my reaction may have been completely different, but running 2 hours (with nearly 40 minutes of commercials!), it felt like just another one of the annoying award show telecasts that we're inundated with every month.
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