Philippine Daily Inquirer - - ENTERTAINMENT -

en­deav­ors ev­ery­where.

“Ev­ery­body at the com­pany around the world feels that they own Mickey a lit­tle bit. It’s a good prob­lem to have be­cause it means ev­ery­body is in­vested in Mickey.”

Filipinos have their own long-last­ing af­fec­tion for all things Dis­ney as they grow, al­most as if it is a birthright. But it is Mickey who ex­em­pli­fies this. Al­most all of us have child­hood pho­to­graphs where we are wear­ing a Mickey T-shirt or are hold­ing a Mickey toy, some­thing re­peated in the pho­to­graphs of our chil­dren or grand­chil­dren do­ing the same.

There’s rea­son for that, too. “Mickey is plucky, charm­ing, funny and not afraid to break the rules,” Jones ex­plained. “Peo­ple around the world, in­clud­ing the Philip­pines, see them­selves in Mickey. He is an every per­son char­ac­ter.”

Dis­ney made sure that Mickey’s 90th birth­day this year would be an oc­ca­sion un­like any other, with events in every coun­try. “We wanted this to be the big­gest cel­e­bra­tion for Mickey,” Jones said. “We have ral­lied the en­tire com­pany. We have ral­lied the en­tire globe. It is re­ally some­thing I’ve never seen be­fore. This is one of those cel­e­bra­tions that ev­ery­body wants to be part of. We’ve had amaz­ing lo­cal ac­ti­va­tions in every mar­ket and th­ese are able to am­plify what we’re do­ing glob­ally and make it so that more peo­ple can be part of it.”

The Philip­pines has its own share of Mickey birth­day events wor­thy of the coun­try’s love for the mouse. Re­tail gi­ant SM part­nered with Dis­ney on the “Share-A-Smile” pro­mo­tion, with all kinds of Mickey-themed good­ies. Uniqlo opened its flag­ship store in the Philip­pines at Glo­ri­etta 5 in Makati with an exclusive Mickey Mouse T-shirt col­lec­tion with art by the iconic Andy Warhol.

Mickey is also be­ing cel­e­brated in a stylish way as cutting-edge de­sign school SoFA De­sign In­sti­tute and Dis­ney launched “The Mickey Fash­ion De­sign Chal­lenge,” with 10 stu­dent fi­nal­ists boast­ing the best Mickey-de­signed pieces. The 10 cho­sen de­sign­ers will have their work show­cased at a fash­ion show at the Ayala Tri­an­gle in Makati on Nov. 18, with the three grand win­ners be­ing an­nounced then and there.

Fi­nally, get ready to see Manila lit up by Mickey as Dis­ney col­lab­o­rates with the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Manila De­vel­op­ment Author­ity with Mickey-in­spired traf­fic lights ap­pear­ing all over the Metro just in time to light up the holiday sea­son. When you walk down the street or drive up the av­enues, you will be lit by the chang­ing lights of Mickey, per­haps the ul­ti­mate hid­den Mickey.

And 90 may just be the be­gin­ning for Mickey as there is more planned for the mouse in the fu­ture. Next year, the first ever theme park at­trac­tion fea­tur­ing Mickey and Min­nie opens in Walt Dis­ney World in Or­lando, Florida. This is just one taste of what awaits Mickey and those who love him.

“While Mickey’s per­son­al­ity has never changed over 90 years, the dif­fer­ent ways we share Mickey and the ways Mickey shares his sto­ry­telling has evolved with the time. That is some­thing that will con­tinue to hap­pen,” Jones said, ex­plain­ing how Mickey evolved from the an­i­mated movie screen to the comic book page and then made the jump to the tele­vi­sion screen and now can be found in apps. This is how Mickey has achieved true ubiq­uity as he turns 90, but this is as much about evo­lu­tion as it is about the hope­ful essence of Mickey Mouse. “Mickey is able to come to life in all of th­ese new plat­forms and I think that is just go­ing to con­tinue to hap­pen. But it is al­ways and will al­ways be the same Mickey.”

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