At its NewFront presentation earlier this year, the recently-formed Disney Digital Network — an entity that combines all of Disney’s online endeavors under one roof — announced that it was reviving The Mickey Mouse Club for the digital age.
And today at VidCon, Disney EVP Andrew Sugerman provided a clearer glimpse into the revamp of the beloved variety show, which debuted all the way back in 1955 and last aired in the 90s, launching the careers of teen idols like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling.
The latest iteration of the show, dubbed Club Mickey Mouse, will consist of short-form videos no longer than three minutes apiece that are being distributed exclusively on Facebook and Instagram, Sugerman said. As the cast is nearly locked, he added that Disney is bringing its talent discovery acumen to the influencer space in order to capture the same buzzy crew — and innovative formatting — that first turned the show into a cult hit. Disney is not looking for highly polished Mouseketeers, he said, but teens with a social presence and irrefutable talents in singing, dancing, and acting.
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Casting new influencers for Club Mickey Mouse also enables Disney to synergize with its Maker Studios creator network, which was massively streamlined and then subsumed into the Disney Digital Network earlier this year. Now, in addition to providing opportunities for Maker creators to appear in Disney TV shows, including a programming block on the Disney XD channel this summer, Disney will also be adding new influencers to its roster when it taps a new Club Mickey Mouse cast.
The digital series, sponsored by HP, premieres in late August.