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Review: ‘Mickey: The Story of a Mouse’

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse is packed to the brim with joy and shows just how much love and adoration there is for the famous face of Disney.

For so many people worldwide, myself included, Mickey Mouse was an essential part of childhood. Something still excites people anytime they see the notorious mouse ears long into adulthood.

Even with a love of Mickey and Walt Disney, I went into this documentary knowing little about the world’s most famous mouse, save for some basic information. Mickey: The Story of a Mouse begins with Walt’s first idea, which came during a rare slow moment of his accomplished career. From here, the character quickly became the most famous and recognisable of all time. This documentary tracks Mickey’s life from the 1920s to today, showing how much he has changed, shifting his look and personality to match what was happening throughout history.

With the launch of Disney+, there has been a significant increase in the number of documentaries produced about different parts of the Disney corporation. Often is the case with this kind of documentary that they feel very formulaic, sticking to a familiar format to tell their story. Mickey: The Story of a Mouse breaks with tradition and gives a break from the known formula, making it much more universally appealing to all kinds of Disney fans.

There is a noticeable lift in production value here; with stunning visuals mixed with older cartoons, this documentary sets itself apart from others available on the streaming service.

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse follows a playful tone, similar to the Mickey Mouse cartoons we have grown to know and love over the years. This tone makes the 90-minute runtime fly and makes for a lovely celebration of the most well-known character Disney has in its canon.

A slight criticism of the documentary is that there isn’t much depth because the character is so successful. The show is primarily a celebration of Mickey and all his achievements. That said, the documentary briefly discusses Mickey’s controversial past. Like most cartoons from the same era, Mickey Mouse cartoons sometimes had racist and sexist plot lines or characters. While the documentary does mention this, the topic is barely even discussed in a 2-minute segment. This could have been a rare opportunity for Disney to talk about some of their darker moments and acknowledge that although times were different, these cartoons contributed to Mickey’s widespread fame.

Besides that criticism, Mickey: The Story of a Mouse is entertaining and exciting, told in a breezy and fun way that makes it very entertaining. It might not delve into every part of Mickey’s past in detail, but it is still a fantastic way to celebrate Mickey Mouse and how even the smallest ideas can lead to something truly magical.

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse is available to stream exclusively on Disney+ on November 18th.

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