What do Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have in common? Well, aside from being some of Hollywood’s most notable entertainers in their own rights, these four got their start in showbiz through the variety show Mickey Mouse Club.
That’s right – Gosling and co were teenagers when they starred in Mickey Mouse Club back in 1993 as Mouseketeers. The talented young cast members performed various song, dance and comedy routines on the show.
Malaysia will be getting its own Mickey Mouse Club and Disney Channel wants two young local talents as Mouseketeers on the show. A nationwide audition will be held through The Mickey Mouse Club Star Search to look for the right candidates.
The Walt Disney Company South-East Asia vice president and general manager for media networks Amit Malhotra explains why Malaysia deserves its own Mickey Mouse Club. “We are the No.1 kids network in Malaysia. Fans have responded well to our channels (on Astro) such as Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD.
“In fact, when we first launched in this region back in 1995, Malaysia was the first on our list. So, it has always been a special relationship. We thought about how we can give our fans more and engage with them in a new way.”
Amit describes the all-new Mickey Mouse Club as Disney Channel’s “first and biggest foray into local production in Malaysia”.
“Localisation has always been a key focus for us in order to engage with our fans and audiences. It’s very important for us to understand our consumers. It’s not possible for us to do this without Astro with the reach that it has.”
Mickey Mouse Club was first launched by its creator, the late Walt Disney, in 1955. Amit shared that it was inspired by Disney’s dream to bring the whole family together in front of the TV through music, comedy and games.
As such, the same format will be adapted for the all-new Mickey Mouse Club.
“It’s made in Malaysia for Malaysian fans. It’s really based on the nuances of what people like in Malaysia. It’s going to be fun, entertaining and engaging. It’s made for families because that’s the heart of everything that we do,” Amit explains.
From now till June 15, Malaysians aged between 11 and 16 years old can audition to be Malaysia’s first Mouseketeer duo. The show is looking for one boy and one girl.
Submit a video audition of yourself singing a required Disney song (A Whole New World, Be Our Guest, Love Is An Open Door and You’ve Got A Friend In Me) as well as dancing and performing a special talent. Then, upload it to www.mickeymouseclub.my.
There will also be on-ground auditions at selected locations in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Penang throughout the month of May.
“We’re hoping to uncover exceptional talent who can sing, dance and act. Everything else will be secondary to that,” offers Amit.
Other traits that Amit would consider is a Mouseketeer who embodies Disney’s core value – a fun person with optimism. Parents can also do their part.
“I think parents should encourage their children to share their stories. Be engaging in helping them unleash their talent as well. It’s a unique opportunity for Disney fans to have an immersive experience with us,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse Club for Malaysia is expected to launch in September as a 13-episode series on Disney Channel (Astro Ch 615).