Mickey: The True Original Exhibition
Oh boy! It looks like every Disney lover’s wish upon a star has come true: in honor of Mickey Mouse’s 90th Birthday, a 16,000 square-foot “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition” now stands in New York City’s Meatpacking District. Not only is it an immersive experience but a museum that highlights historic and contemporary work of the pop culture icon by artists such as Amanda Ross-Ho, Keith Haring, Shinique Smith, and Kenny Scharf. The space is dedicated to featuring Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and is a joyous celebration of his long-lasting impact on society. “As Walt said, ‘I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse’” Bob Chapek--Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products--has said. “From ‘The True Original Exhibition’ to a year-long celebration in our parks around the world, we are honoring the deep connection that families and fans have made with Mickey and Minnie Mouse for nearly a century.”
The exhibition begins with the “Hello Mickey!” room, featuring artwork of early Mickey by Katherine Bernhardt, Ariana Papademetropoulos, and Michael Bosanko. After glancing at Walt Disney’s Oscar for creating Mickey Mouse on display, visitors are invited to explore a “Steamboat Willie” room inspired by Mickey’s status as a steamboat captain. The space is even adorned with a full-size vessel, complete with a steering wheel for guests to snap pics with.
The “It’s Black and White” room transports attendees into a world entirely in black-and-white, as that’s how Mickey was initially portrayed in 1928. Surrounded by comic strips and cartoon shorts, guests can’t help but feel as if they’re part of another era.
Visitors take a trip down memory lane to Mickey’s technicolor debut in The Band Concert when exploring the “Burst into Color” room. Among the artists who designed works for this space are London Kaye, Michael John Kelly, Amanda Ross-Ho, Stacey Aoyama, and John Quinn.
“Sorcerer’s Way” pays homage to Mickey’s first feature film, Fantasia. The space is even complete with a Mickey’s iconic sorcerer’s hat, which makes for a magical snapshot.
Guests are invited to relax in the Mickey Mouse Club, inspired by the television series that first aired in 1955. Not only does it highlight a retro-diner setting, but complimentary scoops of birthday cake ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery are served to Mouseketeers (aka visitors) as well.
Towards the end of the exhibition, four teams are selected to compete in a Mickey Mouse Game Show sponsored by Google Home. Minnie, Daisy, Goofy, Donald, and Mickey himself ask trivia questions while graphics and colorful lights pop up around the enclosed space. In the end, everyone leaves a winner and receives a Mickey enamel pin.
Even if you don’t have tickets to the exhibition, the public is able to view Kenny Scharf’s Mickey-Mouse inspired cosmic cavern in Mickey’s Maker Shop. The room is practically exploding with color, perfectly capturing the vibrant spirit of Mickey.
Inside Mickey’s Maker Shop, visitors can also customize tees and sweatshirts with patches and decals. Employees produce the personalized items on-site and out in the open, so guests will be able to experience the magic firsthand.
Considering the grand display of Mickey memorabilia in honor of his 90th anniversary, it’s safe to say the mouse’s legacy is never going to dissipate. As Walt Disney once said, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams will never fade.” Mickey The True Original Exhibition couldn’t have captured the magical spirit of the Disney dream any better.
Mickey The True Original Exhibition is located at 60 10th Avenue and will be open until February 10th, with tickets costing $38 each.