Disney Dance Crew, a new show featuring a dancing, talking Mickey Mouse, has made its debut at Disney California Adventure.
The show features two competing dance crews, who are persuaded to join forces by Mickey. Although he initially emerges on stage in a tuxedo, Disney's iconic mouse soon strips down to trendy "street" clothes and performs a range of agile dance moves. During the performance, Mickey's nose and eyelids move and his mouth "speaks" in time with a recorded soundtrack that features remixed versions of famous Disney songs.
The effect is achieved using a mechanical head which enables the costumed performer to control Mickey's facial features. Stitch Kingdom points out that this is distinct from the "talking Mickey" technology that was recently trialled in "meet-and-greets" at Disneyland, and cannot be used in close quarters with guests due to the noise generated by the mechanics. For this reason, a static Mickey head is used for meet-and-greets after the Disney Dance Crew show.
The quick switch from a talking, dynamic Mickey head to a static one has caused controversy among parents, with many complaining that they will be unable to explain to children why Mickey cannot speak with them. This issue could be resolved if the updated, more technologically advanced talking Mickey that was seen in the trial is rolled out more widely.
Disney Dance Crew has replaced Drawn to the Animation on the Hollywood Pictures Backlot stage, and will be performed six times a day on Wednesdays through Sundays. From November 26, it will share the stage with Disney Channel Rocks!, which will be performed in mornings and early afternoons.