Mickey Mouse's voice has got to be one of the most recognisable there is, and one that never fails to put a smile on the face of children and adults alike. With news this week that a talking version of Mickey has made his first public appearance at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, meeting and greeting guests in the Town Square Theater, I couldn't miss the opportunity in this week's Big Debate to ask the question: should Mickey Mouse talk at Disney Parks?
I was surprised to read that in the early days of Disneyland, characters in the park frequently talked to guests. However, the cast members could not reliably recreate the "true" voice of the characters so this was banned, thought to be doing more harm than good.
So here we are decades later in a technological age which now allows Mickey Mouse to talk in his "real" voice, and not just talk but also listen and answer questions. With my limited technical knowledge, it seems amazing that this can be achieved at all.
In March when the talking Mickey greeted the public at Disneyland there were still a few teething problems when it came to answering questions. The official video of his interactions at Disney's Magic Kingom this week shows how realistic Mickey Mouse is - the smiles on the children's faces and no doubt dropped jaws from parents seems to show real positivity for this new venture. If this proves successful Disney's strategy will inevitably be to spin this out to include other much-loved characters in the future.
Are there any downsides? Well to some people having Mickey Mouse talk may take a little bit of the magic away. For younger children, dare I say it, a talking Mickey might even scare them? Does giving Mickey Mouse a voice improve or detract from the experience of meeting the most famous mouse of all?
Let us know whether you think Mickey Mouse should talk at Disney Parks by voting in our poll.
Should Mickey Mouse talk at Disney's theme parks?
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