Editor’s Note: Babble is a part of the Walt Disney Company.
Disney is back with a whole new batch of mouseketeers on Club Mickey Mouse — and we are real excited!
When The New Mickey Mouse Club first debuted on the Disney Channel back in 1989, I was the ripe old age of 4. But there I sat, glued to our old Zenith TV set every week watching Britney, Justin, JC, and even a tiny Ryan Gosling sing and dance their little hearts out. And yes, I belted out the theme song — M-I-C-K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E! — like nobody’s business, because how could you not?
The show was already a revival itself, modeled after the original Mickey Mouse Club which debuted back in 1955, starring Annette Funicello, Bobby Burgess, and a slew of other original mouseketeers most of our own parents grew up on. But this new Mickey Mouse Club? It was THE BEST. It had cool Mickey jackets! And Justin Timberlake! And catchy early-’90s jams you couldn’t get out of your head! And did I mention it had Justin Timberlake?!
When The New MMC eventually ended its run in 1994, my little 9-year-old heart was shattered. But finally, some 23 years later, my childhood prayers have been answered: The all-new Mickey Mouse Club — dubbed Club Mickey Mouse — has just debuted on Facebook, and let me tell you … if you thought the last cast was impressively talented, prepare to be seriously amazed.
There’s Regan Aliyah, who at just 18 is already a polished singer, rapper, dancer, and socially-conscious spoken-word artist.
“If it has anything to do with performing, I’m in it, I’m there, I wanna do it,” she declares in a recent video bio shared on the Club Mickey Mouse Facebook page.
And 16-year-old Ky Baldwin, who moved to the U.S. from Sydney, Australia with big dreams of becoming a singer, songwriter, and dancer. He’s also an expert tap dancer, and at 9, became the youngest semi-finalist on Australia’s Got Talent.
Then there’s 17-year-old Will Simmons — a dancer, actor, rapper, choreographer, and gymnast who loved anime so much as a kid that he taught himself how to speak fluent Japanese just by reading his books cover-to-cover. (Yes, really.)
… Feeling slightly depressed about your own life accomplishments so far? ME TOO.
But aside from how jaw-droppingly talented this new cast of mouseketeers is, there’s something else about them that I’m totally loving: Each one has an inspiring story and message to share — from how they learned to embrace a difference about themselves to a time in their lives when they pushed passed their fears to reach a goal that others may have thought was impossible.
Take 16-year-old mouseketeer Gabe DeGuzman, a badass dancer and talented musician who can play both the piano and the drums. In his Facebook video bio, Gabe opens up about how his asthma is what led him to stop playing sports when he was young; but it’s also what led him to dancing.
“As soon as I stepped into that first class, I was like, ‘Wow, I really want to do this for the rest of my life,'” he shares.
Still, that wasn’t always something that others accepted.
“Being a male dancer has not always been easy for me,” he admits. “In middle school I was bullied because I was never like all the other guys.”
His message to others? “It’s okay to be different. Stick to something you’re passionate about, even though some people may judge you for it. Don’t ever let negativity bring you down — just be you.”
Sixteen-year-old Leanne Tessa has been singing and dancing since as far back as she can remember — and even plays guitar and piano. But if you think she’s impressive, you should meet her mom.
“My mom’s an immigrant from the Philippines,” she explains in her video bio. “She came out here on her own, started a business, and created a foundation for our family. It’s just me and her against the world.”
The strictly digital show will run on the Club Mickey Mouse Instagram and Facebook accounts every week, with the mouseketeers sharing behind-the-scenes footage of the songwriting and choreographing process along the way.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely be tuning in every week …
(What? Like a 32-year-old woman can’t watch a kid’s show meant for tweens and teens? JUST WATCH ME.)