What makes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse a big hit?

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Almost everyone would agree that Mickey Mouse is probably the world’s most famous cartoon character. Surpassing generations, the global icon has continuously inspired kids, and even the young-at-heart through various means and programs that carry messages that never fail to hit home.

The animated interactive children’s TV series, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, is one of the many things that prove this point. Already on its fourth season, the show has become Disney Junior’s No. 1 series for pre-schoolers, keeping a strong viewer loyalty, in and out of the US.

The secret? Executive producer and Emmy Award-winner Rob LaDuca, who also is the producer of Disney Junior’s animated series Jake and the Never Land Pirates, shares his personal insights on how they managed to keep the show — and Mickey Mouse for that matter — on top of the game through the years.

It’s been seven years since Mickey Mouse Clubhouse started airing. What do you think makes the show a global hit?

“This has been such a wonderful surprise for me! Mickey has always been a well-loved character in America and quite a few countries abroad, but what makes me excited is how the rest of the world has embraced Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I would like to think that the show is a global hit because of all the love and care we put into making the Clubhouse a place that everyone wants to visit.”

What kind of learning experiences you have had on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse?

“I’ve learned that all kids around the world, no matter what their age, love to laugh and learn new things while having fun. And fun is what we do best.”

What do you love most about working with these beloved characters?

“Each of the characters in the Clubhouse gives us a world of opportunity for stories. Everyone of them has their own distinct personality but as a group, it’s their friendship that we see is most important.”

The show is all about interacting with young viewers to encourage problem-solving. Why do you think it’s so successful?

“Interaction makes you feel like you are part of the show! When Mickey asks you at home to help him solve a particular problem, you become one of his trusted friends. I can’t think of a better way to make a kid feel important.”

Can you tell us a little bit about Mickey and Donald Have A Farm and what else can we look forward to in Season 4?

“We were so excited to give Mickey and Donald a farm! They have a cool tractor with Helping Hands on it to help lift things. They have a barn and their very own farm animals! When Pete’s windmill blows all the animals off the farm, it’s up to Mickey and all of us at home to help gather them together. Other Season 4 shows have Minnie as a princess, Mickey in search of treasure and Donald gets his own clubhouse.”

Did you always want to work in animation? What would be your advice for those who aspire to work in the animation/entertainment industry?

“I’ve always loved to draw and watch Disney cartoons. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy always made me laugh. They helped me realize that animation was the way that I could use my talents to also make people laugh. Luckily, my parents agreed. My advice for others would be to do what makes you happy. If you love to draw, draw as much as you can and find out as much as you can about your favorite artists.”

What/who is your biggest inspiration?

“I’ve had many influences, but Walt Disney was my biggest inspiration. When I received my first copy of The Art of Walt Disney as a child, my eyes were opened to so many new things. I read his story and looked at all the drawings from his classic films over and over. He was a great cartoonist who took so many risks. Film was a new thing and his excitement in using film put him at the forefront experimenting with sound and color. His passion eventually led him into early television, theme park entertainment and the list goes on.”

What’s your favorite pastime?

“It’s probably clear that I’m a very large kid myself. My favorite pastime is to go to Disneyland very early, get a Mickey waffle, go on a few rides, then find a nice spot to sit on a bench and watch as people walk through the park for their first time with big smiles on their faces. “

(In the Philippines, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse currently airs on Disney Junior [Sky Cable channel 38 and Global Destiny cable channel 45] at 5 a.m., 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12 noon and 7 p.m. daily).











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