Mickey Mouse is one of animation's most enduring but paradoxically dull icons. But it wasn't always that way. Created by Walt Disney in the late 1920s, Mickey appeared in some truly brilliant films throughout the '30s and '40s, some in black and white and some in color, but almost always in some astonishingly clever, very funny and frequently groundbreaking animated works like Steamboat Willie, Building a Building, The Brave Little Tailor and of course Fantasia. But with notable exceptions of 1983's A Christmas Carol adaptation and 2010's Epic Mickey video game, the character has been little more than a harmless corporate mascot for the majority of his existence. As Walt Disney's signature creation, it's a fitting and auspicious role for Mickey, but also something of a waste of one of American animation's most visible characters.
Fortunately for animation fans, Disney agrees. In what's obviously an earnest effort to resurrect the classic spirit of Mickey Mouse for the 21st century, the studio has enlisted a fantastic assortment of talents from shows like The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Sym-Bionic Titan to honor the brilliant works of the past with an all-new series of genuinely funny and beautifully designed short films set to air on the Disney Channel this summer.