Believe it or not, Mickey Mouse recently celebrated his 88th birthday…and he’s still just as popular as ever. He’s still starring in several different comic books. He’s still the star of a series of animated shorts. He’s about to be featured in an all-new Christmas special (Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special premieres on The Disney Channel on 12/9).
And he’s about to return to Disney Junior, along with the whole gang, in the brand-new series Mickey and the Roadster Racers. The look and feel of the show and characters is very much in line with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which was a staple of the Disney Junior lineup for almost a decade. So if your kids (or you) have felt the loss of that show recently, then you can rest easy.
Mickey and the Roadster Racers finds Mickey as a mechanic (of sorts) and the rest of the gang at the helm of transforming race cars. The show is a bit of a cross between Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Wacky Races. And for a preschool audience, it’s a heck of a lot of fun. (I took my son to the recent Fathom Events screening, which included two episodes of the show, and he thoroughly enjoyed it.)
Each character has a fancy car that transforms into a sleek race car at the push of a button. Goofy’s car, which is basically a bathtub on wheels, is by far the best. The races aren’t always competitive, circle-the-track races. Sometimes, the gang is simply racing to catch something (like a runaway tire) or away from something (like a ginormous rolling meatball).
Half-hour episodes are split between a main “racing” episode and a second episode starring Minnie and Daisy as the “Happy Helpers” – small-business owners who help people with all sorts of problems. As you would expect from a Disney Junior show starring Mickey and the gang, episodes focus on social and emotional lessons about friendship, teamwork, optimism, and good sportsmanship.
The icing on the cake is that the show has got a heck of a voice cast. NASCAR stars Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick, and Jeff Gordon have recurring roles as race car drivers. And the supporting cast includes Jay Leno, Tim Gunn, Gordon Ramsay, Fred Willard, Hector Elizondo, Kate Micucci, Tony Shalhoub, Tia Carrere, and Patton Oswalt.
The show premieres with two episodes on Sunday, January 15 (9 am EST) on both Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Two more episodes premiere the following day (January 16 at 9 am EST) on Disney Channel. Episodes will also be available on the Disney Junior app and Disney Junior VOD beginning Sunday January 15 and on iTunes beginning Monday January 16.