Totally Minnie Mouse for Valentine’s Day!

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Disney History, Features, Imaginerding

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Published on February 11, 2013 at 4:01 am with 13 Comments

The Disney Company has always tried to keep their characters fresh and in current fashion trends by  mimicking and adapting designs. I ran across an article in the 1986 Disneyana Collector that shared the new Totally Minnie! The new design for Minnie was set to debut across all arms of the Company and would be seen on television, in ads and in the theme parks. It’s interesting to note that Disneyland and Walt Disney World both had different offerings for Totally Minnie; Disneyland offered a parade and Walt Disney World had a stage show.

 

Minnie Mouse, for long “second Whisker” to her friend Mickey, has finally come into her own with a dazzling debut as a women of the 80s and as the musical star of the recently released album, Totally Minnie.

The album, which includes ten fast-paced songs, kicked off a year- long tribute to Minnie that will see her in music videos and in a network television special of her own. She has become involved in promoting a line of contemporary apparel ranging from dresses to oversized sweatshirts, all adorned with her image.

 The songs on the album: Totally Minnie, Girl Talk, Minnie’s Workout, Dear Daisy, Disney Girls’ Theme (All Fired Up), Hey Mickey, Break It, Videoactive, Let’s Get Together, Give All You’ve Got.

Her own apparel has changed, too. This year the polka dots on her dress may be rhinestones or sequins…or she may be wearing a sporty outfit including tennis shoes to replace the familiar yellow shoes…or she could be wearing a lacy gown, colored beads and net Stockings.

At Disneyland Park Minnie receives recognition as the star of the Totally Minnie Parade, presented daily on Main Street. Using the “Totally Minnie” song from the album, the fun-filled procession depicts the various stages in the creation of Minnie’s first music video.

Minnie’s support in the parade comes from Executive Producer Mickey Mouse and mogel mutt Pluto as the producer. Tigger is the make-up man, Daisy Duck the make-up mistress and the Big Bad Wolf, the music composer. Cinderella, Snow White and Alice are back-up singers with Chip and Dale as sound engineers. Donald Duck is the director with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum handling the boom mike and lighting.

At Walt Disney World Resort, Minnie stars in a 25-minute song-and-­dance revue 5 days a week at Fantasy Follies. Backing up Minnie in the show are Mickey and many of his friends as well as three head-liners from “Country Bear Jamboree” – Wendell, Shaker and Liver Lips-who make special guest appearances.

Minnie is not new to show business, of course. Since she made her debut, along with Mickey, in Steamboat Willie in 1928, she has appeared in 71 Disney cartoons, most of which were produced in the 1930s. Her latest role was as Mrs. Cratchit in Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Millions have seen her in Disney on Parade and in various Disney ice shows.

Minnìe’s popularity in collectable merchandise has remained strong ever since the early 1930s when plush dolls by Borgfeldt, Steiff, Knickerbocker and Charlotte Clark were first marketed. Many collectors seem to forget that Minnie was on the other end of the now famous Mickey Mouse toy handcar that helped to save Lionel from bankruptcy in 1935. Minnie did not see herself on a watch until 1971 but there have been thousands of Minnie watches produced since then. She’s appeared on a variety of collectibles ranging from figurines and puppets to limited edition plates and Christmas ornaments.

Although Minnie hasn’t completely retired her polka clots, she is proving in 1986 that she’s a woman of many dimensions and high fashion, and deserving of her superstar status. Minnie, of course, is taking it all in stride, as befits a celebrity of her stature.

So, about that 25-minute song-and-dance revue at Fantasy Follies at Walt Disney World?

I found the image above from the 1989 Steve Birnbaum Guide to Walt Disney World:

Fantasy Faire: This lively musical review features the Disney characters in zany performing roles backed up by 2 vocalists and a trio of musicians. Presented 5 times daily, 5 days a week at the Fantasy Faire Stage.

It’s obvious from the background that it’s the Totally Minnie show at the Fantasy Faire in Fantasyland.

I’ve done research about the Fantasy Faire (also referred to as Fantasy Fair) area of the Magic Kingdom and have found very little information. Dave Smith provides more information in his seminal 2006 Disney A to Z: The official Encyclopedia:

Fantasy Faire: Covered area, also known as Fantasyland Pavilion after January 1995, originally used for outdoor stage shows in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World, and later for additional seating for the Pinocchio Village Haus. It closed in 1996.

Flash forward a few years and I found a similar ad campaign in a 1989 Disney Store Catalog (remember those?). Of course, this one marketed Minnie to several different age groups with a different look for each Minnie. I’m wondering if the bedding set caused more nightmares than anything else!

Two-page section from the 1989 Disney Store Catalog.

 

Do you remember Totally Minnie? Did you get to see Totally Minnie in the parks? Or better yet, what do you think about this attempt to make Minnie fit in with the times?


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About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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13 Comments

Comments for Totally Minnie Mouse for Valentine’s Day! are now closed.

  1. Great Article George

    I am glad hat Disney did not go ahead with this. I think it does not fit the Minnie Mouse that we kno and love today.

    Thanks Again George

    Trumpet

  2. [...] MiceChat (blog) [...]

  3. I remember the Totally Minnie TV special. Minnie makes over some “nerd” to get his “dream girl”. It was total 80′s cheese.

  4. I had that Minnie Mouse lunch box and pink watch from the Disney Catalog!!!!! That brings back soooooo many memories.

  5. I remember the Totally Minnie Parade in Disneyland. That was my first trip to Disneyland! Every souvenir I came home with was Minnie Mouse. I still have the Minnie plush. She is wearing a red polka dot dress.

  6. She looked like a heroin addict! Thank goodness that look didn’t last!

  7. Thanks, George. I had finally blocked those images from my memory, but now they’ve come rushing back. Thanks a lot!

  8. I actually found a press-release of the Totally Minnie album from Book Baron in Anaheim (now closed), It was pretty cool, with really nice illustrations, it didn’t make any mentions of the WDW show or the DL Parade though. Aside from that, I’m sort-of glad you can still get the album from Itunes. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Timekeeper

  9. Thanks so much for posting this, George! This version of Minnie, and the Totally Minnie TV special that went with it are some of my earliest memories. I had most of the stuff in that Disney Catalog too. As cheesy as it was, it went with the style at the time… made me smile! :)

  10. She also appeared on an Australian kids’ song and dance show where they performed her song and danced with her.

    I’ve enjoyed the parade on youtube quite a few times, as it’s from that special era of disney 80′s parades where Jack Wagner did all the voices and the characters were still just having fun wherever, not strictly stuck in their own little worlds.

  11. LOOOOVED Totally Minnie! Had the album on cassette tape!

  12. I remember Totally Minnie well. I wanted to get my picture with her at Disneyland but I never saw the Totally Minnie character. Just in the Disney News article. Disney produced a lot of merchandise in the Totally Minnie line. I remember dolls and figurines, posters, and backpacks. There was also an 80′s Mickey counterpart called Hey Mickey. I remember a backpack with a Mickey Mouse in Miami Vice-style clothes on it that said Hey Mickey on it. I think that might be even rarer than Totally Minnie.

  13. A few bits of Totally Minnie trivia –

    For the parade, Goofy played the choreographer for Minnie’s video, I don’t think that was mentioned above. There was a segment where the dancers were “rehearsing” in leotards and leg warmers and Goofy was calling out direction. That was followed by Donald shooting the video. The video dancers in the parade unit wore mylar wigs. After Minnie’s float there were dancers portraying her “fans” begging for her autograph.

    Tigger, as Minnie’s makeup artist, carried an enormous powder puff prop; but the powder on the puff was Tigger orange! Very cute detail.

    The parade performers wore shiny, bright jackets with the Totally Minnie logo on them which were in bright 80s colors like fuchsia, gold and green, turquoise. These jackets had shoulder pads (of course!) Surprisingly, the parade costume jackets eventually were made available for sale.

    Minnie didn’t look like a “heroin addict” at all! Her bright park costume was kind of like Cyndi Lauper, a little less like Madonna, but it was her own style and wasn’t inappropriate, it was just fun.

    The parade music included the lyrics “she’s one part classy, two parts sassy,” but some cast members privately preferred “she’s one part plastic, two parts spastic.”

    It was a sign of the times, remember this was the era of the Videopolis nightclub in Fantasyland.