During the Rogue One Event in San Francisco we had the opportunity to interview Mark Seidenberg and Rob Laduca. They are the amazing minds behind Mickey and the Roadster Racers Show that is coming out on Disney Junior this month! Today I am excited to share more about the new Mickey and the Roadster Racers Show and what you can expect!
Mark Seidenberg told us that with Mickey and the Roadster Racers, we had the opportunity to age it up a bit. And have some new fun. When Disney Junior asked us to develop a new show, we asked what was the most popular Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? What were the most popular DVDs or shows?
Clubhouse Road Rally, Mickey’s Road Rally? And we were, like, oh! That involved every character who had their own little car that kind of fit their personality. So we expanded on that, and we gave Mickey a classic hot rod. It’s his normal car from Clubhouse, and then it turns into this classic AmericanRoadster. A Hotrod easily made from a model T. Goofy’s personality, being so goofy, if his car could transform, what would it transform into? A bathtub. You know. And Minnie being elegant, and into fashion, we went with kind of a bow car, but the design comes from a French car called a Delahaye that had very smooth curves and looked kinda like a bow. Well, Daisy loves flowers, so we wanted to turn her car into a smoking dragster, Snapdragon.
Donald, well, he’s a sailor, so we created the cabin cruiser, and his is the only roadster at this point that can go on land, and in the water.
Minnie’s got a Pink Thunder. Mickey’s is the Hot Dog and Hot Rod. Goofy’s is the Turbo Tubster.
So we went to all different car collections to develop the show, and one of the biggest thrills was Big Daddy Roth who customized cars. And we looked a lot at his cars. It was also George Barris, who did The Batmobile and Adam’s Family mobile, and the Munster-mobile.
Those were a big influence. And then, the ultimate car collection we really wanted to see was Jay Leno’s car collection. Through one of the guys on our production, we got in touch with his office. And he gave us the tour of his huge car collection. And we brought a lot of the artists to sketch ideas. Jay gave us the tour himself. And at the end of it, I said we have this Race announcer, Billy Beagle announcer, and actually, you know, we haven’t cast him yet. Would you be interested? And he was, like, of course! So he started doing the voice right then and there. He’s just a great guy…And we said you’re hired.
He is a huge Disney fan. He loves Disney. And he’s worked with the Pixar guys before. He’s been a real help. One fun little trivia fact is, whenever Jay comes to our recordings, he’s always in a different car. And it could range anywhere from a World War II Jeep, to a Model T, you know, a ’67 Mustang. He has over 300 cars. He really loves working with our characters, which is great.
So it’s been a real thrill this whole journey for this show has been an absolute thrill. And especially now on Walt’s birthday. This was a character that he held so close to his heart, you know. This was his beginnings. So it’s a real honor to expand Mickey into the future. Walt was a total innovator. Whenever there was a chance to use a new technology, Walt was always the first to experiment with sound and color, and, you know, all kinds of things. I like to think of this as an extension. If Walt was alive today, he would have been the first one to use computer animation. There was a lot of studio people who didn’t want to experiment with computer animation way back when. But I know Walt would’ve charged right into it. He brought us, you know, animatronics, and, you know, all the parks. He was such a thinker that…I love that we can expand on his vision.
Within the series, all our characters are… are gonna be featured well. You’ll be seeing, of course, a lot of Minnie and Daisy. But also start to see a little bit more of Chip and Dale. And ClaraBelle and characters like Hilda the Hippo. We’re bringing back some favorites like Horace Horsecollar in episodes. And Pete will be taking on different guises. Sometimes we go to other countries, and we’ll see the foreign version of Pete and sometimes he’s a villain.
You need a villain! But we’re also bringing back Mortimer Mouse. Walt originally wanted to call Mickey, Mortimer. His wife convinced him not to. And called Mickey. We’re bringing back Mortimer Mouse.
We also do have some celebrity casting. Besides Jay Leno, we also have Tim Gunn who is gonna be playing a travel critic. Let’s see, we’ve worked with Gordon Ramsay. He’s gonna be the chef that helps rescue the hot dog diner. So that’ll be a lot of fun…
Hoda Kotb plays Mrs. Sweetums who runs the candy factory.
Jane Leeves plays Queen Elizabeth. When we go to England, and, they’re all mice or beagles.
Which was taken from the original Carl Barks comic.
Question: How far ahead are you? Or how many episodes?
Mark ~ We’ve already written all 52 stories and so I’m trying to think…We’re in production in multiple ways. We’re, like, in the middle of season one. So yeah. Two 11 minutes per half hour. So 52 is 26 half hours.
Question ~ How long does it take to create an episode?
Well a good year. A really good year, or a little longer. That’s from writing to designing to color to animating, building the CG world, and then doing post-production. My favorite is sound effects and music and, and everything.
Question – So for 52, like you’ve done, how long has the process been to get to this point?
Well, it’s been about two years so far. We were overlapped with Jake. We were still doing post-production on Jake and starting this show. And it was a real kind of a mind bender. There was one episode of Jake. I was kinda testing the waters. I gave all the little pirates cars. And Captain Hook.
We had a race. But they were made of bamboo and things you’d find in Neverland. But we were getting ready. We were researching racing.
Question ~ Generally cars are considered boys’ toys. How are making sure that the girls are incorporated?
We treat them equally! They’re members of Mickey’s garage crew. You’ll see that Daisy is a mechanic. Minnie paints and pinstripes the cars, so they’re all very involved in the garage. And in the races, they’re very competitive. They all want to win.
Danica Patrick is big in the racing world. And she’s got a huge fan base. So we were, like, you know, there’s a lot of girls that are probably into racing and cars because they have fathers who are, gear heads. And mothers, too.
We asked Danica Patrick if she would do a voice, and we created a character called Danni Sue. We’ll see her in a race, in a few episodes.
She’s definitely Minnie and Daisy’s hero. She’s been great. And we’ve also brought on Nascar racers, Jimmie Johnston And Jeff Gordon.
It’s fun because they’re not normally actors. But when they start seeing their cartoon character, they get into it, and they all want to do it again.
“Mickey and the Roadster Racers” will make its television debut in a simulcast SUNDAY, JANUARY 15 (9:00 and 9:25 a.m. EST), on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Two more episodes will premiere MONDAY, JANUARY 16 (9:00 and 9:25 a.m. 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.