On Friday, Disney introduced the world to its new crop of Mouseketeers. The Mickey Mouse Club — best known for producing stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake — is being revived after a two-decade hiatus. The new cast puts forward eight rising talents as part of the re-branded “Club Mickey Mouse.” Teens Sean, Leanne, Will, Gabe, Jenna, Brianna, Regan and Ky are a diverse group hailing from around the U.S. (and, in Ky’s case, Australia). They’re singers, dancers and generally bold personalities, if their introduction video is any indication. And judging by the success of their forebears, it would be wise to keep an eye on these teens as they find their way into the spotlight.
Unlike the previous iteration of the Disney program, Club Mickey Mouse isn’t a show: it’s an “always-on digital- and social-first variety program.” All of the content that the cast produces will exist on Instagram and Facebook with plenty of livestreams included, and over seven weeks, they’ll produce a weekly musical performance and music video — plus share behind-the-scenes access to their creation process. They’ll also be mentored by social media influencers Todrick Hall and Alisha Marie along the way.
“It’s programmed specifically for social media audiences who want to follow the kids’ journey just as they would follow their friends’ stories,” explained Andrew Sugerman, Executive Vice President of Publishing and Digital Media at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, in a release about the new format. “From the original cast of Mousketeers to the pop power of the 1990’s ‘Mickey Mouse Club,’ this franchise has always discovered, nurtured, and incubated original talent who have gone on to do great things and make a real impact on culture.”
Indeed, Disney has continued to serve as the training ground for many of today’s biggest stars, even if they missed the Mickey Mouse Club era. (See: Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Zac Efron.) Only time will tell if these eight have what it takes to join their ranks.