Category Archives: Disney

Original Mouseketeer Doreen Tracey Dies at 74

Doreen Tracey, one of the Mickey Mouse Club’s original Mouseketeers, passed away at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday, January 10. She was 74. Tracey, known for her vivacious personality and all-around performance skills, appeared on Disney’s classic children’s television series throughout its four-year run on the ABC television network from 1955–59. The original Mickey Mouse Club lived on in syndication for decades thereafter, entertaining generations of children around the world.

© Disney

Tracey was born in London, England, on April 3, 1943, to a theatrical family. Her parents, Bessie Hay and Sid Tracey, had a vaudeville dance act known as Tracey and Hay. When Doreen was four, her family returned to the United States where her father opened a dance studio in Hollywood. It was there that she learned to sing and dance, and, at age 12, Tracey auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club. During her tenure as a Mouseketeer, Tracey was also cast in Walt Disney Productions’ 1956 feature film Westward Ho the Wagons!, starring Fess Parker. Additionally, she went on to appear on the Mickey Mouse Club‘s “Annette” serial, and toured Australia with the Mouseketeers.

Following the Mickey Mouse Club years, in the 1960s Tracey continued her show business career, guest starring on several episodic television programs as well as touring American military bases in South Vietnam and Thailand with her own act. After returning to the U.S., she shifted gears to hold a variety of behind-the-scenes positions that included publicist to musician and composer Frank Zappa, as well as a multi-decade career in administration at Warner Bros. And while Tracey’s career took many different paths, she always remained close to her Disney roots, maintaining longtime friendships with her fellow Mouseketeers. In the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s, she co-starred with them in several Mickey Mouse Club reunion shows at Disneyland and at Disney conventions, last celebrating the show’s 60th Anniversary in 2015. “Our Dodo, as we lovingly nicknamed her, always had a smile on her face,” said fellow Mouseketeer Tommy Cole. “She never failed to make us all feel good, and we will miss her.”

Tracey is survived by her son, Bradley, and two grandchildren, Gavin, age 9, and Autumn, 12.  Bradley said of his mother, “She was very brave, very independent and very loved by her family.”

Minnie Mouse to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Just in time to celebrate her 90th anniversary in entertainment this year, Minnie Mouse will receive her very own gold star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Minnie will receive the star in the category of Motion Pictures and you’ll be able to find it right in front of the historic El Capitan Theatre.

Pop superstar, American Idol judge, Katy Perry will be one of the guest speakers presenting Minnie with her star along with Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.  The momentous occasion will take place on Monday, January 22 at 11:30 a.m. PST.  You can tune into the event on the official Hollywood Walk of Fame website.

“Minnie Mouse is a woman of the ages and her iconic status makes her a great addition to our Walk of Fame! Generations of fans of all ages have been looking forward to her seeing her bright new star,” said producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies Ana Martinez.

Minnie Mouse will be making her mark as the 2,627th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  What other Disney icons have received a Hollywood Walk of Fame?  Minnie will join fellow pals including Donald Duck, Tinker Bell, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, Kermit the Frog, and Mickey Mouse.

According to Disney, since her debut in “Steamboat Willie,” Minnie has starred in over 70 films and become Disney’s darling recognized around the world. Her timeless fashion (as showcased in @MinnieStyle) has not only served as fashion inspiration for our own wardrobes but for designers’ collections as well—a classic Minnie polka dot look that is unmistakable in magazines and runway shows. And Minnie uses her fame for a good cause—the #ShareYourEars campaign in 2016 and 2017 earned $4 million in donations benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Congratulations Minnie!

‘Andi Mack Live Play’ and ‘Andi Mack Cast Party’ Interactive Event Coming to Disney Channel

A fun participation experience will connect kids’ interest in their favorite TV series – “Andi Mack” – and their favorite activities – leveling up via games and quizzes – when Disney Channel presents “Andi Mack Live Play,” an evening of interactive television viewing, MONDAY, JAN. 15 (8:00 p.m., EST/PST). The event takes place during a new episode of “Andi Mack,” airing simultaneously on the DisneyNOW app and Disney Channel, and followed by a special telecast with the stars of the show, “Andi Mack Cast Party” (8:30 p.m., EST/PST), on Disney Channel.  Leaderboards and poll results for the “Andi Mack Live Play” quizzes, trivia, polls and other elements will be shown on DisneyNOW in real time for both the East and West Coast transmissions of the new episode.

Kimberly Hicks, vice president, Digital Media, Disney Channels, said, “We’re increasingly employing our app technology in creative ways to meet the expectations of our young viewers who enjoy participating in polls, stretching their knowledge with trivia and games, and reaching the next level of achievement all while simultaneously being entertained through their favorite stories and characters on TV.”

The DisneyNOW app [] is available to all and has the most comprehensive collection of the newest and best content from Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior and Radio Disney. Fans can use DisneyNOW to access full episodes of their favorite Disney Channels television shows on demand for free anytime, anywhere on their desktop, smartphone, tablet or connected TV devices. Viewers who sign in with a participating pay-TV provider can also watch a live 24-hour feed of the respective network and access exclusive programming events.

“Andi Mack Live Play” is the eighth Live Play programming event in the past 18 months on Disney Channel.  The amount of users tripled for the most recent event, a “Descendants 2 Live Play” in October, with more than 6 million votes cast during the event.

Season to date, “Andi Mack” is cable TV’s #1 series among Kids 9-14, Girls 6-11, Girls 6-14 and Girls 9-14 (Live + 7 Day National ratings*).  It is also the #1 series streaming on the DisneyNOW app**.

The “Andi Mack Cast Party” special features Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Sofia Wylie, Joshua Rush, Asher Angel, Lilan Bowden, Emily Skinner and Trent Garrett.  Asher Angel also performs an acoustic version of the series theme song “Tomorrow Starts Today,” which will be available on the DisneyNOW app and Disney Channel YouTube immediately following the special. Angel made his recording artist debut in November with the single “Snow Globe Wonderland.” Its music video has more than 3.3 million views on DisneyMusicVEVO.

2018 College Football Playoff National Championship is Second Most-Watched Cable Presentation Ever

Monday night’s match-up between Georgia and Alabama was a game for the ages, as evidenced by the more than 28.4 million viewers who tuned in for ESPN’s presentation of the College Football Playoff National Championship, making the January 8 broadcast the second most-watched cable presentation of all time. Reaching 30.7 million viewers at its peak, the presentation averaged 28,443,000 viewers on ESPN’s Nielsen-rated networks (ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU as part of its MegaCast production). This marks a 13-percent increase from the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship on the same three Nielsen-rated networks.

ESPN’s entire presentation of the three-game College Football Playoff showed an impressive gain over last year, with an average of 26,266,000 viewers—21 percent higher than 2017’s three-game presentation. In addition to the championship game, the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game was up 39 percent from last year, and the College Football Playoff Semifinal Allstate Sugar Bowl had a 10 percent gain over 2017.

“The record-breaking audiences, over the course of multiple years, clearly reinforce how the College Football Playoff has quickly established itself as an elite event on the sports calendar,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling, on Tuesday, January 9. “Last night’s thrilling finish coupled with ESPN’s innovative MegaCast presentation showcased the incredible strength of college football and the deep connection live sports have with fans.”

ESPN has now televised all 10 of the most-watched cable telecasts of all time, and 18 of the top 20. The January 8 game—which was the first College Football Playoff National Championship to go into overtime—capped a very successful College Football Playoff and bowl season for ESPN. The seven games that comprised the New Year’s Six and the College Football Playoff National Championship averaged more than 17 million viewers and will be the best ever in the current era.

The network concludes its industry-leading 36-game college football post-season having averaged 5,682,000 viewers per game, up 11 percent from last year’s similar slate.

Actor Sterling K. Brown Visits Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Actor and Golden Globe-winner Sterling K. Brown recently visited Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa,in Hawaii over the holidays.

© Disney

During his stay, the “This Is Us” star enjoyed his vacation with his wife Ryan Bathe and children Andrew and Amare. Sterling’s family loved exploring the resort’s seven-acre water oasis and even ran into Stitch in the Waikolohe Valley!