Lauren Loves Disney: Getting Physical With Mickey Mouse

I don’t blame you if you never read anything else by me ever again after that headline, but I had to do it. I just had to.

Anyway, today I’m going to talk about Disney’s on-again, off-again exercise series: Mousercise. That’s right. Kids could work out with their favorite Disney characters, including Mickey and the crew. Originally a record released by Disney in 1982, it featured music that kids could dance to, with a Disney twist. Most kids I know already dance around to Disney music regardless; but hey, gotta get that money somehow.

Of course, in 1983, there was a television show that followed on the new Disney Channel. Hosted by Kellyn Plasschaert, she took kids through a (roughly) 30-minute aerobic workout. I watched a few on YouTube, and I’ll admit, I tried them myself. To be fair, I do work in a gym, so it sort of goes along with my life. The routines were simple, but you’re not given any instruction on how to do them. Kelly starts dancing and moving, and about 80% of the kids (and you) have no idea what’s going on, but damn if you aren’t giving it your all.

The best thing about this series, is watching the actors in the Disney mascot costumes. The costumes themselves are heavy and hot enough as it is, but add in “working out” and you have a recipe for actual disaster. Plus, these are the clunky, 1983 Disney mascot costumes. I’m not saying they’re any better now, but it is pure comedy gold watching them attempt to move around on this series. I sincerely hope the actors were paid well for that special kind of torture.

Mousercise was actually popular, though. Kids and adults alike got into it (it isn’t hard to see why, at the end of it, it is a good aerobic workout). There was even a certificate people could get to show they were a part of the program. There was clothing (for adults and kids!), coloring books, a video in 1985, and Disneyland even had live events with Kelly, who was a hit with fans.

When the aerobics trend faded in the late ’80s, Disney let this show go as well. It’s a real shame, since there was more they could have done. Getting kids (and adults) moving and working out isn’t really a trend — there are exercise fads (literally everything Beach Body, Zumba, etc.), the overall goal of being healthy isn’t a fad. It’s a shame Disney let this one go.

In 2005 a new album was released, and in 2016 it was gaining momentum in Japan (with the song Let It Go). Aside from that, there’s not much else out there. Disney could easily bring this back from the dead, so here’s hoping they do.

About Veronica Webb

Veronica Webb is a self professed comic book nerd, with a strong focus on Archie and Golden Age comics. She also enjoys Disney World more than the average person, and bad movies. Speed Racer is one of her favorite movies. Seriously.