Disney Junior at the Movies debuted last November with a special birthday party for Mickey Mouse and the premiere of the new series, Mickey and the Roadster Racers. On October 28th, the Fathom Event returned for a special seasonal engagement called HalloVeen Party! Kids were encouraged to attend the event in their Halloween costumes, making the event a great dress rehearsal for the big day.
The biggest reason families should attend a Disney Junior at the Movies event is because it makes for a perfect introduction to seeing movies in a theater for young kids. The lights dim, but never go completely dark, and the characters encourage kids to get out of their seats and dance several times during it. At both events I attended, the theaters were 3/4 full and everyone seemed to have a great time.
Count Mickula served as the host of the event, reusing animation from an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse called “Mickey’s Monster Musical.” The animation was looped in such a way that the mouth fit a new script written for the event, but the effect was a little jarring and felt a little cheap. Two songs from this 2015 TV special were also presented as part of the event with the tone of the clips feeling like a candy coated version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
A complete episode of Mickey and the Roadster Racers was included in the event, split into two parts. “Pete’s Ghostly Gala” came first, in which the Happy Helpers are aiding Pete in a ghost problem at his Halloween party and the episode pays homage to Ghostbusters. Towards the end of the event, the racing portion of this same episode called “The Haunted Hotrod” was included, offering a spooky race through Hot Dog Hills.
Similar to the way the first event was a special way to introduce Mickey and the Roadster Racers, HalloVeen Party was a way to celebrate Disney Junior’s newest series, Vampirina. A never-before-seen episode debuted at the event called “Oldie but a Ghouldie/The Ghoul Girls,” which is scheduled to air on November 3rd. Vee, as her friends call her, also joined Count Mickula as a cohost for the event. She introduced several puzzle games where kids had to guess the character before the puzzle was completed.
I mentioned that the event included a few invitations for kids to get out of their seats and dance. Two songs from Puppy Dog Pals were themed to Halloween, including “On Halloween Night” and “At the Pumpkin Patch” from the recent episode “Return to the Pumpkin Patch/Haunted Howl-oween.” And Sofia the First was represented by a third song called “The Broomstick Dance” from the 2016 episode “Cauldronation Day.”
The actual event lasted about 90-minutes, but there was also a pre-show that started 30-minutes prior and offered another look at all of the great content available for families on Disney Junior, promos for the upcoming reboot of Muppet Babies, and information on the new streaming app Disney Now. Like last year’s event, it was a great excuse to introduce young kids to seeing movies at a theater in a more sensory friendly environment where talking and getting out of their seat is not only acceptable, but at times encouraged. If the attendance at my local theater is any indication, this won’t be the last time Disney Junior takes over cineplex’s across America.