Disney launches #MickeyFriendshipChallenge to help celebrate friendship ahead of International Friendship Day

Actress and producer, Yara Shahidi, international supermodel, Gigi Hadid and award-winning artist and activist, Chance the Rapper help kick off campaign

Written by Georgie Dobie

Posted 28.07.2020 | Lifestyle

Disney launches #MickeyFriendshipChallenge to help celebrate friendship ahead of International Friendship Day thumbnail

Being loyal, trustworthy and kind are the top components for maintaining a lifelong friendship according to new research revealed today, ahead of International Friendship Day this Thursday 30 July.

The poll of 1,000 adults was commissioned to launch the Stay True campaign, which celebrates the 90-year on-screen friendship of the Sensational Six - Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Pluto and Goofy – who, through countless adventures together, have always stayed true to one another. Yara Shahidi, Gigi Hadid and Chance the Rapper helped kick off the campaign with posts celebrating their best friends Sayeed Shahidi, Ehsan Shahidi, Olivia Perez and Taylor Bennett. 

As part of the launch, Disney is also setting the #MickeyFriendshipChallenge, and offering complimentary digital thank you cards, fun meme-able videos and stickers to help groups of friends create bestie selfies, share their special moments and thank each other for staying true. 

The Sensational Six are famous for their loyalty to each other – a trait that the research revealed is the number one quality people search for in a best friend (79 per cent). This was followed by someone who is trustworthy (66 per cent), kind (53 per cent), understands and accepts their faults (48 per cent) and shares the same values or moral code (45 per cent). The average person has four really close friends and met their best friend by the age of 19.  

Two fifths of adults (41 per cent) say their childhood best friend is still their best friend now, with 23 per cent going on to be their best man or bridesmaid at their wedding. One in three (35 per cent) met their best friend at work and two thirds (65 per cent) think it’s important to have different friends at different stages of life.  

With a shared history spanning almost a century, the Sensational Six continue to be a symbol of ensuring friendship. To celebrate International Friendship Day, historian, Brian Sibley, has taken inspiration from their onscreen adventures to highlight the ingredients to lasting friendships, showing that sometimes life can imitate art.  

Just like in the movies: The top ten traits of lifelong friendship according to over 90 years of Mickey and Friends: 

  1. Loyalty (like Pluto always being by Mickey’s side) 
  2. Honesty (whether it’s what they want to hear or not, the six are always honest with each other) 
  3. Kindness (like Donald taking on an extra job to pay for a big date with Daisy) 
  4. Understanding of faults (whether it’s Donald’s feistiness or Goofy’s foolishness, the friends are always forgiving of each other’s faults) 
  5. Shared interests (like Mickey and Pluto’s love of fishing)  
  6. Embracing differences (whether you’re sassy like Daisy or happy-go-lucky like Pluto) 
  7. Supportive of ambitions (such as Mickey’s lifelong support for Minnie’s career paths)  
  8. Shared sense of humour (whether you’re always laughing like Mickey or being the comedian like Goofy) 
  9. Making time for each other (a long running theme with Mickey and Minnie) 
  10. Being thoughtful (such as the birthday surprises the six plan for each other every year) 

Commenting on the research friendship expert Dr Irene S Levine explains that it is natural to have a circle of friends with different qualities just like the Disney gang, as no one person can meet all our interests and needs. Differences in cultural backgrounds, interests, hobbies, outlooks and temperaments can make people attractive as friends as they add zest to a relationship.

Friendship expert Irene S Levine said: “Our need for close friends will never end. Friends can help lift us, contribute to a reduction in stress, promote positive behaviours and help limit unhealthy behaviours. Just as Mickey and the gang provide an unmitigated source of joy and happiness for each other, so does our own social circle. We can learn a lot from the way the characters treat each other over their 90 plus years of friendship.”

To further celebrate International Friendship Day, shopDisney and Disney Store will be launching a range of new adult apparel and offering a host of complimentary activities to get involved in via the Disney Destination of Imagination hub, such as Make your own Mickey Ears. Visit shopDisney.uk for more details.

Product highlights include:

Customisable t-shirts for adults

Embrace a little Disney fashion fun with these Mickey and Friends tees! The comfy crew neck tee features charming character artwork. Customise to make it your own.

Medium soft toys

Snuggle up to our range of Mickey & Friends Soft Toys. They will keep you smiling through the day, rain or shine!  

Loungefly Mickey Mouse neon summer mini backpack

Oh boy! Add a pop of colour to your style with this Mickey Mouse backpack! Part of the Neon Summer Colour Story Collection, the vibrant backpack is sure to make a statement.
Print sweatshirts for adults

Let a classic ensemble of Disney icons influence your everyday style! Featuring classic character artwork, these Mickey and Friends Sweatshirts are sure to keep you comfy on mouseketeering adventures.

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