Disney group has announced Mickey & Friends: Stay True, a global campaign inspired by the Sensational Six – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto – and their iconic friendship that has spanned over several decades.

Through countless adventures and almost a century’s worth of milestones, the Sensational Six have always stayed true to one another, and now they’re inspiring others to do the same.

Culminating on 30 July, International Friendship Day, fans across the globe are invited to ‘shout out’ their friends and thank them for “staying true” through social media challenges, free digital activations and more, using #MickeyFriendsStayTrue.

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.

“When I think of my earliest memories of friendship and what it means to be a friend, I flashback to the Sensational Six. I am excited to celebrate International Friendship Day with my sensational brothers and the iconic group of Disney friends who have inspired the beauty of friendship,” said Yara Shahidi.

“I’ve always been such a big Disney fan, and know any day I get to step foot into a Disney park will be another great one. I have so many amazing memories from childhood to adulthood that includes Mickey and the Sensational Six. I’m so happy to be celebrating International Friendship Day alongside these iconic characters!” commented Gigi Hadid.

“My brother is my best friend and I’m excited to celebrate International Friendship Day alongside him and Mickey Mouse,” said Chance the Rapper.

Starting 24 July, and leading up to International Friendship Day, Disney will provide fans with calls to action – each inspired by a different member of the Sensational Six – every day via the @mickeytrueoriginal Instagram.

Throughout the week, fans will be encouraged to use the #MickeyFriendsStayTrue hashtag to share tales of friendship including stories from celebrities like Yara Shahidi, Gigi Hadid and Chance the Rapper.

In addition, “Good Morning America” and syndicated morning talk show “Live with Kelly and Ryan” are joining in the celebration, with special messages to encourage viewers to participate. Some friendship stories could end up being featured on Disney’s social platforms and on “Good Morning America.”

“Celebrating friendship and those who help us stay true to ourselves and others is more important than ever before,” said Kareem Daniel, President of Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing. “As families around the world look to Disney to add magic to their daily lives, this campaign highlights the enduring bonds between Mickey and his pals – inviting fans to share in their exciting adventures and iconic friendships.”

Being loyal, creating memories and making each other laugh are just some of the ways that Mickey and his friends have continued to stay true to one another for almost a century.

In order to highlight the history of this iconic friend group and reveal what it takes to maintain lifelong friends, Historian Brian Sibley analyzed over 600 hours of Disney films, shorts and featurettes featuring the Sensational Six.

The analysis revealed that loyalty is the number one trait that stands the friendship test of time, with the six friends unwavering in supporting each other. Sharing similar interests and adventures are also key, and laughter really is the best medicine with the characters finding ways to laugh together no matter what.

Other important traits found in the enduring friendships of the characters are making time for each other, being honest when needed, and being thoughtful.

The top 10 qualities that are key to lifelong friendship according to 90 years of Disney stories are loyalty (like Pluto always being by Mickey Mouse’s side), honesty (whether it’s what they want to hear or not, the Sensational Six are always honest with each other), kindness (like Donald taking on an extra job to pay for a big date with Daisy), understanding of faults (whether it’s Donald’s feistiness or Goofy’s foolishness, the friends are always forgiving of each other’s faults), and shared interests (like Mickey Mouse and Pluto’s love of fishing).

As well as embracing differences (whether you’re sassy like Daisy or happy-go-lucky like Pluto), supportive of ambitions (such as Mickey Mouse’s lifelong support for Minnie Mouse’s career paths), shared sense of humour (whether you’re always laughing like Mickey Mouse or being the comedian like Goofy), making time for each other (a long-running theme with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse), and being thoughtful (such as the birthday surprises the Sensational Six plan for each other every year).

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