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Disney's MICKEY MOUSE FUNHOUSE Debuts First-Ever Armenian Episode: "Vardavar!"

Updated: Apr 4

Disney Mickey Mouse Funhouse Vardavar with Astghik the goddess of water and Minnie and Chip and Dale

Disney's beloved MICKEY MOUSE FUNHOUSE premiered its first-ever episode centered around the Armenian holiday, "Vardavar!" The episode showcased the traditions of the Armenian water festival, marking Disney's inaugural representation of Armenian culture—a momentous step toward inclusivity and diversity in children's programming.

The episode, “Vardavar!,” was written by Kathleen Sarnelli Kapukchyan, whose husband is Armenian. The writer tells the Armenian Film Society that she wrote the episode for her young son. The narrative revolves around Minnie Mouse, who finds herself in a fashion conundrum when she realizes her outfit is not suitable for the traditional Armenian festival, Vardavar. The festival is known for its water games and lively celebrations.

Minnie Mouse and her friends are greeted by the Armenian goddess Astghik (Star) in the Land of Myth and Legend, which is modeled after Armenian architecture– notably Garni and Cascade. Astghik is voiced by Liana Bdéwi, who proudly embraces her Armenian heritage. Astghik presents Minnie with her own Armenian Taraz, symbolizing the integration of cultural elements into the storyline.

Chip and Dale introduced Astghik with traditional Armenian musical instruments - the Zurna and Dhol and chipmunks sell tahn and make khorovats – contributed to the episode's immersive cultural experience.

"Vardavar!" is not only an animated tale but a celebration of Armenian culture, with the inclusion of the Armenian language and cultural references throughout the episode. 

The question has arisen: could Astghik be the next Disney Princess?

Disney Mickey Mouse Funhouse Vardavar with Astghik the goddess of water and Minnie and Chip and Dale

The “Vardavar” episode premiered on Disney Channel and Disney Junior on March 1, 2024. The episode is later available on Disney+. You can now purchase and stream this episode on YouTube for $2.99 (HD). 


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