When GM introduced the Lumina for the 1990 model year, they wanted to prove that their new mid-sized line-up for Chevrolet was a great option for families. What better way to accomplish that task than to create a tie-in with Disney?
Around the same time as the introduction of the Lumina, Disney was preparing to open their new theme-park, Disney MGM Studios. The Lumina would become the official vehicle of Disney MGM Studios (because every theme-park needs an official vehicle), and a series of short commercials were created featuring Disney characters animated over live-action film à-la Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The first commercial premiered during the 61st Academy Awards. Details regarding the production process for these commercials can be found here.
GM was initially concerned that people might be offended by using the well-known cartoon characters to push their new products, but soon discovered through focus groups that “our testing showed that Mickey and Minnie brought tremendous believability to our product”
The Disney cartoon characters may have been too well-known, however. Supposedly, GM discontinued the use of these commercials fairly quickly as they discovered that consumers remembered the characters much better than the cars themselves.
GM would later partner with Warner Bros. for a special trim level of their new at the time Venture minivan in another attempt to grab the attention of the market of family buys.