Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Vintage Disney: The Mickey Mouse Club

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing vintage Disney attractions and entertainment and a little Disney history.

Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? If you sing along to the Mickey Mouse March, then you have had at least a small taste of the Mickey Mouse Club in your life.

The Mickey Mouse Club has had several iterations throughout the years. Interestingly enough, each generations seems to have their own beloved cast of Mouseketeers. Today, let's explore the three versions.

The Mickey Mouse Club (1955-1959)

When I think about vintage Disney, I think about projects that Walt worked on, and the Mickey Mouse Club was a project that he loved.

By Macfadden Publications (TV Radio Mirror page 21.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Walt Disney was one of the first to use the new medium of television as a way to gain excitement about a product without it being an implicit advertisement. His first television series, Disneyland, was a way to showcase each land and and technological advancement while the parks were being built. After that series aired, every kid in America wanted to visit Disneyland, and most adults too.

The Mickey Mouse Club wasn't a hard sell like Disneyland though. The Mickey Mouse Club was essentially a variety show for kids. What's a variety show? Think Saturday Night Live, but rated G. There were fun skits and cartoon segments, as well as songs and dances.

The original Mickey Mouse Club featured many Mouseketeers who turned into stars, including Annette Funicello, who was a beloved American figure and Disney superstar.

The New Mickey Mouse Club (1977)

Loyal viewers of the original Mickey Mouse Club now had their own kids, and just like today when sentimental shows make a comeback (see: Fuller House, Gilmore Girls, Girl Meets World) the Mickey Mouse Club came roaring back. The New Mickey Mouse Club was similar to the original, but with a more diverse cast. 

The All New Mickey Mouse Club (1989-1995)

Do you remember a show from your childhood that you loved so much, you had to rush home to see it? The All New Mickey Mouse Club (MMC) was that show for me. I would beg my parents to let me eat dinner in the living room where we had a cable TV so I could turn to the Disney Channel and watch the show each day at 5:30pm. 

I specifically remember the later seasons, and in 1994 while at Walt Disney World they were filming at MGM Studios, now Disney Hollywood Studios, we were walking by the back lot when we were approached by a Cast Member recruiting for the studio audience. Unfortunately I missed the cut off for age requirement. (I am told by my mother that I wasn't happy and threw quite a fit.) 

The MMC not only was a great show, but it also produced some amazing talent. Here are just some of the names of the All New Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeers: 
  • Christina Aguilera
  • JC Chasez 
  • Ryan Gosling
  • Keri Russell
  • Britney Spears
  • Justin Timberlake

Do you have any memories of The Mickey Mouse Club? Share it in the comments below.

For more vintage Disney, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

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