Monday, June 18, 2012

The Mickey Mouse Club Story

The Mickey Mouse Club was an American variety television show produced by Walt Disney Productions that ran from 1955 to 1996. It was first televised from 1955 to 1959 on ABC, featuring a regular but ever-changing cast of teenage performers. The Mickey Mouse Club was created by Walt Disney and has been revived, reformatted and reimagined several times since its initial 1955–1959 run on ABC, first in 1977 for syndication and later (1989-95) for seven seasons on the Disney Channel. Continue after the page break for a closer look at Walt Disney's original Mickey Mouse Club...

The Mickey Mouse Club was Walt Disney's second venture into producing a television series, the first being the Walt Disney anthology television series, initially titled Disneyland. Disney used both shows to help finance and promote the building of the Disneyland theme park. Walt and Roy literally mortgaged everything in order to build Walt's dream and until Disneyland could start to turn a profit, The Mickey Mouse Club became part of their saving grace. Being busy with these projects and others, Disney turned The Mickey Mouse Club over to Bill Walsh to create and develop the format, initially aided by Hal Adelquist.

The result was a variety show for children, with such regular features as a newsreel, a cartoon, and a serial, as well as music, talent and comedy segments. One unique feature of the show was the Mouseketeer Roll Call, in which many (but not all) of that day's line-up of regular performers would introduce themselves by name to the television audience. In the serials, teens faced challenges in everyday situations, often overcome by their common sense or through recourse to the advice of respected elders. Mickey Mouse himself appeared in every show not only in vintage cartoons originally made for theatrical release, but in opening, interstitial and closing segments made especially for the show. In both the vintage cartoons and in the new animated segments, Mickey was voiced by his creator Walt Disney. Disney had previously voiced the character theatrically from 1928 to 1947, and then was replaced by sound effects artist Jimmy MacDonald. I can't think of a better way to describe the show and all the behind the scenes things that took place then to let some of the original cast members do it themselves. Here now is the Mickey Mouse Club Story:


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