The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show

Lost Episodes Project

"Lost Episodes" is an irregular series highlighting shows from the Mickey Mouse Club's first two seasons that for one reason or another are not readily available for viewing today. The shows are not truly lost, as the 35mm film masters are presumably archived by Disney. However, photos and information about the shows are so rare as to render them "lost" to general knowledge.

Comments on the Lost Episode Project by the Mouseke-reporter

The Mouseke-reporter is not sure how he became the Mouseke-reporter, except that somebody must have a strange sense of humor. Anyway, I'm asking the Webmaster to place these comments on the Home Page because it is starting to look like an obituary section, which is hardly consistent with the "all for fun" theme of the show.

That said, the First Season (S1) of the Mickey Mouse Club (MMC) has always been something of a Black Hole. Thirty-nine Fun with Music numbers were produced in S1, yet as of three years ago, only twenty were available to view. The content of the other nineteen was a mystery to the average fan. Like Stanley looking for Livingstone (this will date me), I set out in search of the "Lost Episodes."

With this month's "Lost Episode" feature, we now know the content of fifteen of them, but nobody's asked where I found this stuff. I could be making it up, you know. Truth is, the UCLA Film and Television Archive holds approximately 400 episodes of the MMC which were a "donation" (in lieu of destruction) from ABC-TV. Not all episodes are available, and they are not in order. The Archive will not allow copying or viewing of the films but will grant requests for viewing after the films have been digitalized. These requests are granted at the rapid rate of two films per quarter as the process is costly. This is why the Lost Episodes are an irregular feature.

I feel fortunate, even privileged, to be able to see the Mouseketeer numbers that have been "lost" for over sixty years. Easily, the biggest find was Mousekedance, probably the best MMC number that no one has ever seen based on the complex dancing, excellent production work, and driving musical score. And Annette was in it. I have no idea why it wasn't in syndication unless the studio cut up the original to make commercials.

Due to a glitch in the Archive's indexing, I almost didn't find Mousekedance. The glitch made finding items from the second half of S1 so risky that I had to view many numbers as Season Four (S4) reruns. Ironically, S4 saved the project.

My biggest disappointment was requesting the correct S4 show that contained Old MacDonald Had a Tree and finding the number didn't appear. Thankfully, this has only happened once. The second biggest disappointment was requesting the George Givot Guest Star Day, hoping that Givot (the voice of restauranteur Tony in Lady and the Tramp) would engage the Mice musically like Jerry Colonna. He didn't. This GSD was the source of the photo of Billie and Mary Sartori dressed as Greek goddesses.

The biggest surprise was viewing The Village Blacksmith and expecting some type of square dance only to see the Mice dancing a boogie. The biggest revelation was how talented Mary Sartori was, not only at dancing and singing, but in the poise and timing of her acting. I continue to believe that she was the most underused Mouseketeer. On the other hand, and as I expected, Tim Rooney was consistently lost.

The reviews of The Pencil Song and The History of Drums (shown on ACH Day) will close out the available S1 musical numbers. Unfortunately, Old MacDonald #2, Shoe Song #2 and Cool Calm and Collected remain lost. Anyone with information about them please contact me via the website. I will now turn to the handful of missing FWM numbers from S2 and S3, and any other rare and/or interesting shows.

Special thanks are in order. Disney Historian Bill Cotter painstakingly researched and indexed the contents of all four seasons of the MMC. This project would not have reached square one without his work. Credit goes to our illustrious Webmaster for finding this treasure trove at UCLA and creating the format for the Lost Episode Review. Contributor Marcia from Kansas continues to find amazing stuff to add to our MMC knowledge. Deepest gratitude to Mouseketeers Bonni Kern, Darlene Gillespie, Nancy Abbate, Lonnie Burr and Ron Steiner for details I would never have known. I learned for example, that Bonni wore the black nautical cap in Mickey Mouse Mambo because her straw hat kept falling off when she did the Limbo.

FINALLY, here is what I REALLY want to say: THANK YOU to the S1 Mouseketeers who only stayed that one season. There were more of you in S1 than in another other season, yet most of your work remains unseen. Many of you were really quite talented but we never got much of a chance to see it. I don't know why this was. I can only hope that by this little project the people who remember the Mouseketeers can learn a little more about you and appreciate your efforts, even through the years.

--- Randall

The Lost Episodes Table of Contents

  Lost Episodes 1: The 1956 Nominating Convention Newsreel Specials
  Lost Episodes 2: Sho-Jo-Ji, Fun With Music, Mousegetar Music Lesson
  Lost Episodes 3: Mickey Mouse Mambo and Mousekedance
  Lost Episodes 4: Animal Alphabet and Hi! To You
  Lost Episodes 5: Mixed-up Mother Goose and The Village Blacksmith
  Lost Episodes 6: Get Busy and Roy at the Dike
  Lost Episodes 7: Hiawatha and A Cowboy Needs a Horse
  Lost Episodes 8: Be Sure You're Right and Roy Roy Quick on the Draw
  Lost Episodes 9: The Pencil Song and The History of Drums
  Lost Episodes 10: Holiday in Hawaii and The Steiner Brothers

And Now the Commercial

The UCLA Film & Television Archive is the world's largest university-based collection of film and television, and dedicated to preserve our cultural heritage saved in moving images. The Archive preserves historically important film and television programs, and presents programs that serve us all. It is a resource to students, scholars and researchers, as well as the source of the "Lost Episode" reviews for this website. If you enjoy the reviews, please help the Archive continue this important work.

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