|Feature: The Mouseketeer Reunion
The show stars Annette Funicello, Paul Williams, Tim Considine, and thirty-one of the thirty-nine original Mouseketeers. (Those not making the show were Nancy Abbate, Don Grady, John Lee Johann, Dallas Johann, Paul Petersen, Bronson Scott, J. J. Solari, and Mark Sutherland). Original MMC highlights comprise less than a fifth of the show; most of the new material is performed by just nine of the Mouseketeers and Paul Williams.
The best sequences are the new numbers done by Annette, Lonnie, Bobby, Sharon, Tommy, Cubby, Darlene, Karen, and Sherry. (Why Sherry? Either Doreen was in the Disney dog-house at this time, or Sherry was on somebody's Christmas gift list). These folks are still wonderful performers, and really play well off each other. Film montages of Bobby, Darlene, Cubby, and Sharon performing with their younger selves are a highlight.
Annette does a good job hosting, showing leadership and confidence she never displayed as a teenager. Paul Williams, as narrator, singer, and comic relief, is on a little too much. He performs Bruce Johnston's Disney Girls and a forgettable ditty about Walt Disney. With so many good singers among the Mouseketeers, you really have to wonder why Paul gets the major solos.
The show, originally scheduled to be filmed in the summer of 1980, was delayed midway through production by a strike, and wasn't completed until October of that year. Lonnie Burr, who helped create the show, was forced by the delay to drop out of some portions due to other performing obligations. The excellent choreography was done by Dee Dee Wood, with Sharon Baird listed as Tap Consultant. Though it's ungallent to say so, the Mouseketeer guys seem to have aged better than the gals; a slight recompense, perhaps, for all the attention the female Mouseketeers received during the original show.