The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show

Extinct Attractions Club DVD: The Mouseketeer Reunion

The Extinct Attractions Club was the brainchild of Dave Oneal, an audio-visual wiz. Dave offered a variety of DVD's for sale that contained material too esoteric in scope to be commercially viable for Disney itself to release. Most of his product line depicted obsolete rides and places at Disneyland and Disney World, hence the name of his "club". He also offered this copy of the televised 25th Anniversary Show for the original Mickey Mouse Club. Originally broadcast in November 1980 on NBC, as a special episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, it has since been shown on Disney cable at least once in the past dozen years. Unfortunately, the Club went out of business a few years ago and the reunion show DVD is no longer available.

The disc comes in a standard black case with a professionally-done slip-on cover. The disc itself is imprinted with a faded copy of the MMC logo and the disc title. There are no other materials included with the disc and case, and the disc itself contains only the one feature. The disc has evidently been manually copied from a digital master, which in turn appears to have derived from a videotape copy. The quality is acceptable given the price and lack of official alternatives, but there were quite a few audio and visual skips in the copy I saw. The show runs about forty-nine minutes, including credits.

Disc Contents

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.

hort retrospectives are done on Roy Williams and Jimmie Dodd; there's no mention of Bob Amsberry. A slightly scruffy Tim Considine comes on to review the MMC serials, and to receive his mouse ears. The Blue and White team mice get only two numbers in this show, both of them large group efforts. They do, however, finally get to be in Roll Call after twenty-five years.

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.
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