The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show


Mickey Mouse Club Serials: Season One Short Serials


The serials listed here are generally short semi-documentary productions, usually made by a freelancer or an independent company, and then given a voice-over narration at the Disney Studio. They are often hard to distinguish from the newsreel specials. Some of the serials are longer, but because they contain little or no storyline, and are meant to be educational, they are included here.

These short serials fell into three main types: animal adventures, nature expeditions, and cultural travel. The animal series usually were standalone stories, with no continuity between episodes. The nature expeditions and travel series had simple storylines and one or two young protagonists, who were seen but never heard; the films had no soundtrack. Music, sound effects, and occasional voice-over dialogue would be added in at the studio using other actors. The nature expeditions had continuity between episodes; the travel formats sometimes did, but not always. In the travel format, an ethnic correspondent would be introduced on a set in the Disney Studio, then narrate as the local protagonist(s) of the country was seen on film. Sometimes the correspondent was a Mouseketeer, and sometimes a Mouseketeer and an ethnic correspondent would jointly host.

Most of the information on this page came from original research done by Bill Cotter, however, any errors of fact or mistakes in interpretation are my own.



English Correspondent
Five episode series in the travel format. For this serial the correspondent was Dirk Metzger, an American living in England. Unlike the other travel serials this season, the voice-over narration was done in the country where the episodes were filmed. Dirk would do more episodes in this series during the second season. When his father, a Colonel in the USMC, was transferred back to Arlington, Virginia during the second season, Dirk was invited to host and narrate third-season Newsreel specials on the US Government.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Bushey Park School         Oct 17, 1955
The Pool of London         Oct 18, 1955
Covent Gardens         Oct 19, 1955
Battersea Dogs Home         Oct 20, 1955
Boy Soldier Maker         Oct 21, 1955

Let's Go Series
Five episode series in the nature expedition format. For this serial the narrator was Alvy Moore, while each epsiode had its own youthful protagonist(s). Moore was originally slated to be the "Roving Mooseketeer", a role he played only in the serial What I Want To Be. He would do three more serial narrations in the first season, and one in the second season. He was brought to the studio by writer Stirling Silliphant, but survived Silliphant's dismissal by Walt Disney.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Let's Go - Arizona         Oct 24, 1955
Let's Go - Skin Diving         Oct 25, 1955
Let's Go - Exploring         Oct 26, 1955
Let's Go - Shark Hunting         Oct 27, 1955
Let's Go - on an Elephant Roundup         Oct 28, 1955

Border Collie
Four episode dramatic series set in Hamilton County, Illinois. Bobby Evans played Rob Brown, who tries to train a border collie to be a sheep dog for a contest. He succeeds with the help of an old trainer, played by Arthur N. Allen. The narrator was Alvy Moore, and the original title of the series in pre-broadcast promotional material was The Scamp. Larry Lansburgh, a longtime friend of Walt Disney, directed this serial and owned the dog Scamp who was used in it. The teleplay was written by Bill Cox.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
#1         Oct 31, 1955
#2         Nov 01, 1955
#3         Nov 02, 1955
#4         Nov 03, 1955
           

Japanese Correspondent
Five episode series in the travel format. For this serial the correspondent was George Nagata, who would do another set of episodes in the second season, and some newsreel specials in the third season.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Japanese Excursion         Dec 12, 1955
Japanese Home         Dec 13, 1955
Japanese Amusement         Dec 14, 1955
Japanese School         Dec 15, 1955
Japanese Sports and Games         Dec 16, 1955
           

Christmas 'Round the World
Five episode series in the travel format. For this serial various Mouseketeers acted as the correspondents, with Alvy Moore as the narrator. More episodes were done in the second season. Neither series was ever rerun, syndicated, nor shown on the Disney Channel.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Christmas in Switzerland         Dec 19, 1955
Christmas in Holland and Italy         Dec 20, 1955
Christmas in Mexico         Dec 21, 1955
Christmas in Sweden #1         Dec 22, 1955
Christmas in Sweden #2         Dec 23, 1955

Animal Autobiography
Seven episode series culled from True-Life Adventure Films. Each episode focused on a different species, with a voice-over narration personifying the animal narrator. There was no continuity between episodes.

Episode         Orig Air Date         Narrator
                     
The Buffalo         Dec 26, 1955         Bob Johnson
The Coyote         Dec 27, 1955         Dallas McKennon
The Black Bear         Dec 28, 1955         June Foray
The Prairie Dog         Dec 29, 1955         Richard Beals
The King of Beasts         Dec 30, 1955         Bob Johnson
The Giraffe         Feb 23, 1956         Sterling Holloway
The Mountain Lion         Feb 24, 1956         Bob Johnson

Mexican Correspondent
Five episode series in the travel format. For this serial the correspondent was Gabriel Lopez, and the local protagonist Andy Velasquez.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Introduction to Andy Velasquez         Jan 16, 1956
Pepe Ortiz Bull Ranch         Jan 17, 1956
The Charros         Jan 18, 1956
Acapulco         Jan 19, 1956
Mexico City         Jan 20, 1956

San Juan Expedition
Five episode series in the nature expedition format. Alvy Moore hosted and narrates as a group of older boys and their adult guides travel the San Juan River in the Four Corners area between Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Storyline and narration were written by Lee Chaney.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Start of the Trip and Sandwaves         Jan 23, 1956
Rapids and Petroglyphs         Jan 24, 1956
Gold Panning and Mining Ruins         Jan 25, 1956
Flash Flood         Jan 26, 1956
Uranium Claim & Rainbow Bridge         Jan 27, 1956
     

Italian Correspondent
Five episode series in the travel format. For this serial the correspondent was Annette Funicello. This was the last original serial shown the first season, the show going into reruns until the following October. It was the studio's first acknowledgment of Annette's growing popularity.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Rome         Feb 27, 1956
Circus Family         Feb 28, 1956
The Boy's Republic         Feb 29, 1956
Venice Gondolier         Mar 01, 1956
Venice Glass Blower         Mar 02, 1956

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