The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show


Mickey Mouse Club Serials: Season Two Short Serials


The Neilson ratings from the first year showed that the third quarter hour of the show, devoted to serials, was the most popular. For the second season, then, short serial episodes were used to replace the opening Newsreel segment on Circus Day (Thursday).

They were very inexpensive to purchase and/or make, compared with in-house production numbers, and could be used as filler material wherever needed in the broadcasting schedule. They also provided an extra venue for using the popular Annette Funicello, who had a pleasant speaking voice and was comfortable with the role of host/narrator.

However, it was really the longer dramatic serials that viewers had tuned in to see. The short semi-documentary serials did not prove very popular, and in the third season were abandoned. A few travel adventures and nature expeditions were cast as Encyclopedia or Newsreel specials that year, with a Mouseketeer host/narrator.

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.



Animal Autobiography
More animal adventures 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. This serial also ran in the first season with different species featured.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
The Camel         Oct 29, 1956
African Babboon         Oct 30, 1956
The Bee         Oct 31, 1956
The Elephant         Nov 01, 1956
Alaskan Sled Dog         Nov 02, 1956

English Correspondent
Ten episode series in the travel format. This particular series was continued from the first season, though there was little continuity between episodes. Correspondents were Dirk Metzger, and for the last episode, after Dirk's family moved back to the USA, Robbie Serpell. The episodes were broadcast over a period of six months, replacing the newsreel slot on Circus Day. For the third season this series turned into an Anything Can Happen Day serial called A Mouseketour to England, with Annette hosting and Robbie Serpell as the voiceless in-country correspondent.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Bekonscots and Rye         Oct 04, 1956
Handicrafts         Oct 18, 1956
Wild West Ponies         Nov 01, 1956
Narrow Boats         Nov 14, 1956
Fox Hounds         Nov 29, 1956
Wood Badge         Dec 13, 1956
First Class Hike         Jan 03, 1957
Sea Scout         Feb 14, 1957
International Patrol Camp         Apr 18, 1957
Veteran Cars         Apr 25, 1957

Japanese Correspondent
Five episode series in the travel format. This particular series was continued from the first season, though there was little continuity between episodes. For this series the correspondent was George Nagata. The episodes were broadcast at several weeks intervals, usually replacing the newsreel slot on Circus Day (Thursday).

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Japanese Circus         Oct 11, 1956
Variety Show         Oct 25, 1956
Dancing School         Nov 08, 1956
Snow Country         Nov 22, 1956
Japanese New Year         Dec 27, 1956
           

Danish Correspondent
Five episode series in the travel format. For this series the correspondent was Lotte Weaver. The episodes were spread out over a five-month period, usually replacing the newsreel slot on Circus Day (Thursday).

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Kingdom of Islands         Dec 06, 1956
Copenhagen         Dec 20, 1956
Guards         Feb 07, 1957
Tivoli         Feb 21, 1957
Circus         May 02, 1957
           

Christmas 'Round the World
Five episode series in the travel format. For this serial various Mouseketeers reportedly acted as the correspondents, with Alvy Moore as the main host. This was a continuation of the serial from the first season, though there was no continuity between episodes.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Christmas in Germany         Dec 18, 1956
Christmas in Canada         Dec 19, 1956
Christmas in Japan         Dec 20, 1956
Christmas in England         Dec 21, 1956
Christmas in Denmark         Dec 24, 1956

The First Americans
Four episode series in the travel format. For this series the host was Tony Nakina, with Iron Eyes Cody as narrator. Footage was largely culled from the studio's documentary The Vanishing Prairie (1954), and from it's just released motion picture Westward Ho, the Wagons! (1956). The latter included clips showing Mouseketeers Karen Pendleton, Cubby O'Brien, and Doreen Tracey.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Origin of the Indians         Dec 25, 1956
Indians on Horseback         Dec 26, 1956
Indians of Yesterday         Dec 27, 1956
Indians of Today         Dec 28, 1956

Sierra Pack Trip
Probably the best of all the short serials done for the Mickey Mouse Club, this five episode series followed two older teenagers going in search of John Muir's heritage. The host/narrator was Alvy Moore, the local cast included Muir's friend Onis Brown, Glen Gallison, and two students, Steve and John, from John Muir High School near Yosemite National Park. Steve's dialogue was provided by Tim Considine in voice-over, while another actor did the voice for Onis Brown.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
A Course For Dudes         Dec 31, 1956
High Country         Jan 01, 1957
Nature's Wonders         Jan 02, 1957
Boots, Planes, and Mules         Jan 03, 1957
Lost Mountain         Jan 04, 1957
           

The Eagle Hunters
Two episode series in the nature expedition format. The host/narrator was Tommy Kirk, the local protagonists were Kent Durden and Gary Hoffman, from California.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Episode #1         Feb 13, 1957
Episode #2         Feb 14, 1957

Children of the World
Two episode series in the travel format. The local protagonist for the first episode was an Inuit boy named Makaluk, for the second, a Thai boy nicknamed "Pok".

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
The Arctic         Feb 15, 1957
Siam         Apr 26, 1957

A Mousekatour to Samoa
Five episode series in the travel format. For this series the studio didn't bother with an ethnic correspondent. Instead the co-hosts/narrators were Tommy Kirk and Annette Funicello, both of whom the studio was anxious to use as much as possible. This was regarded as the worst of the travel serials, though it didn't hurt the popularity of either host.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
At Home in Water         Feb 18, 1957
School Days         Feb 19, 1957
Family at Home         Feb 20, 1957
Sports and Games         Feb 21, 1957
Rythem         Feb 22, 1957

Junior Safari to Africa
Five episode series in the nature expedition format. The co-hosts/narrators were again Tommy Kirk and Annette Funicello. The local protagonists were a South African family camping on a game preserve. This was the last original serial shown in the second season.

Episode         Orig Air Date
           
Epsiode #1         Apr 29, 1957
Epsiode #2         Apr 30, 1957
Epsiode #3         May 01, 1957
Epsiode #4         May 02, 1957
Epsiode #5         May 03, 1957

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