The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show


Mickey Mouse Club Serials: What I Want To Be


This was to be an ongoing set of serials, each one focusing on a different career choice for boys and girls. The original idea was developed by writer Stirling Silliphant, a former Disney publicist who returned to the studio for this project. Only the first serial, Airline Pilot, Airline Hostess, was made. The second serial was to be about dairy farming, however the series was cancelled when Stirling Silliphant argued with Walt Disney and was fired.

Synopsis

Alvy Moore, Roving Reporter for the Mickey Mouse Club, has been assigned to select a boy and girl to fly to New York as part of a TWA crew. While visiting an unnamed airport, he spots a girl named Pat on a class tour, who pretends to be an airline hostess. Later, the girl leads Alvy to a model airplane flying competition, where her friend Duncan is also recruited. The three of them go to the TWA training school, where Pat is handed over to Virginia, a TWA Hostess instructor, while Duncan tours a variety of flight operations and maintenance facilities. After training in a flight simulator, Duncan is given his TWA uniform, and rejoins Pat for a TWA flight to New York. Duncan joins the flight crew in the cockpit, while Pat helps the cabin crew take care of the passengers. After several mild incidents, like a lost Air Force training jet and a cranky little boy passenger, the plane arrives in New York, where Pat and Duncan are greeted by Mouseketeers Nancy, Lee, and Karen.

Episode Guide

Episode         Orig Air Date         Summary
                     
Part 1         Oct   3, 1955         Introduction to Alvy, Pat, and Duncan
Part 2         Oct   4, 1955         The model airplane flying competetion
Part 3         Oct   5, 1955         TWA Training center: Hostess school and Control Tower
Part 4         Oct   6, 1955         Hostess styling and poise; weather maps
Part 5         Oct   7, 1955         Passenger relations, flight planning, Pat gets her wings
Part 6         Oct 10, 1955         Flight simulator, Duncan's uniform, Hostess crew quarters
Part 7         Oct 11, 1955         Arrival at airport, meeting the flight crew, pre-flight
Part 8         Oct 12, 1955         Boarding, greeting passengers, checklists, takeoff!
Part 9         Oct 13, 1955         Serving meals, lost USAF trainer jet, Grand Canyon
Part 10         Oct 14, 1955         Night flying, cranky little boy, landing, New York


Notes

Stirling Silliphant both created the original concept and wrote the teleplay for the series. He also acted as production supervisor for the serial, an unusual role for a writer. His original pitch to Walt Disney emphasized recruiting outside businesses and associations to donate equipment, people, and money to the serial featuring their profession. This worked well with the first serial; TWA was already a concessionaire at Disneyland, and the nature of the occupation required items the studio couldn't readily supply. Filming was done at the TWA Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and at the Disney Studio and on location around Burbank, California.

After this serial finished filming, Stirling Silliphant and Walt Disney got into an argument, the subject of which is unknown. Speculation suggests two likely possibilities. First, Walt Disney may have been displeased at the writing style and content of the series, which was pitched at a higher age level than the rest of the Mickey Mouse Club, had dry, understated humor, and contained little child-to-child interaction. The second possibility is that Stirling objected to the next occupation in the series, dairy farming, as being something not likely to have wide appeal among kids.

In 1989 the third incarnation of the Mickey Mouse Club, now just called MMC, featured an ongoing feature called What I Want To Be. These were one-shot interviews with an astronaut, radio DJ, paramedic, and others, rather than a dramatized serial.

Credits

Cast



Alvy Moore         Himself
Patricia Morrow         Herself
Duncan Richardson         Himself
(Unknown)         Stuart Morrow (Pat's brother)
Mrs. Gordon McLean         Pat's teacher
Nancy Abbate         Herself
John Lee Johann         Himself
Karen Pendleton         Herself

Most speaking parts were given out to be uncredited TWA personnel, though it's likely many were simply extras from a casting agency. Whether TWA or actors, some of the more prominent folks whose names are known are listed below.

Virginia Hrubant         Herself (Chief Hostess Instructor)
Miss Shaw         Herself (Hostess Instructor)
Miss Wellman         Herself (Hostess Trainee)
Capt Harold Blackburn         Himself (Pilot)

Patricia Morrow (b. Feb 17, 1945) had the classic child actor's experience: a flurry of film and television roles from ages eight to thirteen, when her career went dormant. However, she woke it up again in 1964, with some TV guest spots, before landing a recurring role as "Rita Jacks Harrington" on Peyton Place from 1964-69.
1965

Duncan Richardson (b. 1943) first appeared in Saturday Evening Post at age three, started acting a year later, and made nine films and one television show before doing this serial. Afterwards he did another film and two TV episodes, but his show business career, like that of many child actors, ended when he hit fourteen.
1958

Crew



Bill Walsh         Producer
Stirling Silliphant         Writer, Production Supervisor
Chuck Haas         Director
William Lava         Theme Song
Marvin Aubrey Davis         Art Director
Edward Colman, A.S.C.         Director of Photography
Ellsworth Hoagland, A.C.E.         Film Editor
Robert O. Cook         Sound
Chuck Keehne         Costumes
Gordon McLean         Assistant Director

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