The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show

Walt Disney Treasures DVD: Your Host, Walt Disney

In December 2006 the Disney Company issued this entry in their popular Treasures series of DVDs. Like the rest of the series, this DVD comes in a two-part metal tin, that opens to reveal a standard size black plastic case with a silver-gray wraparound paper cover. Inside are two discs, a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by Leonard Maltin and Roy E. Disney, a small reproduction of a Walt Disney publicity photo on card stock, and an eight-page color booklet on the disc contents.

The discs contain five features of varying length, four slightly shorter bonus features, and some still galleries. The features are of varying video quality but are reasonably clean; one is a "lost" kinoscope, padded with film footage. The three features on Disc 1 are monochrome, the two on Disc 2 are in color. One feature and one bonus feature have appeared on earlier Disney DVD's for separate movie releases.

Fans of the Mickey Mouse Club will find one feature of special interest, the Fourth Anniversary Show, which has the Mouseketeers performing several musical numbers. One other feature, Backstage Party, features Annette, Tommy Kirk, and Kevin Corcoran, while one bonus feature, Working With Walt, has interviews with Bobby Burgess, Cheryl Holdridge, Tommy Cole, Don Grady, and Tim Considine.

Each disc also has introductary comments by Leonard Maltin. His presence here is more understandable than on earlier Treasures DVD, since the material is of disparite content, and is not readily obvious in origin. There's a phony bonus option to register your DVD, which simply contains the URL for a website where you can really register your disc (as if you don't already get enough spam).

Disc 1 Contents

Feature 1: Where Do The Stories Come From?
An interesting monochrome Disneyland episode from 1956 that shows how the Story Department at the Disney Studio works. This was Walt's specialty; Disney stories are even more stylistically recognizable than Disney animation.

Feature 2: The Fourth Anniversary Show
This is a monochrome episode of Disneyland from Sept 30, 1957. The first half contains some background on the making of the cartoon Peter and The Wolf (let's hope Walt was kinder to Prokofiev than he was to Stravinsky), and the cartoon itself. The second half stars the Mouseketeers, who appear in musical sequences celebrating both Disneyland and a forthcoming movie (never actually filmed) called The Rainbow Road To Oz. Doreen, Bobby, Lonnie, and Bonnie all have nice turns, but Darlene is the star, though her moment in the spotlight would soon slip away. Also featured: Fess Parker singing, previews of Jerome Courtland as Andy Burnett, and Guy Williams appearing as Zorro.
Feature 3: Kodak Presents Disneyland '59
A kinoscope recording, enhanced with film footage, of a long "lost" monochrome special from 1959. This features various television personalities of the day in parades and events celebrating new rides at Disneyland. Look for brief glimpses of Roy Williams and Annette.
Bonus Feature: My Dad, Walt Disney
Leonard Maltin interviews Diane Disney Miller, who tries hard to convince us that Ron Miller really was a studio director. Even a dozen years after Sharon's passing, you can hear the catch in Diane's voice whenever she mentions her departed sister.
Bonus Feature: Galleries
There are three galleries on this disc, including Hyperion Days, Walt At Work, and Walt's Playground. Each contains about three dozen photos, and is preceded by an instruction page.

Disc 2 Contents

Feature 1: Backstage Party
This hour-long color Walt Disney Presents episode dates from 1962. It features the cast and crew of the movie Babes in Toyland in backstage scenes and at a wrap party. Lots of Annette, lesser amounts of Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran, with Tom Mahoney and George Bruns.
Feature 2: The Tenth Anniversary Show
I have a deep dark confession to make: Disneyland (the park) and Disney animation from 1950 on bore me, so I just skipped through this quickly. But those who like this sort of thing will find it's the sort of thing they like.
Bonus Feature: I Captured The King of The Leprechauns
This hour-long monochrome Walt Disney Presents episode from 1959 was previously released on the Darby O'Gill And The Little People DVD (2003). Leonard Maltin quite reasonably included it here as Walt performs throughout it as an actor.
Bonus Feature: Disneyland USA At Radio City Music Hall
A six-minute clip of Walt appearing on film at Radio City Music Hall in 1962 in an interactive show with a stage performance by Mickey Mouse.
Bonus Feature: Working With Walt
Bobby Burgess, Cheryl Holdridge, Tommy Cole, Don Grady, Tim Considine, Tommy Kirk, and Tommy Sands talk about working with Walt. Cheryl reveals that when up to mischief in the studio, the mice always took Annette along so they wouldn't get in trouble.

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