In the animated inserts, Walt Disney provided the voice of Mickey Mouse for the very last time. He retired from voicing the character during the production of Fun & Fancy Free (1947) because he simply could not do the required falsetto anymore, and let sound effects man James MacDonald take over. See more »
Got big doings this week. Adventure, fun, music, cartoons, news. Everybody ready?
Then on with the show!
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"Hey There, Hi There, Ho There, You're As Welcome As Can Be"
For the five years of the run of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club it was the most exclusive club in the world for the cool kids. So what if you had to wear those dorky ears and in front of millions of viewers to be a member. You got to wear those cool cowboy clothes at the end of the week on Talent Roundup Day. And wouldn't you like to leave the world you knew behind just to hang out with everyone from Annette and Bobby to the little ones Karen and Cubby.
Kids who grew up watching this show faithfully when they learned the world according to Disney wasn't exactly the truth were the ones that tuned in, turned on and dropped out in the next decade. I wasn't one of them, but I sure knew where they were coming from.
These kids in the Disney movies, in the serials on the Mickey Mouse Club and in their singing and dancing and all around talent were the role models of a generation. It seemed like if you put on those Mousekeears you could dance like Bobby Burgess, sing like Darlene Gillespie, or even play the drums like Cubby O'Brien. Millions like me wished they were good enough to join.
The show had two big Mooseketeers as they were called, Disney cartoonist Roy Williams who should have gotten a lot more money for looking so ridiculous and singer/actor Jimmy Dodd.
In fact Dodd I believe was a big part of the reason for the show's success. As an adult he looked right at home with the kids and I'm not talking about Michael Jackson kind of at home. Dodd had a middling career as a journeyman character actor, mostly in western roles. Mainstream movie fans might remember him for his small bit in Yankee Doodle Dandy calling young George M. Cohan out to greet his public, the public being a group of tough kids who took literally his boast to lick any kid in town in Peck's Bad Boy.
Dodd reached real stardom in the Mickey Mouse Club. He set a respectful tone to the show, told the kids at home to mind their parents and lead an upright life. Dodd according to contemporaries was a religious man, but never overtly proselytized. According to many of the now grownup Mouseketeers Jimmy Dodd was the real deal, exactly as you saw him on television
In the hour you saw Disney cartoons, true life adventure films, good kid's serials like Spin and Marty and Corky and the White Shadow and the singing and dancing of the coolest kids on the planet. Those good enough to be members of the Mickey Mouse Club.
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