The Mickey Mouse Club is an American variety television show that aired intermittently from 1955 to 1996 and returned in 2017 to social media.
Created by Walt Disney and produced by Walt Disney Productions, the program was first televised in 1955 by ABC, featuring a regular but ever-changing cast of mostly teen performers. ABC broadcast reruns weekday afternoons during the 1958–1959 season, airing right after American Bandstand. The show was revived after its initial 1955–1959 run on ABC, first from 1977–1979 for first-run syndication, again from 1989–1996 as The All-New Mickey Mouse Club (also known to fans as MMC from 1993–1996) airing exclusively on cable television's The Disney Channel, then rebooted in 2017 with the moniker Club Mickey Mouse airing exclusively on internet social media.
The Mickey Mouse Club was Walt Disney's second venture into producing a television series, the first being the Walt Disney anthology series initially titled Disneyland. Disney used both shows to help finance and promote the building of the Disneyland theme park. Being busy with these projects and others, Disney turned The Mickey Mouse Club over to Bill Walsh to create and develop the format, initially aided by Hal Adelquist.
The result was a variety show for children, with such regular features as a newsreel, a cartoon, and a serial, as well as music, talent, and comedy segments. One unique feature of the show was the Mouseketeer Roll Call, in which many (but not all) of that day's line-up of regular performers would introduce themselves by name to the television audience. In the serials, teens faced challenges in everyday situations, often overcome by their common sense or through recourse to the advice of respected elders. Mickey Mouse himself appeared in every show not only in vintage cartoons originally made for theatrical release but in opening, interstitial, and closing segments made especially for the show. In both the vintage cartoons and new animated segments, Mickey was voiced by his creator Walt Disney. (Disney had previously voiced the character theatrically from 1928 to 1947 before being replaced by sound effects artist Jimmy MacDonald.)
In the 1977 Walt Disney Productions revived the concept, but modernized the show cosmetically, with a disco re-recording of the theme song and a more ethnically diverse group of young cast members. The sets were brightly colored and simpler than the detailed black and white artwork of the original. Like the original, nearly each day's episode included a vintage cartoon, though usually in color from the late 1930s and onward. The 1977 Mouseketeers were part of the halftime show of Super Bowl XI on January 9, 1977.
1980's and 90's rebootEdit
Reruns of the original The Mickey Mouse Club began airing on The Disney Channel with the channel's 1983 launch. While the show was popular with younger audiences, The Disney Channel executives felt it had become dated over the years, particularly as it was aired in black-and-white. Their answer was to create a brand-new version of the Club, one geared toward contemporary audiences. Notably, the all-new "club-members" would wear high-school like Mouseketeer jackets without the iconic Mickey Mouse ears. This show was called The All-New Mickey Mouse Club (also known as "MMC" to fans).
This version of the series is notable for featuring a number of cast members who went on to international success in music and acting, including Tony Lucca, Chasen Hampton, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Nikki DeLoach, Keri Russell, and Ryan Gosling.
This was the first version of the club to have any studio audience, though a fairly small group.
Former Mouseketeer Don Grady guest-starred on an episode during the show's first season. Grady, along with fellow Mouseketeers Annette Funicello, Bobby Burgess, Tommy Cole, Sharon Baird, and Sherry Alberoni were reunited on the 100th episode, during the show's third season. Funicello would later appear on the show again, in an interview with the Mouseketeer Lindsey Alley.
On September 8, 2017, it was announced that the Mickey Mouse Club will be rebooted under the name "Club Mickey Mouse" with a new set of Mouseketeers, and for the first time, the series will be available on Facebook and Instagram, rather than its original half hour to full hour format on television, and will be more like a reality show than a variety show, with about 90% of its content being behind the scenes. This incarnation of the Mickey Mouse Club features eight Mouseketeers who range in age from 15 to 18 (rather than 8 to 14 like the original): Regan Aliyah, Jenna Alvarez, Ky Baldwin, Gabe De Guzman, Leanne Tessa Langston, Brianna Mazzola, Sean Oliu, and Will Simmons. The Mouseketeers will also be joined by Todrick Hall, who will serve as a mentor to the young cast, and Jenn Chia as the host.
Main Article: Mickey Mouse March
| Walt Disney anthology series, The Mickey Mouse Club, DuckTales, Goof Troop, Darkwing Duck (series), Quack Pack, The Ink and Paint Club, Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Minnie's Bow-Toons, Mickey Mousekersize, Mickey's World Record Animals, Mickey Mouse (TV Series), Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Legend of the Three Caballeros, DuckTales (2017)