Mickey Mouse Club, History And Facts. Why? Because We Like You

By | October 2, 2020

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Left: Mickey Mouse Club title card. Right: Anette Funicello in the '70s, holding a picture of herself from her Mickey Mouse Club days. Sources: Wikimedia Commons; IMDB

The Mickey Mouse Club was a '50s TV institution that gave us Mouseketeers a shoutable theme song, a yearning to wear Mickey Mouse ears, and Annette Funicello. When ABC first aired the children's show, the network could not have known that this offshoot of Walt Disney's empire -- freshly expanded with the 1955 opening of Disneyland -- would not only thrive in the '50s but live on in several reboots. Then there's the Disney Channel, Disney Plus -- it all started with 39 kids wearing turtleneck sweaters with their first names across the chest, and mouse ears. Those big round mouse ears.

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Source: (Wikimedia Commonst)

In the 1950s, the Disney company was stretched a bit thin financially as growth of the company started to drain their finances. They needed money to help fund Disneyland, which opened in 1955, and decided to offer two shows to ABC; the network then gave Disney half a million dollars and Disney promised the network two shows, one of which was The Mickey Mouse Club. The original vision was for the show to be a live show. However, the show was not live, but followed a specific format, beginning with the animation that accompanied the opening theme song, “(The) Mickey Mouse Club March,” written by Jimmie Dodd: