THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB'S magical mix of entertainment was so captivating to television's first generation of children, watching it became a daily ritual. And so the first day of the show's second season, millions thrilled to the debut of a new adventure series, THE HARDY BOYS: THE MYSTERY OF THE APPLEGATE Treasure. All the cliff-hanging suspense unfolds right here, including the entire MICKEY MOUSE CLUB episode that introduced the series. Plus, you'll get clued in to the truth behind the novels' author Franklin W. Dixon, and you'll witness the reunion of Tim Considine (Frank Hardy) and Tommy Kirk (Joe Hardy) at the scene of the crime -- Stage 2 at the Disney Studio.
From the moment Thurl Ravenscroft intoned, "Gold doubloons and pieces of eight/ Handed down to Applegate," "The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure" became one of the best-loved serials on the The Mickey Mouse Club, second only to "The Adventures of Spin and Marty." Gifted young actors Tim Considine and Tommy Kirk make a believable pair of adolescent sleuths: Frank and Joe Hardy want to follow in the footsteps of their father, private detective Fenton Hardy. Summer vacation in the little town of Bayport seems boring until Frank and Joe run into Perry Robinson, a new kid in their neighborhood, who them leads into the search for the long-lost pirate treasure of local eccentric Silas Applegate. There's plenty of low-key daring-do, suitably sinister villains, misread clues, and wholesome comedy to keep young children (or grandchildren) occupied while Baby Boomers delight in recalling how they enjoyed the adventure in the mid-'50s.
The extras include the entire Mickey Mouse Club show from Oct. 1, 1956, when Considine and Kirk presented a preview of the new serial, and a short feature on how the Disney crew adapted the popular boys' books to television. Host Leonard Maltin conducts an agreeable interview with a disconcertingly aged Considine and Kirk. This Disney Treasure is a must-have for viewers who grew up during the '50s--or younger audiences who want discover the answer to the question, "Now where are those gold doubloons and pieces of eight?" (Rated G, suitable for ages 5 and older: mild violence) --Charles Solomon