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Walt Disney Treasures: The Mickey Mouse Club Presents Annette (Collector's Tin Packaging)

4.9 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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(Nov 11, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Annette. To legions of Mickey Mouse Club fans she was magic. Chosen by Walt himself as an original cast member, Annette soon became the most popular Mousketeer and was given a daily series of her own. Showcased here is the entire fish-out-of-water series, about an innocent girl from the country who moves to the suburbs to live with her well-to-do aunt and uncle. Airing during the third and final season of The Mickey Mouse Club, the 20-episode series was unlike earlier series -- it featured original music including the song that helped launch Annette's music career. Enriching this celebration of Annette are the two complete Mickey Mouse Club episodes that introduced and concluded the series, plus a new tribute to her remarkable career and more. Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come.

Annette Funicello was "was the perfect girl next door!" enthuses former teen actress and pal Shelley Fabares in the excellent documentary included in Walt Disney Treasures: The Mickey Mouse Club Presents Annette, 1957-1958. But Annette, TV's first true breakout kid star, was so much more--the Britney/Miley/Lindsay of her day, loved by children as well as their moms and dads. This wonderful boxed set is rich with Disney memories, including 20 Mickey Mouse Club Annette episodes, and extras including the lovely documentary (featuring an interview with the adult, still lovely Funicello, done in the early 1990s) and two complete special MMC episodes focusing on music. There is also an invaluable introduction and ongoing commentary by film historian Leonard Maltin, who gives great context for Funicello's career. She was the only Mouseketeer hand-picked by Walt himself, and her appearance on the show marked a departure for the previously very white-bread medium, as Funicello was "ethnic-looking," her dark Italian features unusual on '50s TV.

This set focuses on episodes when Annette comes to California to stay with her aunt and uncle, and basically does teenager stuff, like hanging out at the malt shop, making plans for the weekend sock hop, and figuring out how to pin on corsages. At one point, Annette's stuffy uncle suggests she attend a school different from one a new pal goes to, and the usually compliant Annette simply has to burst out, "Oh, please, Uncle Archie, can't I go to Old South High, Jet says it's keen!" It's all very quaint and endearing, and a reminder of how winsome the young Annette was, before she became a singing sensation ("Tall Paul") and boogied on the beach with Frankie Avalon in the '60s. Disney and early-television fans will want this sweet--make that keen collection. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jimmie Dodd, Tommy Cole, Eileen Diamond, Annette Funicello, Sharon Baird
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,755 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Walt Disney Treasures: The Mickey Mouse Club Presents Annette (Collector's Tin Packaging)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Continuing the fan-favorite Walt Disney Treasures collectible tin set, this one is "The Mickey Mouse Club Presents: Annette." Starring everyone's favorite Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello, showcased in an original 20-episode serial on DVD for the 50th anniversary of the serial's conclusion. This serial was featured on the Mickey Mouse Club and is presented in glorious black and white. Annette plays an orphan from the country who moves "uptown" to live with her wealthy Aunt & Uncle. Her aunt, played by Sylvia Field, will be recognizable as Mrs. Wilson from the original "Dennis the Menace" TV series. The "Annette" serial also stars Tim Considine and David Stollery (better known as "Spin and Marty") and Shelley Fabares, who became life-long friends with Annette.

The series does seem a little dated, but Annette is so natural that she really does make it enjoyable, even 50 years after it was first broadcast. This serial is also a fantastic time capsule with the Disney-fied version of what the 1950's were like. Each episode of the serial is extremely short, as The Mickey Mouse Club itself was only half an hour at this point.

Bonus features include:

* "Musically Yours, Annette" - From a 1992 interview, Annette recalls her career as a recording star and her years on "The Mickey Mouse Club." Also includes interviews with Annette's fellow teen idols Paul Anka, Frankie Avalon, and Fabian. It is touching to see how Annette stayed unspoiled and natural, even in her contemporary interview segments. The admiration from her coworkers is also evident. The Sherman Brothers practically glow when they speak of her, and her record producer Tutti Camarata explains how "The Annette Sound" was created by overdubbing her vocals.
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I am quoting the theme song from this Mickey Mouse Club Serial, which was also a "Fun With Music Day" song by Jimmie Dodd, and cheering too, because if you read Mouse Tracks, you know Annette is very special to us. This DVD set is somewhat of an event. It's also an interesting coincidence that is has been released within weeks of the Hannah Montana Season One DVD. Again if you read Mouse Tracks, there is a definite connection between today's Disney pop star and Walt's first and most beloved.

Leonard Maltin's commentary and two special bonus mini-documentaries give you a brief overview of Annette's career as America's first female teen pop idol, from her selection by Walt to her beach party movie days, and gently touching on her more recent bout with Multiple Sclerosis (which resulted in her and her husband, Glen Holt, creating a foundation to help others with the affliction -- how can you not love her even more?)

It's the subject of many a Disney fan's roundtable discussion as to how Annette became such a phenomenon while the Mickey Mouse Club odds-on favorite for breakout stardom at the beginning was the gifted Darlene Gillespie (and if you have not heard her version of Alice in Wonderland with the great Tutti Camarata, I highly recommend you download it from iTunes -- it's my favorite record album.)

Maltin's comments add fuel to the discussion by mentioning that one reason Walt may have selected her was because her ethnicity, in a very white bread period for television, made her stand out. It's fascinating to consider his instincts and strategies as well as his knack for knowing what would appeal to the public.
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I think the previous reviewer reviewed the wrong DVD set, as I don't believe all those Donald Duck cartoons are included in this one. There may be a couple, as this set includes two complete episodes of the "Mickey Mouse Club." But this set features Annette Funicello and the live-action 20-part serial that she starred in during the Mickey Mouse Club's 1957-58 season and that is worth more than any Donald Duck cartoon.

The serial had a charming story about high schooler Annette McCloud trying to adjust to city life after moving there from a rural area following the death of her parents. It also features a great supporting cast, most of whom would co-star on prime-time TV series soon after. Richard Deacon, who would play Ward Cleaver's co-worker Fred Rutherford on "Leave it to Beaver" and producer Mel Cooley on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and later Roger Buell on "The Mothers In-Law," plays Annette's Uncle Archie; Sylvia Field, who would portray Mrs. Wilson on "Dennis the Menace," plays Annette's Aunt Lila; Tim Considine, who would play oldest son Mike on "My Three Sons" 1960-65, plays one of the boys interested in Annette; Shelley Fabares, who would play daughter Mary on "The Donna Reed Show" 1958-63, plays one of Annette's friends; and Roberta Shore, who would co-star with Annette in the Disney feature film, "The Shaggy Dog," and then play the ranch owner's niece on "The Virginian" in the 1960s, plays Annette's rival.

When "Mickey Mouse Club" episodes containing this serial were rerun on the Disney Channel a few years ago, the hayride episode in which Annette sings "How Will I Know My Love" was omitted. So it is nice to hear that all episodes are included in this set, as that song became a hit and launched Annette's recording career.

In short, this is a great nostalgic series and a true treasure for all fans of Annette Funicello.
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