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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Adventure > Detective > Action > Walt Disney Treasures: The Hardy Boys – The Mickey Mouse Club (1956-1957)

Walt Disney Treasures: The Hardy Boys – The Mickey Mouse Club (1956-1957)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Episodes: B-



Gee Golly!  It is the Mickey Mouse Club sleuth team The Hardy Boys!  Here are the earliest of their filmed television adventures in Walt Disney Treasures: The Hardy Boys collection.  This collection contains a first for Disney DVD, releasing the Mickey Mouse Club serial with new digital mastering of the 1956-1957 television ‘season’ of The Hardy Boys.  After having great success with the first season of the Mickey Mouse Club and the Spin & Marty serial which ran as part of the Mickey Mouse Club, Disney decided to clean house on the M.M.C. and hired new members while creating a new serial entitled The Hardy Boys.  The serial ran for two seasons along with the Mickey Mouse Club, but after running from 1955 – 1959, the M.M.C. was canceled due to the expense of running the show (having a great deal of commercials) along with sponsors not seeing the profitability of educational children’s television.


This first ‘season’ of the Hardy Boys serial follows the Hardy Boys, Frank (Tim Considine) and Joe (Tommy Kirk), as they investigate ‘The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure.’  The episodes are actually quite short, but long enough to wet the viewer’s appetite to continue watching each and every segment of the classic.


When first viewing this Hardy Boys series this reviewer did not think it would have held much interest, possibly being outdated and in bad visual condition.  The truth of the matter, however, is that the Hardy Boys serials held up quite well and were enjoyable throughout, being enticing to this reviewer.  The mystery element was well written and stood the test of time, though a bit corny the storyline remained exciting.  Other elements, such as Old Man Applegate threatening the boys with a sword and grabbing them (tossing them around by their shirt collars) or a little girl having a canvas sac thrown over her, would surely be elements for Law and Order: SVU these days and not the Disney Channel.  In this way to Politically Correct world the Hardy Boys serial was refreshing and entertaining.


If nothing else these collectable sets are excellently put together and presented.  The set comes in a collectable tin, the entire set being a limited edition of 65,000.  The production numbers in wave 6 are greatly reduced from the original Disney Treasure Collections, which were limited editions of 150,000.  The set includes a certificate of authenticity, a 7” x 4.5” poster reproduction on hard cardboard, as well as a booklet nicely explaining the limited set.  A nice set well worth looking into purchasing for a Disney fan’s collection.


The technical aspects of this DVD compilation were overall balanced and well prepared.  The picture presented in a classic Black and White 1.33 X 1 Full Screen format that is crisp and is mostly absence of debris.  There is the occasion where the black and white picture seems cloudy and/or dark, but that is rare.  The Sound is in a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that is adequate but hard to get used to in this day and age of surround sound.  The sound remains clean but has some high/low issues that can distract.  Extras on this set are not as good or plentiful as on some of Disney Treasure Collections, but offer viewers a nostalgic view of the past while zooming forward to today and catching up with the old Mickey Mouse Crew. Some extras include "From Dixon to Disney" featurette, "The Hardy Boys Unmasked" featurette, as well as some production galleries.  Overall, the extras are well put together but not extremely entertaining.


From people who remember when this serial originally aired too a new generation of Mouseketeers, this set is sure to please.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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