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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Teens > TV > Walt Disney Treasures: The Mickey Mouse Club Presents Annette: The 1957-1958 Season (DVD Tin Set)

Walt Disney Treasures: The Mickey Mouse Club Presents Annette: The 1957-1958 Season (DVD Tin Set)


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



After a number of other past Disney classics have been given the star treatment in the Disney Treasure Collections, one of Disney’s most recognizable non-animated faces finally arrives on DVD with The Mickey Mouse Clubs Presents Annette 1957-1958 Season.  Annette Funicello was one of the most famous Mouseketeers to ever exist and this 2-Disc set highlights the 20 part serial that cast Annette into Disney stardom.  The set also features two full Mickey Mouse Club episodes that started and ended the Annette serial.  Where as the set is not the most exciting piece of entertainment this reviewer has ever seen, it does an excellent job in taking the viewer back to a different era when television was more innocent and the audience was content with tuning in to see how their favorite Mouseketeer was doing.


Annette was the only Mouseketeer to be hand picked by Mr. Walt Disney himself and in turn she held a special place in his heart when her serial premiered on February 11, 1958.  The Annette serial centered on a girl named Annette (go figure) and was based on a 1950 Janet Sebring Lowery novel entitled Margaret.  Throughout the serial the audience gets the chance to follow an orphaned Annette on her journey from a simple Nebraska farmer girl, to the life in the ‘big city’ with her aunt and uncle.  The classic comedic director, Charles Lamont, headed the venture and added a similar charm to the serial that he did with such other acts as Abbott and Costello.  The story evolves as Annette arrives at the stuffy McCleod (her aunt and uncle’s) household in the city; where it seems Annette’s presence is a more than welcome change to the drab, routine life of a Philosophy professor.  Initially Annette is going to be sent off to boarding school, but the idea is quickly rejected by the women of the house; especially Annette.  Instead Annette starts her city schooling at Old South High School, where she experiences many walks of life and teaches us that though not everyone is the same they all teach us very valuable lessons. From tomboys to prissy mean girls, Annette experiences it all and learns a plethora of life lessons along the way.


Though the serial is most definitely cornball, it also proves in many ways that people don’t change. Technology may advance, styles change (though oddly in 2008 many have come full circle), and the idea of appropriateness may have shifted; but in the end people are people through and through.  Each 10 minute episode ends on a cliffhanger that to this day will captivate many children as they wonder, what will happen to Annette next?  Annette is the outsider looking in on a social hierarchy that could make or break her as she attempts to find her place in this new big world.  As the struggles of teen life consume Annette’s every move she does her best to hold onto the country girl she was and will always be.


The Annette serial from the very beginning is Disney morals full steam ahead.  With Charles Lamont’s sharp sense of direction and style, the Disney essence still exudes through every scene as a strong admiration for different walks of life and a solid wholesomeness is at the forefront.  Overall, an excellent feature that 50 years later (though a tad campy) projects with an amazing display of excellence.


For the age of this feature the picture and sound quality are quite good.  The 1.33 X 1 full screen picture image projects nicely as it fluidly moves throughout the gray scale.  The picture is mostly sharp with surprisingly few debris or image decomposition issues.  The sound quality is a simple Dolby Digital Mono Track that projects well and has crisp clean dialogue with minimal sound ambience or hiss; overall being quite nice for the sounds age.


The extras are a bit drab and unexciting and in all honesty this reviewer was expecting much more from Disney in terms of highlighting one of their most classic non-animated stars.  The extras include a brief (12 minute) documentary on Annette entitled Musically Yours, Annette.  The 1993 featurette includes a number of interviews and clips from Annette, her musical producer Tutti Camorata, Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, Fabian, Shelley Fabares, and many more.  Also included are the initial Annette Serial from February 11th, 1958 (disc 1) and the concluding part of the serial from March 7th, 1958 (Disc 2).  On Disc 2 there is a new 16 minute featurette entitled To Annette, With Love that features both new and old clips of interviews from the people that knew Annette the best; including segments from everyone from her husband to music producers.  The tin’s extras overall failed to impress and do not hold the same degree of excellence that previous Volumes held.  The segments are not nearly in depth enough and the features that are presented tend to lean more toward the boring and uninteresting.  In the end, nice video/sound presentation, but highly disappointed in the special features.


A totally worthwhile set from beginning to end.


M-I-C-K-E-Y….go and buy this D-V-D.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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