Arguably one of the finest things Disney has done in recent years, the "Walt Disney Treasures" line has allowed consumers to be able to purchase rare archive live-action and animated material from the studio's early days, most of which have been restored to very pleasing condition. “ Mickey Mouse Club Presents Annette” stars Mickey Mouse Club favorite, Annette Funicello as a young country girl who has to go live with her wealthy relatives. This serial was made during the last season of “The Mickey Mouse Club.”
The serial played for a month as vignettes during “The Mickey Mouse Club”. All the episodes are included here and offer several endearing episodes that highlight Annette’s charm and recognizable voice. Some highlight episodes are: “The Newcomer” where Annette arrives at her aunt and uncle’s home, sweetly determined to live with them, “Annette Meets Jet” where Annette meets a young girl named Jet (Judy Nugent) who becomes her close friend, “The Missing Necklace” where the mean girl at school, Laura (Roberta Shore) loses her necklace at a party and blames Annette, “The Hayride” where Annette sings “How Will I Know My Love” and the final episode, “The Mystery is Solved” where the mystery of Laura’s necklace is revealed.
The serials are only ten minutes each, but they pick up where they left off, continuing the storyline each week for “Mickey Mouse Club” fans. The serials do a fine job of making a complete story in nineteen episodes, revolving around Laura’s missing necklace, Annette’s relationship with two local boys, Steve (Tim Considine) and Mike (David Stollery), and finding her place at home with her new family. While the episodes aren’t ground breaking or even that interesting, they are certainly charming and offer a glimpse into the past. The acting is over-the-top, but it only adds to the element of Disney charm that so many of these era pictures have. This is definitely a DVD for fans of “The Mickey Mouse Club”, but more specifically fans of Annette Funicello. The DVD’s look impressive for their age and offer a collection of some of the fifties most beloved actors/singers/mouseketeers.
The Disney Treasures sets are offered in a limited run of 39,500 each - a numbered certificate of authenticity is included inside the set itself. As with the other sets, these make terrific Christmas gifts and are certainly something the whole family can enjoy.
“Annette Meets Jet”
“Paying the Piper”
“The Missing Necklace”
“What Happened at School”
“Almost a Fight”
“Steady Gets an Idea”
“The Turned Down Invitation”
“Annette Makes a Decision”
“The Farewell Letter”
“Mike to the Rescue”
“The Mystery is Solved”
VIDEO: Episodes are presented by Disney in 1.33:1 full-frame, the show's original aspect ratio. Picture quality is surprisingly good (considering the age of the series), as the series certainly seems to have been preserved well at the Disney vaults. Sharpness and detail remain pleasing throughout, as while the picture is understandably and - as one might expect - not perfectly crisp, at least definition remained consistent. No pixelation or edge enhancement was seen, but a few minor specks and marks were spotted on the elements (however, considering the age of the show, it looked fresher than expected.) Overall, these presentations were quite terrific and fans should be pleased.
SOUND: The mono soundtracks sound perfectly fine, considering the age of the shorts. Some slight background hiss is present, but dialogue, music and sound effects are easily understood.
“The Mickey Mouse Club - Original Air Date February 11, 1958”
This features the complete episode of “The Mickey Mouse Club” where “Annette” first aired. A nice addition for fans of the series and of Annette, especially considering this is where the serial began. Plus it’s fun to have a whole episode (two in all) of “The Mickey Mouse Club” that launched the serial and Annette Funicello’s career.
“Musically Yours, Annette”
Interviews with Annette Funicello from 1993 about her singing career, as well as with music producer, Tutti Camarata. Songwriters, Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman sit with Annette and discuss how they doubled her voice to give it more power by having her sing the song the exact same way twice. This is a nice look at someone who was a youth phenomenon of her time, with archive pictures and lots of interviews that feel more like friends talking to and about each other than your average interviews.
“The Mickey Mouse Club - Original Air Date March 7, 1958”
This features the complete episode of “The Mickey Mouse Club” where “Annette” last aired. A nice addition for fans of the series and of Annette, especially considering this is where the serial concluded.
“To Annette, with Love”
A lovely look at Annette Funicello. With interviews with Annette (from 1985) her husband Glen Holt, other musketeers and more, this feature documents how Annette got a role on “The Mickey Mouse Club”, her musical career, her movie roles, as well as her struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.
Final Thoughts: Fans of the series will be very pleased with this excellent set, which offers both terrific audio/video quality, as well as a nice set of bonus features. Highly recommended.