|“Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?”
Same lyrics, different beat. Right from the opening credits, it was clear this wasn’t your parents’ Mickey Mouse Club. Debuting in syndication in 1977 amid a Disney publicity blitz, The New Mickey Mouse Club was clearly a child of the 70’s, complete with day-glo uniforms and a disco rhythm. The ears, however, remained the same.
By the time The New Mickey Mouse Club came to the airwaves, Cubby, Annette and the rest had all grown up, leaving the door open for a new generation of Mouseketeers—Billy "Pop" Attmore, Scott Craig, Nita Dee, Mindy Feldman, Angel Florez, Alison Fonte, Shawnette Northcutte, Kelly Parsons, Julie Piekarski, Todd Turquand, Lisa Whelchel and Curtis Wong. The fresh batch of eager youngsters offered a wider cultural spectrum than the original Mouseketeer lineup, but the newbies were no different from their predecessors in terms of talent, enthusiasm and all-around good cheer.
The Monday-to-Friday program offered a new theme for each day of the week. Monday was “Who, What, Why, Where, When, and How Day,” a fairly wide open category. Tuesday was “Let’s Go Day,” offering the Mouseketeers a chance to take their magic boat to places like Yellowstone National Park. On Wednesday, “Surprise Day” brought the unexpected to one or all of the Mouseketeers. Thursday was “Discovery Day,” a time for learning and exploring. Talents of all types were showcased on Friday, “Showtime Day,” including musicians, dancers, acrobats and ventriloquists (Mouseketeer Lisa was no slouch with a wooden dummy herself).
Like the original Mickey Mouse Club, the new program included a variety of mini-segments, ranging from classic “Mousekartoons” to serialized adventures like “Thieves in the Night” and “The Mystery of Rustler’s Cave.” Kids at home also got useful and healthful tips from segments like “You Are a Human Animal.”
Over the course of two seasons, 130 episodes of The New Mickey Mouse Club were produced, scoring a rousing success in areas where the show was available. Record albums were released to adoring fans as well, and the future looked sunny for the Mouseketeers. Unfortunately, costs were high for the elaborate production, and Disney decided against producing a third season. The Mouseketeers moved on (Lisa and Julie went on to star in TV’s The Facts of Life), and Disney focused its TV resources on its new cable outlet, The Disney Channel.
In 1989, The Disney Channel became the home of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, the now-legendary training ground for such future superstars as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Keri Russell, JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake. Despite the suspicious absence of mouse-eared caps, the new show was a long-running success, and a new generation of fans joined the club.
Future teen actress and singer Molly Ringwald made her tv debut on one of the "Showtime Day" installments of "The New Mickey Mouse Club".
The voice of"Mickey Mouse" for this 1970's version of the series was performed by Mr. Wayne Allwine.