The All New Mickey Mouse Club

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Disney attempted to resurrect the Mickey Mouse Club in the mid-'70s, hoping that an updated version of the '50s classic could survive in an era when the franchise's squeaky clean Annette Funicello image seemed antiquated. The All New Mickey Mouse Club was designed to bring the show into the '70s. It had a multicultural cast (of the 12 kids, two were black, one Asian, and one Indian) decked out in bell-bottomed jumpers with six-inch collars. They sang Saturday Night Fever versions of Disney favorites like "It's a Small World" and popular children's songs like "Walking the Dog." This record even contains a mirror ball-worthy "Mouskedance Disco." It was not a complete failure. The exuberant performances of the kids are appealing and the lively disco arrangements keep the proceedings fresh and lively. That helps to draw attention from the remarkable repetitiveness of the song selection, which includes "Mouseketeer Surprise Day," "Discovery Day," "Let's Go Day," "The Who, What, Why, Where and How Day," and "Let's Discover Discovery Day." All of which may have been designed to convince audiences that the Mickey Mouse Club's day had not passed. Unfortunately, most of the appeal of the club still seems rooted in a bygone era. Disco and Mickey Mouse just don't make a comfortable match.