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Review: Why? Because We Still Like You

January 16, 2011

When Disneyland was being built, Walt Disney needed a lot of cash in a hurry.  His company pitched several TV shows, but the networks weren’t interested.  Finally, ABC  bought Disneyland, and it was a huge hit, causing the struggling network to break the top-25 for the first time.  With the success of that show, ABC went back to Disney to try to find a show to compete with Howdy Doody, and The Mickey Mouse Club was born.  The show premiered on October 3, 1955 and only ran for three seasons, but the phenomenon of the show still lives today.

Why? Because We Still Like You: An Oral History of The Mickey Mouse Club chronicles the beginnings of The Mickey Mouse Club and follows up on some of the Mouseketeers.  The Mickey Mouse Club was unique at the time because the Mouseketeers were played by ordinary children.  Even though this show was before my time, I was very aware of the show when I was growing up, so I was surprised to read that it only ran for three years.

This book does give readers some behind the scenes look at the show, but I’m not sure much of it was new or all that revealing.  Armstrong followed some of the Mousketeers lives after the show and I found some of their stories interesting – some went on to successful careers in show business while others struggled to find their place.  Overall, I found the book to be pretty good, but somewhat redundant at times.  I read an advanced copy, and it didn’t contain any photographs, which I found disappointing.  I’m sure fans of The Mickey Mouse Club will love this book.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
35 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2011 8:52 am

    Growing up I loved watching reruns of the original Mousekeeters. I can still sing the old theme song: M I C — see you real soon — K E Y — why b/c we like you M O U S E. It is a shame about the lack of photos in your version, but hopefully the released version includes some.

  2. January 16, 2011 8:52 am

    I’ve read a few reviews of this, and I’d love to get my hands on it. I grew up watching the Mickey Mouse Club, had a crush on Bobby and wanted to be Annette. Then of course the whole Disney thing is what we eat and breathe down here, even if we are not employees per se. Orlando IS Disney.

  3. January 16, 2011 9:00 am

    I was totally surprised that it ran only 3 years as well. I know of the Mickey Mouse Club but have never seen it. I think I was kind of in between this show and the later one.

  4. January 16, 2011 9:08 am

    I’d never seen the Mickey Mouse club show either, but heard lots about it from classmates. (we didn’t have a T.V.). I remember my friend (an older girl) having her first baby and naming her Annette. thanks for your review.

  5. January 16, 2011 9:16 am

    NO photos?!!!!!!!!! How could they do that?!!!!!!!!!

  6. January 16, 2011 9:52 am

    since I was only 3 when it was canceled, I guess I remember watching reruns. not that I knew…
    I love all think Mickey but you are right…I need photos!

  7. January 16, 2011 10:06 am

    What memories and just love that it is lifetime memories. We went Disney in Oct and my 3 year old still talks about it, she woke up yesterday morning and said “I want to go Disney World tomorrow” lol 🙂

  8. January 16, 2011 10:30 am

    OMG I loved this show when I came home to see the M M club! Sure it was reruns but it was the best part of my day. I wanted to be Annette and get all the guys. She was the sweetest of the bunch. I can still hum the tune.
    Thanks for bringing it all back Kathy.

  9. January 16, 2011 10:49 am

    We didn’t have the Mickey Mouse Club in England but we all heard of Disneyland and of course got the Disney Movies. Great review.

  10. January 16, 2011 11:16 am

    This sounds like it was an institution. It is only in the last few years that Britain has had access to the Disney channels. I used to love watching the Disney cartoon specials as a child.

  11. January 16, 2011 12:01 pm

    I am so sure I have watched it at one time. I have these faint memories of something….when I was little. Or, hm dunno

  12. January 16, 2011 12:38 pm

    No photos???? bummer..that’s part of the reason I read books such as this. I remember watching this when I was young…too bad it’s gone away 😀

  13. January 16, 2011 1:30 pm

    I’m not aware of this show with the child actors, I grew up watching the more famous cartoons. I should check this one out. But seriously, just 3 seasons? What a household phenomenon it is now!

  14. January 16, 2011 1:43 pm

    I agree, photos would have made this book but yes there is something about this show that lives on in Americana! I bet it was pretty interesting!

  15. January 16, 2011 4:15 pm

    I’d have liked photos in the book as well. Great review! 8:-)

  16. January 16, 2011 5:15 pm

    I was aware of the Mickey Mouse Club show, but I think it was slightly before me. … or maybe it just didn’t capture my attention? It seems a book like this would rely heavily on illustrations; a shame they weren’t included in the review copy.

  17. January 16, 2011 5:26 pm

    I think it was too much before my time for me to really appreciate the show (or to have even seen it).

  18. January 16, 2011 6:45 pm

    Wow! I am shocked to hear that it only ran for three years! I always had it in my head that it ran a lot longer than that! I have never seen the show, but I know my dad talks about it sometimes. I bet he would enjoy this book, so I will have to keep an eye out for it! Thanks!

  19. January 16, 2011 7:05 pm

    I am with Rhapsody in Books: no photos= major boo!

  20. January 16, 2011 8:41 pm

    Sounds like a light but not particularly revealing read. Hmm.Thanks for the frank review. I think sometimes the disadvantage to ARCs with nonfiction is sometimes the extra features aren’t included and so you don’t get the full experience of the book.

  21. January 16, 2011 8:42 pm

    That does seem odd that they didn’t include photos. That seems like a missed opportunity.

  22. January 16, 2011 9:34 pm

    Perhaps I watched re-runs but it always seemed phenomenal. My mom loved Annette Funicello and we would watch her movies as she grew older. Have you noticed the newer versions of the show have never taken hold despite finging young talents such as Justin Timberlake, Christina Aquilera, Brittany Spears and Keri Russell?

  23. January 17, 2011 12:54 am

    OOH! I really wanted to review this one too! Glad to see you were able to review a copy Kathy! I would have thought there would have been pics but appreciate hearing about the book through you.

  24. January 17, 2011 3:53 am

    It such a great book and I think I would love it too =)

  25. January 17, 2011 10:27 am

    Try my website for my recently published memoir CONFESSIONS OF AN ACCIDENTAL MOUSEKETEER – Mouseketeer Lonnie – 1 of 4 boys of 39 kids cast who lasted the entire filming. CORRECTION one reader: we ran 4 years originall, year 3 reruns, and in every decade since, last 1995-2002 – currently rerunning in Russia, 5 languages 19+ countries. http://www.mouseketeerlonnieburr or
    Comme d’habitude,


  26. January 17, 2011 12:51 pm

    Hubbie and I are 50 something Disneyphiles. Hubbie has visited both US sites and Disneyland Paris, but I have only got to Disney World Florida. Mind you, I have been there 25 times, this being the only Christmas we have not spent there for the last 20 years!

  27. January 17, 2011 1:53 pm

    I was a teenager when the show came out so it didn’t appeal to me. However, I did go to Disneyland when it first opened up and have been a Disney fan ever since.

  28. Literary Feline permalink
    January 17, 2011 8:57 pm

    My mom was a huge fan of the Musketeers. I am sure she’d love this book.

  29. January 18, 2011 2:14 am

    What a fun book! My mom was a huge fan and still talks about the show today. 🙂 I’ll have to tell her about the book.

  30. Veens permalink
    January 18, 2011 10:59 pm

    I never knew anything about this. Sounds good to me but not that appealing.

  31. January 19, 2011 7:10 am

    I was only 4 when it was canceled but I was under the impression that it ran for more years. I must have seen most of the reruns — and my older brother very clearly remembers the show, but he was a Howdy Doody fan.

  32. January 20, 2011 8:18 am

    I watched one of the new versions when I was a kid. Loved it!

  33. January 21, 2011 3:18 pm

    Me, being a fan of almost everything Disney, will probably love this book.

  34. Frisha permalink
    March 14, 2011 5:39 pm

    It’s funny how things from my generation are coming back…. 60s dress, the rock groups that never stopped performing that my kids really dig. One of the many things I would really like to see come back is The Mickey Mouse Club. Since all things Disney are so popular, we really need for our kids and grandkids to see the 50’s and 60’s Disney characters and shows. They would probably be bored with some of the black and white stuff…maybe not!
    Everytime I hear the words, Mickey Mouse, the theme song plays in my head.
    I remember almost all the words. Anyway, loved the article…thanks for the memories!

    • Frisha permalink
      March 14, 2011 5:45 pm

      I just went back and read some of the previous comments and got the feeling that some of the old shows are playing on TV right now. Is that right? I don’t have TV, just internet, so I am not up on all that.

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