Mickey Mouse Club opening

I’m a Baby Boomer, born at the peak of the Baby Boom. Despite what the media tells you, most Boomers didn’t have what is portrayed as the Boomer Experience. Most of us didn’t grow up watching Howdy Doody, Davy Crockett, or the Micket Mouse club during their initial runs (I still haven’t seen Davy Crockett), because the bulk of us weren’t born until these had already run. I didn’t see the MMC in its initial run on ABC, because it premiered before I was born and went off the air when I was three. I didn’t see it until it ran in syndication on WNEW Channel 5 from New York in the early 1960s.
When I heard the theme song on my daughter’s CD, I was surprised – it was a lot longer than I remembered, with parts I could swear I hadn’t heard before. I recently watched the opening (in color!) on the Disney Treasures DVD, and I’m sure of it – the opening had been radically truncated for syndication (as the had the show itself – the original hour-long shows on ABC were gone. The syndicated shows ran half that time). I saw parts I hadn’t seen before. If I’m misdtaken, then so is my wife, Pepper Mill. She hadn’t seen the “long” opening before, either. If you’ve seen it, it looks as if everything from Dumbo’s first appearance (which wasn’t in the short version) on to his second appearance (with Jiminy Cricket jumping down his trunk, saying “Hey, there, Hi, there, Ho, there! You’re as welcome as can be”, which is included) was excised.

Can anyone else corroborate this? I checked on the internet, and can’t find anything about it. It wouldn’t be surprising for the opening to be changed or abridged for syndication. I Love Lucy originally had animated openings that were replaced by the fabric-enshrouded heart. You Bet Your Life originally had references to its Chevrolet sponsor, and so on.
Another interesting thing I noticed – Scrooge McDuck appears in the longer opening. He was a comic book character, created by Carl Barks. I’d been told that his first appearance in animation was in the short Scrooge McDuck and Money back in the 1960s, but he’s clearly there during the first “Hold our banner high!” in the opening (not the second one, which features Huey, Dewey, and Louie – and is the only one I recall from my youth).


(Additional question – has anyone ever seen this short? I only know it from the 1967 comic book adaptation of it, and can’t find any record that it ever asired or was paired with anything as a theatrical feature. Scrooge McDuck didn’t appear again in animation until Mickey’s Christmas Carol and Duck Tales.)

If I remember the long opening correctly, there was a lot of fanfare and oompa-oompa (two stanzas, I think) before they actually got around to singing “Who’s the leader…” Am I right, so far?

According to this wiki article you are correct that Scrooge shows up briefly in the MMC. He was already a Disney comics character, although his first animated cartoon wouldn’t arrive for several more years.

Mickey Mouse Club March - B&W

Mickey Mouse Club March - color

I’m pretty sure the 1955 version (lyrics) was cut for length and the full version is used in the 1980 renuion special.

Am I correct in my assumption that the ending with Donald trying to hit the gong was a gag that would be changed every episode? (Disney did something similar years later in the opening credits of their cartoon series Mickey Mouseworks, which later had wraparounds added and was retitled Disney’s House of Mouse.)

There is indeed a lot of fanfare before the singing starts, as kunilou says. I’m confused by Lute’s post. Are you saying that the original opening was cut even in 1955. and not shown until 1980? That’s not what I’ve suggested. I got the impression that the long intro was used during the original 1955-1959 run (which I never saw), but that it was significantly cut for the 1960s syndication. I get the impression that in the 1950s it was shown its entirety (just not in color, although it was made in color from the start).

as mobo says, the Donald-ringing-the-gong gag changed from episode to episode. I remember that, and it’s borne out by the openings on the Disney Treasures DVD collection.
So, can anyone answer my initial questions – Did they cut the opening for syndication?

And has anyone seen Scrooge McDuck and Money?

I’m old enough to have seen the original show, but I don’t have an actual memory of it or the long opening. However, two parts near the beginning seem vaguely familiar: Mickey’s slightly longer baton twirling and Goofy’s one-man band.

I have a clear memory of the dancing eighth notes (at 1:47) but not of the context, so I can’t say where I got it. The clip might have used elsewhere.

And as long as we’re mentioning the Donald gag, the Muppet Show used it, too. Come to think of it, the entire Muppet Show opening vaguely resembles the MMC opening.

No, no; I’m agreeing with your assessment.

Hit submit too soon. The reason I mentioned the long version’s use in the reunion special was to support its use in the original 1955-'59 airings.

I just noticed that after the first two seasons the show was already cut to half an hour so maybe the short version is from '57-'59.