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.)