Follow-Up To Yesterday ...
A Saturday In The Life Of The Mickey Mouse Club
I want someone (other than myself) to write a book about the Mickey Mouse Clubs. Not the 50's TV program, and besides, that's been done. I speak of the theatre clubs, which to hear trades tell it, was a biggest-ever 30's matinee phenomenon and together with product tie-ins bought by Mickey fans, kept Disney in business through struggle that was the Great Depression. His cartoons alone were not a profit center, what with money spent to make them a best on the market. What floated WD's boat was MM watches, coloring books, novelties of all sorts. These were most responsible for holding Big Bad Wolves at bay. As Walt often said, It Started With a Mouse. The Clubs were what organized his army, being millions strong by reliable estimate. Was this unprecedented? Had there been Felix The Cat clubs? He was cartooning's biggest name before Mickey entered, but by talkies' arrival, was twilighting. Showmen who tied on with Mouse clubs rode to capacity weekends, and the only thing to rival them would be arrival of Popeye Clubs later in the decade.
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There was a theme song, Minnie's Yoo-Hoo, led onscreen by a rat-like Mickey in a voice that doesn't sound like Walt's. The "sing-along" reel would be provided to member theatres, object being for youngsters to learn lyrics and reprise them each week. Minnie's Yoo-Hoo must not have been copyrighted, or perhaps not renewed, because I remember it popping up in 8 and 16mm catalogues during the seventies (did Thunderbird sell prints?). There was also a pop tune called What! No Mickey Mouse? What Kind Of Party Is This?, by Irving Caesar that became catch phrase for wise-alecks entering 30's Bijous, as happens in a scene from live action Lady Killer, a 1933 Warners release. Success of the Mickey Clubs was widespread and well-known. Camaraderie among Mouseketeers must have been intense, but wait, I'm not sure they called themselves Mouseketeers in those early days. Imagine bonds being formed that lasted lifetimes, reunions afterward beginning with, Yeah, we were in Mouse Club together back in Peoria, this not unlike boy or girl scout members who'd later meet and reminisce of that shared experience.
Notable Saturdays in the Mickey Club life include ones during April, 1931 among close-quartered