"Why? Because We Still Like You: An Oral History of the Mickey Mouse Club"
by Jennifer Armstrong
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: Oct 29, 2010
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
This book will tell the behind-the-scenes story of how The Mickey Mouse Club paved the way for all that came after, from its humble beginnings as a marketing ploy, through its short but mesmerizing run, to the numerous resurrections that made it one of television's first true cult hits--all through the recollections of those regular kids-turned-stars who made it a phenomenon. It will reveal, for the first time ever, the untold stories of Annette, Darlene, Cubby and Karen, Bobbie and the rest of the beloved cast. It will explore, through the reminiscences of former fans who grew up to be some of television's finest minds, what made the show so special. And it will examine why the formula the creators of the show invented is more relevant than ever, and whether we'll ever see yet another Club for a new generation.
Today's kids watch reruns of shows that I used to watch when I was kid, like "Full House" and "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." When I was a kid, I watched what my parents loved when they were little: "The Mickey Mouse Club."
This book was one of the most fun books I've read for a long time. It didn't seem overly gossip-y and I loved that the author actually interviewed most of the "Mice" herself. There were a few who were unable to comment, including the most popular Mouse herself, Annette. Armstrong used credible sources, like Annette's autobiography for her information about the missing Mouseketeers.
It was so fun to see all of the behind the scenes information. One moment that stands out is some of the girls giggling over seeing Guy Williams, aka Zorro, in the commissary eating lunch. These day to day tidbits were something I had never heard about before in all of my Mickey Mouse Club fan moments. While I was reading, I really felt like I was at Soundstage 1 on the Disney backlot, like I was one of the Mice too.
The book is separated into chapters detailing auditions for the Mickey Mouse Club, the early days of the show, the phenomenon years, "Spin and Marty", and the aftermath.
I'd recommend this book for a true fan of the show. There's no mean-spirited gossip here that would ruin anyone's feelings towards the show, but there is some great insider information straight from the sources. I don't think this book would take away any of the "Magic" of the show, or ruin any idealized notions a huge fan would have. It's all done respectfully.
Bottom Line: True Mickey Mouse Club fans will not be disappointed in this book. Just like the original Mouseketeers, the book has a heart of gold with nothing but fond memories for the show. Now, please excuse me while I try to track down the out of print "Spin and Marty" dvd set on eBay!