Happy Birthday! The Mickey Mouse Club turns 60! The series began on October 3rd, 1955!
My own personal experience with the Mickey Mouse Club is with the cels from this series.
As someone who has sold cels from The Mickey Mouse Club since 1988, I’ve had to learn over time about the animated cartoons, characters, and costumes used on the show. Production cels from The Mickey Mouse Club have their own unusual look to them. The thick ink lines make cels from the show pretty easy to recognize: (click on the image if you’re interested in buying the art!)
Also, most of the cels were sold originally through the Art Corner, a store in Disneyland where they sold original Disney art from 1955 to 1966. This means the cels were cut down to a smaller size, matted, and came with a seal on the back. A very recognizable seal!
Many of the cels from The Mickey Mouse Club and indeed most that were sold through the Art Corner are stuck to their backgrounds. It’s inherent to the era. If you find a cel that isn’t, it’s probably been completely repainted.
One of my favorite stories from my long history selling animation art is that a friend of mine who is a chemist and also a collector discovered a way to remove the cels from their backgrounds without ripping all the paint off the back. When he told me he’d actually done it, I felt like he’d made a major discovery. That’s how Disney geeky I am! So now when we have cels from that time period lots of them are NOT stuck to the backgrounds because we get them all from this one awesome guy.
My personal history with The Mickey Mouse Club is probably in some ways similar to many, at least those from other parts of the world. I saw it was coming on (in reruns, of course) in Paris on TV and I begged my parents to let me watch it.
They warned me “It isn’t what you think .. It isn’t mostly cartoons..”
I didn’t care. And actually there were plenty of animated moments, certainly enough for an 8 year old. What I didn’t know, because they didn’t play them that way, was that each day of the week was specific to a particular subject. I learned that later, as an animation gallery owner!
I love, though, that collectors who remember or have a love for The Mickey Mouse Club can get cels of Jiminy Cricket (that also have a thick ink line) and a bunch of other beloved Disney characters for much less than if they had bought them from the original features from which they originate.
Mickey Mouse production cels, original and limited edition art are going to have a resurgence, and soon. Why? There’s a new Mickey Mouse show, which began in 2013, and to date it’s seen in 160 countries, translated into 34 languages. The show is making Mickey cool again. Still, purists will always look back to the early cartoons of the late 1920s, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and The Mickey Mouse Club.
Here’s a popular Mickey Mouse Club limited edition by Tim Rogerson (which you can click on if interested in buying!):
On this 60th anniversary of their premiere, we owe thanks to a show that made Mickey Mouse himself, his pals, and the live action kids so relatable to children all over the world.
For all the Mickey Mouse art ArtInsights has available, go HERE, and of course for commissions or requests for particular images, contact the gallery!