Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mickey Mouse Once Sold Super Hard Gloss-Glo Coat!

You gotta see this clip! It's the original opening sequence from the hour long Mickey Mouse Club. If your experience with the Mickey Mouse Club was from the syndicated half hour reruns and whatever they might show on the Disney Channel--this is going to be an eye-opener.
It is really long--and features a highly stylized sequence that is very much like the Disney animation of the 50s--stuff like "Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom." --a very "moderne" style.
Even though I clearly remember the first broadcast of Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, at the age of four, I really don't remember this intro at all. But it does answer one of the silly little questions I've been wondering about for many a moon.
When all the characters are tossing Mickey in the air--why are there four bears hanging onto the far end of the hoop?

Even in those days Disney had a stable of hundreds of characters--the presence of four bunched up bears always sort of mystified me. Well, now I have my answer. They are part of a continuity of a parade of bears that was more or less edited out when the show was repackaged with an abridged intro.

As you will see, Mickey Mouse Club, in the business model of 1950's television was sponsored by Johnson's Wax. Think about that--a show intended for post-war baby boom children sponsored by a floor wax. Guess it's safe to say, that everyone agreed that children were not watching television with out homemakers also in the room chaperoning.

The bouncy musical commercial interlude for Super Hard Gloss-Glo Coat seems like it would bore a kid to death. It features three young mothers rhapsodizing about the time and effort saved using this miracle product. More time to dress up in hat and gloves and perambulate the little ones around the neighborhood.

The headquarters for the Johnson's Company in Racine, WI were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. One of the most progressive work spaces in the world at that time.
Yet, look at the product itself.
Looks like a can of turpentine!
The packaging revolution was still lurking very much in the future, wasn't it?


Dan Goodsell said...

They did a nice Walt Disney Treasures DVD of the Mickey Mouse club with all the intros. I think the show had 4 sponsers for each hour so you had those cool billboards for a number of different products.

Larry Marder said...

Do you (or anyone else) know who the other sponsors happened to be? My curiousity about this has been piqued!