Disney's rebirth of "The Mickey Mouse Club" was the birthplace of some major careers, including "Felicity"'s Keri Russell, actor Ryan Gosling and singers Justin Timberlake, J.C Chasez, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. This new "best of" collection offers a look at some of the episodes that feature Spears (who looks and sounds pretty similar), Timberlake and Aguilera (who looks completely different). Jessica Simpson was one of the ones who didn't make it, and would later parody the snub - quite badly - on her variety show.
I'd never watched the series itself when it was on, but found it to be a really great little show for the target audience. Despite being Disney, it doesn't get all cutesy and talk down to the viewer - instead, it's a clever and fun variety show that's silly, fun and often very positive (the show offered a "Hall of Fame" segment that honored people who had a positive impact on others or their community - one episode here has a "Hall of Fame" segment looking at teen depression.) These episodes do include some very early peformances from Timberlake, Spears and Aguilera, which is certainly going to be an enjoyable time for fans of the artists.
The series ran for five years from 1989-1994, and gained a pretty solid following during its run. With the stars included in the cast, it's too bad that Disney didn't go ahead and release whole season sets of the series. This title includes four episodes: "Music Day", "Guest Day" and two "Hall of Fame" days.
VIDEO: The episodes are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame. The episodes appear to be about broadcast quality, with sharpness and detail that aren't remarkable, but perfectly fine for the material. A little bit of shimmer appeared, but other than that, no faults were noticed. Colors appeared bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The episodes are presented in stereo and sound quite good, presenting clear dialogue and music. As for music, it's amazing to hear how exceptional Christina Aguilera sang as a little kid and how that voice doesn't seem like it could be coming from her.
EXTRAS: Nothing, if you don't count promos for other Disney titles.
Final Thoughts: It's too bad that Disney didn't put out season sets of the "Mickey Mouse Club", but I'm sure this release is a test to see how much interest there is. The series itself surprised me, as I thought it was an intelligent family series that didn't seem very dated at this point. Parents who have younger kids that are fans of the artists involved may want to look into picking this DVD up on sale.