I have discovered a massive Disney blind spot in my Disney fandom, The Mickey Mouse Club. I really am not of an age where the Club was readily available to me in any form including the pop-stars to be version on the Disney Channel. So when it comes to Mouseketeers I have a lot to learn.
The Accidental Mouseketeer: Before and After the Mickey Mouse Club by Lonnie Burr discusses Burr’s life as an original Mousketeer and beyond. Burr details his early life, his time on The Mickey Mouse Club and his post Mousey years in television, film and theater. Burr’s life comes across not as one defined by Disney, but one of a professional and working actor and writer in the theater, movies and television. So while this 365 page book does discuss and reflect on Burr’s time working for Disney and the legacy it has left, there is even more material on Burr’s other endeavors including social and intellectual life. The book is illustrated throughout the text with photos of Burr's numerous productions and private life.
Burr is first and foremost honest. He shares his perspective on what being a success at a young age meant for his adult years. Burr also shares his thoughts on incidents where Disney abused him and his fellow Mousketeers. He pulls no punches and often shares names. But beyond professional life he shares his honest thoughts and opinions on love and sex, Hollywood and philosophy. He truly opens up his entire self to his readers.
Burr’s autobiography is not a book that many parents would want to share with young children who are Disney fans. He does detail his romantic life in depth including discussions of his sexual partners. Burr does not hold back and describes his philosophy behind relationships, which allows you to look into his heart and soul but is not always kid friendly. And Burr clearly wrote his autobiography with adult audience in mind. Some Disney fans hoping for a description of working with Disney as rainbows and unicorns will be sorely disappointed as he pulls no punches with mature audience.
Other Mouseketeers have described Burr as the intellectual one. And it is not out of the ordinary for Burr to make reference to European philosophers and ancient poets. Burr writes with a big picture in mind making his transitions not always flow. For example he mentions his wife Diane several times before really introducing his readers to her. Additionally he might discuss an event in the 1950’s working on Mickey Mouse Club and jump in the same paragraph to a play from the 1970s. For some this could slow the reading pace. But then this text is a slow read due to the sheer comprehensive picture of his life that Burr provides.
Mousketeer fans will find Burr’s book a must have Between Book. But it honestly may not be a good fit for everyone! Burr shares all of himself from a detailed account of his life, to his opinions and his personal perspective of others. Further he shows the impersonal side of the Disney Company looking for the economical path. The Accidental Mouseketeer: Before and After the Mickey Mouse Club is more than a Disney book but a chronicle of one Mouseketeer’s saga as an entertainment professional.
Note: For those who wish to sample this title and are Kindle Unlimited members this title along with many other Theme Park Press books are included in the service for borrowing.
Review Copy Provided by Theme Park Press