The 19-part serial was originally shown in 1957-58 during the third season of The Mickey Mouse Club. Each installment ran for about 10 minutes, which means it took up over one-third of each Mickey Mouse Club episode. The serial’s premise was a familiar one: Annette is a country girl who goes to live with her aunt and uncle in the city; everyone likes her but a rich, snobby girl whose boyfriend seems interested in Annette! It's a flawed premise, of course...how could anyone not like Annette? Though she was only 14, her sweet disposition and sky-high likability quotient were already evident.
The cast is peppered with now-familiar faces: Richard Deacon (Leave It to Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show) as Annette’s uncle; Tim Considine (My Three Sons, Spin and Marty, The Hardy Boys) as love interest Steve; Roberta Shore (Betsy on The Virginian) as the mean girl; David Stollery (Spin and Marty) as nice guy Mike; Mary Pickes in her typical role as a meddler; and Shelley Fabares as one of Annette’s friends. Mousketeers Sharon Baird and Doreen Tracy also appeared in supporting roles.
While there are no musical production numbers in Annette, there are several songs integrated into natural settings: Roberta Shore sings at a teen party, Annette and David Stollery duet at the malt shop, Sharon Baird and Rudy Lee dance up a storm at a barbeque, etc. The surprise of the series, though, came when Annette sang a sweet Sherman Brothers tune called “How Will I Know My Love” standing in front of a mirror (and reprised on a hayride). An avalanche of fan mail followed and Disneyland Records eventually released “How Will I Know My Love” as a single.
|Annette with David Stollery.|
supporting performances was in 1959’s
By the way, if you rent or buy the Annette serial on DVD, be sure to skip Chapter 1 “An Introduction.” It’s such a thorough “introduction” that it pretty much condenses the serial’s whole plot into a ten-minute summary!