Britney Spears Calls ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ “Boot Camp” for Children

in Disney, Television

Close-up of Britney Spears in the music video for "Baby One More Time"

Credit: Jive Records/VEVO

Britney Spears is back in the public eye once again, as she has been since she was a young child.

Currently, the “…Baby One More Time” is making headlines for her upcoming memoir, The Woman in Me, which reportedly covers her entire life from her upbringing in Lousiana to her early appearance on the talent show Star Search to her years as the world’s most preeminent pop idol and, eventually, her status as a cause celebre due to her controversial former conservatorship.

Britney Spears posing on Instagram
Credit: Britney Spears Instagram

Recently, excerpts from The Woman in Me (via People) have revealed her complex feelings about one of the most significant steps in her career: her stint on the 1990s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club alongside a cast of fellow future stars.

Related: Britney Spears Film Release Faces Off with Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour

‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ Revival

The original Mickey Mouse Club variety show was created by Walt Disney himself and Hal Adelquist and first premiered in 1955. It ran for four seasons and was instantly a cultural touchstone, with its chant-along theme song, “Mickey Mouse Club March,” becoming recognizable to numerous generations.

Original Mickey Mouse Club Members
Credit: D23

Over the years, the Walt Disney Company brought the show back with different casts and variations on the name, including The New Mickey Mouse Club, The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, and Club Mickey Mouse.

To modern audiences, the most famous incarnation of the show is likely the 1990s version, which featured numerous cast members who would go on to global acclaim, including Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez, Justin Timberlake, and, of course, Britney Spears.

Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera in the All-New Mickey Mouse Club
Credit: Disney

“Boot Camp for the Entertainment Industry”

In The Woman in Me, Britney Spears revealed complex feelings about her time on the show, calling it a “boot camp for the entertainment industry: extensive dance rehearsals, singing lessons, acting classes, time in the recording studio, and school in between.”

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake posing for The Mickey Mouse Club
Credit: Disney Channel

However, she also says it was “honestly a kid’s dream — unbelievably fun, particularly for a kid like me. But it was also exceptionally hard work: we would run choreography thirty times in a day, trying to get every step perfect.”

The rigors of show business on child stars like Britney Spears, her future partner Justin Timberlake, and her sometime-rival Christina Aguilera have been much discussed in recent years, making it even more interesting that the singer would express both positive and difficult memories.

Related: Former Disney Mouseketeer Says “Not Everyone Got Out Alive”

Britney Spears’ Public Life

In the last several years, Britney Spears has experienced a cultural resurgence. Most famously, news of her controversial conservatorship, which essentially gave her father and lawyers near-complete control over her life), kicked off the #freebritney movement, eventually leading to the conservatorship being dissolved. Her own sometimes-erratic behavior on social media and in public has also raised eyebrows.

Since then, she, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera have become something of elder statespeople of pop music, with increased interest in their pasts as global stars. We won’t be surprised if a lot more about the Mickey Mouse Club comes out.

Will you read Britney Spears’ memoir? Tell us your memories of Britney in the comments below!

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