A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes (1995)

This biopic is obviously told with much love and affection. Eva LaRue, who portrays Annette Funicello from age 16 onwards, has described the film as “more of a tribute to her life rather than a tell-all of her life" and therein lays the root of its failure. Events are checked off rather than providing any dramatic impetus. Even Annette's battle with MS lacks any emotional punch. It is merely something that is endured, much like the biopic itself.

 

Fighting against the ravages of her disease, Annette Funicello bravely narrates most of the film and appears in the present day scenes. Other stars appearing as themselves include Frankie Avalon, Shelly Fabares and Dick Clark, which can be a bit confusing at times. After being portrayed as his younger self by another actor, Frankie turns up on the beach acting opposite Eva LaRue as Annette. As her old-age make-up is less than convincing, Frankie inadvertently comes across as a bit of a dirty old man.

 

Not so Len Cariou, whose performance as Walt Disney is enchanting. Unfortunately, the rest of this Cinderella tale turns into a pumpkin long before the clock strikes twelve.

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Kevin "Moochie" Corcoran appears on the very first Mickey Mouse Club in 1955. Corcoran appeared in a Mouseketeer outfit with the name Moochie across his chest only once, and that was two years after the show's debut in 'Disneyland: The Fourth Anniversary Show',

 

Annette Funicello is depicted making a Skippy Peanut Butter commercial when she hears the news of Walt Disney's death. However Disney died in 1966, while Funicello didn't start spruiking peanut butter until the late 1970's.

Recreation of Beach Party keeps most of the dialogue, but changes everything else to produce a homage of sorts to all of the 'Beach' movies.

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