“The Monkey’s Uncle,” 1965
Funicello’s last Disney film was a goofy confection about a brilliant, college-aged inventor named Merlin Jones (Tommy Kirk) — the titular monkey’s uncle, via a contrivance too silly to explain — and his best gal, Jennifer. This clip of Funnicello singing the film’s title song is notable for two reasons: Firstly, she was so big at this point that here, she’s credited simply as “Annette.” (Eat your heart out, Cher.) And secondly — hey, it’s the Beach Boys, pre-Pet Sounds! Groovy.
Mickey Mouse Club reunion special, 1980
For maximum impact, please watch this one immediately after rewatching the first clip on this list. Annette, naturally, gets to introduce herself last during this go-around.
The Mickey Mouse Club‘s 30th anniversary inspired a new VHS collection that featured interviews with Funicello. In this clip, the grown-up teen idol — who never thought she had much of a voice — recalls how her singing career came about purely by accident, and how her producers invented her signature “Annette Sound.”
Christmas at Pee-wee’s Playhouse, 1988
Children of the ’80s probably wouldn’t have recognized Funicello and Avalon as two joggers who amble past the Beverly Hills Hotel in Troop Beverly Hills. They may, however, remember the actress from Pee-wee’s Christmas special in which she and Frankie stop by the Playhouse to teach their host how to make Christmas cards. Anyone else in the mood to slap some paint on some potatoes?
A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story, 1995
After going public with her MS diagnosis, Funicello released a memoir recounting her life and career. The book was subsequently adapted into this made-for-TV movie, which ends with a cameo from the real Annette herself. Just try not to get misty during that final, halting narration…