The Three Musketeers


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Rating: G

Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse
Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck
Jim Cummings as Pete
Bill Farmer as Goofy
Tress MacNeille as Daisy
Russi Taylor as Minnie
April Winchell as Clarabelle
Maurice LaMarche
Rob Paulsen

Special Features:
Build Your Own Opera: Players select their own stage backdrop and singer, then sing-along to one of three crazy opera songs with wacky on-screen lyrics

The Many Hats of Mickey: Discover Mickey’s different movie roles through his long and illustrious film career

The Making of The Three Musketeers: This tongue-in-cheek documentary delves into why this is Mickey’s first full-length animated movie

Deleted Scenes

Audio Commentary: Stars Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pegleg Pete explain how they approached their performances

Disney’s Song Selection

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language Tracks
Running Time: 68 Minutes

In this straight to video animated feature, the story is narrated from a comic book by a new tortoise character. He tells the story of three aspiring Musketeers, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. Having seen Musketeers in action as children, they long to follow in the footsteps of their heroes. There are just a few minor details. Donald is a coward, Goofy is dumb, and Mickey is small. They seemed destined to spend the rest of their lives as servants for the Musketeers rather than one of them.

However, when someone attempts to kill Princess Minnie, she calls on the leader of the Musketeers, Peg Leg Pete, to assign her special bodyguards. Little does she know that Peg Leg Pete is leading the effort to assassinate her and steal the throne. Looking for the most incompetent Musketeers possible, Pete promotes Mickey, Donald, and Goofy to full fledged Musketeer status and appoints them to protect the Princess. But will they continue their incompetent ways or rise up and save Princess Minnie?

The Three Musketeers is rated G.

The Movie:
When The Three Musketeers arrived at our house, my kids opened it with eager anticipation. While I wasn’t nearly as gung-ho about the film as they were, I was mildly interested in seeing what Disney had produced. The final result wasn’t the best Disney animated film ever made, but it is a solid effort and entertaining for kids.

One of the most notable things about this film is the music. Rather than writing original songs for the score, they have taken music from classic operettas and given them new lyrics. For example, they take excerpts from Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, and others and given them words that apply to the events in the story. You’ll recognize The Blue Danube, music from Carmen, Hall of the Mountain King, Waltz of the Flowers, and more. While it’s a nice idea and it exposes kids to classic music, I think I prefer original songs instead.

The animation is very good for a straight-to-video release. It almost looks like they originally intended this to be a theatrical release. The motion looks good and some scenes are obviously aided by computer animation. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy look good together and were apparently designed with a little throwback to their earlier incarnations. Having them together on the screen again really makes you nostalgic for those early adventures. (Remember they were the original Ghostbusters!)

The voice cast is a virtual who’s who among animation voice talent. Jim Cummings (Taz, Winnie The Pooh, Tigger) voiced Pete. Rob Paulsen (The Animaniacs, Pinky) plays the narrating tortoise. Maurice LaMarche (The Brain) provides additional voices. Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons, Babs Bunny) returns as Daisy along with Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse, Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck, Bill Farmer as Goofy, and Russi Taylor as Minnie.

As for the story, it’s OK. There are some good moments and boring moments, but overall it all averages out. There are some fun moments towards the beginning where our three heroes do some physical comedy together. There’s also an amusing romance between Goofy and Clarabelle Cow…just when she’s trying to kill him. Daisy Duck also gets the short end of the stick a couple of times when she’s mistaken for one of the “bad guys”. There are also some funny jokes featuring Mickey and Donald’s original costumes. Despite these amusing moments, I did find my kids wandering away from the TV on occasion and I admit that I did check my watch a couple of times myself.

The Three Musketeers ends up being more for the kiddies than adults, but animation fans should enjoy this film which is the first full length feature film starring all three of the characters together.

The Extras:
A fair number of extras are included on this DVD. Here are some of the highlights:

Build Your Own Opera – In this game for the kiddies, you pick a background and a singer and they perform a wacky opera for you. Like in the movie, the music is from a known operetta while silly lyrics have been added to it.

The Many Hats of Mickey – This feature shows clips of Mickey Mouse in his various roles over the years. You see him from Fantasia, Mickey and the Beanstalk, and other character roles.

The Making of The Three Musketeers – This is a “making of” feature talking about how they made the movie, the ideas behind the music, the designs of the characters, etc. The creators talk as if Mickey, Goofy, and Donald were real actors. It’s silly, but brief.

Deleted Scenes – In the deleted scenes, you’ll find an alternate opening with the turtle that emphasizes the comic book theme a bit more. Another scene shows Minnie and Daisy laughing about Donald more (then getting accidentally jumped by the Musketeers a second time). There’s also another scene with the turtle that was cut.

Audio Commentary: Stars Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pegleg Pete explain how they approached their performances – The characters provide commentary for their opening scene from the film. It’s a cute idea but it would have been funnier if it had been improvised more. They sounded like they were reading from a script a bit much. I’m just glad they didn’t do commentary for the whole movie like this.

Disney’s Song Selection – You can go directly to the songs in the movie with this feature. There’s also a music video for the song “Three Is A Magic Number” by Stevie Broch, Greg Raposo, and Matt Ballinger. The song and the performers are utterly forgettable, but preteens may enjoy this.

The Bottom Line:
This is good entertainment for kids, but not so much for adults.