Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: G

Starring:
Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse (voice)
Russi Taylor as Minnie Mouse (voice)
Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck (voice)
Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck (voice)
Bill Farmer as Goofy (voice)
Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck
Jeff Bennett
Jim Cummings
Jason Marsden
Chuck McCann
Clive Revill
Russi Taylor

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes: All Things Deleted

Backstage Disney: Inspiration On Ice -- See How Olympic Star Michelle Kwan Inspired The Animators

Games & Activities: Guess What Donald Is Singing; Santa's Workshop Challenge; Decorate Your DVD Menu; DVD-ROM Holiday Printables

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Language Tracks
Running Time: 68 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"Find out who's been naughty and who's been nice in this spectacular all-new Christmas celebration. Santa Claus joins Mickey, Minnie, and all their pals in an original movie about discovering the true joys of Christmas. Watch the hilarious antics of stubborn old Donald as he tries in vain to resist the joy of the season, and laugh along with Mickey and Pluto as they learn a great lesson about the power of friendship. Now, through the magic of dazzling computer animation, your favorite Disney characters get a wonderful new look, so celebrate the holidays with this irresistible new collection of Christmas stories the whole family is sure to enjoy."

Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas is rated G.

The Movie:
Let's start off with the most notable thing about Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas – the computer animation. Disney has set aside traditional 2-D animation in favor of computer animation and I have to say the transition is pretty good. If you've seen the "Disney's Philharmagic" attraction at one of the Disney theme parks then you've seen the animation style that they use. I'm amazed at how well these 2-D characters translate into 3-D animation. Donald, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, and all the rest look as good as if not better than their traditional incarnations. It's the same writing, the same characters, and the same humor all wrapped in a hi-tech package. The animation isn't quite up to Pixar quality, but it's better than that of Jimmy Neutron (which is still very good).

The animation wouldn't have held up if the writing wasn't there. Fortunately, the story is just as entertaining as the presentation. It's told in a series of short stories. Here's what you'll find:

"Belles on Ice" – In this short, Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse attempt to outdo each other in ice skating performances. They are aided in their routines by the hippos and crocodiles from Fantasia. Their musical numbers go to funny extremes as each attempts to become queen of the ice.

"Christmas Impossible" - Huey, Dewie, and Louie realize that they aren't going to make it on Santa's "good" list this year. So what do they do? They undertake a mission to the North Pole to secretly add their names to the list. But will they accidentally fowl up Christmas along the way? (Pun intended!) They do a little bit of a parody of "Mission: Impossible" and there are a number of hijinks within Santa's workshop.

"Christmas Maximus" - As Goofy's son Max brings his new girlfriend home for Christmas, he's embarrassed by his father's klutzy antics. This short also features a musical number.

"Donald's Gift" – As Christmas nears, Donald wants nothing more than to sit at home with a warm cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately, one problem after another arises and he's unable to find peace. Will Donald regain the Christmas spirit before his holiday is ruined?

"Mickey's Dog-Gone Christmas" – The final episode on this DVD features Pluto running away from home and accidentally being adopted by Santa's reindeer (and being named "Murray"). As Mickey frantically tries to find his pal, Pluto learns to fly along with his new friends. But will he be able to find his way home when he gets homesick?

Each of these short stories are funny, well executed, and faithful to the characters. Between the animation and the amusing Christmas stories, there's something entertaining here for everyone. "Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas" is well worth adding to your DVD collection.

The Extras:
There are a couple of bonus features tacked onto his DVD:

Deleted Scenes – These aren't exactly deleted scenes like you're used to on other DVDs. The co-directors and producer introduce each clip and explain why they were removed. They show alternate versions of the stories, cut scenes, and more. Some are nothing more than a few sketches while one of them was a fully rendered scene of Mickey Mouse putting a "lost dog" poster in a TV store window. This feature gives you a little insight into the creative process and you also see that the creators seem to have had a lot of fun making the movie.

Backstage Disney: Inspiration On Ice – This 3 minute video shows how they used Michelle Kwan as the inspiration for Minnie Mouse's skating moves in "Belles On Ice". There's not much here.

Games & Activities – There are three games included on the DVD. "Guess What Donald Is Singing" is just what it sounds like. You must figure out what Christmas lyrics Donald is singing. "Santa's Workshop Challenge" has you answer trivia questions about being naughty or nice. A third game has you guess which chute presents will randomly from.

The Bottom Line:
"Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas" is worth checking out not only for the computer animation but the fun Disney shorts featuring Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and all your other favorite characters.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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