It may be a little early in the year to start reviewing Christmas movies, so I got around that problem by reviewing a short instead. Mickey’s Christmas Carol was released in 1983 along with the reissue of The Rescuers. The story is familiar to us all; Ebenezer Scrooge is a selfish man who has no joy or compassion in his heart, and in this take on the classic, Scrooge McDuck plays, very appropriately, Scrooge. He works in a counting house in London, along with his sole employee Bob Cratchit, who is played by Mickey Mouse. His wife is of course Minnie Mouse, who doesn’t actually speak in this short, and they have three children (mini Mickeys and Minnies!) On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts, as well as his deceased business partner Jacob Marley, played by Goofy. The first ghost is The Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Jiminy Cricket. The second is The Ghost of Christmas Present, played by Willie the Giant, as seen in the Jack and the Beanstalk segment of Fun and Fancy Free. The third and final ghost is The Ghost of Christmas Future, and is played by the original Disney villain from Steamboat Willie, Pete, who is wearing hooded robes, and smoking a cigar!
After Scrooge’s encounters with the three spirits/ghosts, he is a changed man, flashing his cash all over the town and being kind to everyone. Happy endings all round!
I think that the best way to look at this version of Charles Dickens’ story is by comparing it to a couple of others. Muppet’s Christmas Carol is clearly superior to this version, though that is mainly due to the one-liners that the Muppets pride themselves for. The more recent version of A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey was, visually, a masterpiece in my opinion, and the visuals alone made up for the story which we have seen regurgitated time and time again. If you are a big Disney fan and are familiar with a lot of the older characters, you will spot a few cameos in this short, in addition to the ones already mentioned above. Mr. Toad plays Fezzywig, and also in his scene you may recognise animals from Robin Hood. On the street there are also a few folks who I believe to be from Basil the Great Mouse Detective. This was the last film for which Clarence Nash provided the voice of Donald Duck.
I think that this short would be suited best to younger children, as it does not run too long, and tells the story with some very familiar characters. This is in comparison to the other two films mentioned above which can be mildly scary in places.
I am reviewing this short from the Walt Disney Treasures DVD-Mickey Mouse in Living Colour Volume Two; however you can also watch it on Mickey’s Magical Christmas – Snowed in at the House of Mouse, which also includes some other festive fun.
I give this short 4 Tinks.