Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Shaun Fleming, Tress MacNeille
Director: Carole Holliday, Matthew O’Callaghan, Theresa Cullen
Series: sequel to Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
Release Date: 9 November 2004
Length: 68 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
This fun-filled holiday extravaganza features all of your favorite Disney characters in holiday cartoons created just for this collection!
“Belles on Ice” – When Minnie Mouse is introduced first on the ice-skating rink, Daisy Duck’s feelings are hurt. Both Minnie and Daisy want to be the star of the ice-skating show, but their scene-stealing antics could end up ruining the show for everyone!
“Christmas: Impossible” – Huey, Dewey and Louie haven’t been very nice this year and they ended up on Santa’s naughty list. Deciding it is impossible to do enough nice things to change Santa’s mind, they decide to break into Santa’s office in the North Pole and put their names on the nice list!
“Christmas Maximus” – Max is second-guessing his plan to bring his girlfriend home for Christmas. He just knows that his dad, Goofy, will find new ways to embarrass him!
“Donald’s Gift” – Donald Duck is not feeling the Christmas spirit – especially when Daisy and the boys drag him off to the mall for Christmas shopping! Everywhere he turns, someone is playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and it is driving Donald crazy! All he wants to do is go home and enjoy some hot chocolate. Can Donald find a way to show he has the Christmas spirit before it is too late?
“Mickey’s Dog-Gone Christmas” – Mickey Mouse is upset when Pluto accidentally ruins the decorations for his Christmas party. While Mickey goes shopping to find new party gear, Pluto runs away and ends up a pet for Santa’s reindeer! But as wonderful as Pluto’s new home is, he just misses Mickey – and Mickey is missing Pluto just as much! Will these two find their way back together to enjoy a Merry Christmas?
This is a great Christmas special to watch with children of all ages. Little children will marvel at the amazing death-defying tricks that Minnie and Daisy perform on ice in “Belles on Ice.” Teenagers will empathize with Max as Goofy does nothing but embarrass him while he is visiting for the holidays. Parents will appreciate Donald’s struggle to find the Christmas spirit amidst all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The entire special is created in CGI graphics and, while this is not my favorite format, the cartoons here were well-suited to the brightly colored, bubbly animation.
“Christmas: Impossible” is the longest cartoon in this collection at 20-25 minutes with “Christmas Maximus” the shortest at 5-7 minutes. I found something to enjoy in all of the segments, but I did enjoy the story and spirit of “Christmas: Impossible” the most. It is always fun to travel to Santa’s workshop and see how the elves make all of the toys and get ready for the Christmas holiday! In this cartoon, Huey, Dewey and Louie are definitely not playing nice and almost ruin the holiday for everyone to selfishly try to get more presents for themselves! “Christmas Maximus” also struck a chord with me. I can definitely remember being mortified by some of the things that my parents said or did – though they did nothing as embarrassing as what Goofy does! – and could appreciate Max’s position. I couldn’t help but smile at the crazy things that happened to Goofy and particularly enjoyed the popcorn-popping scene in the kitchen! This cartoon is the most similar to the classic Disney cartoons in length and layout. There is very little dialogue, but Max is singing “Make Me Look Good” the whole time and it was a great way to present this cartoon. If you pay close attention, you can hear how the song changes to match the way Max’s attitude changes towards his father.
“Belles on Ice” features Minnie, Daisy and the crocodiles and hippos from Disney’s Fantasia. It seemed a little over-the-top and rather unbelievable, but I could definitely empathize with the attitude of the two divas featured here. It is really difficult to step back and let someone else enjoy the spotlight! “Donald’s Gift” provides a valuable lesson for all of us. Donald Duck is one of my favorite characters and he is at his best/worst in this cartoon! I look forward to Christmastime all year long and start watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music in November so by the time Christmas is actually here, I am totally over it! Granted, it is my own fault for starting so early, but I just can’t help myself! This cartoon makes fun of this trend by playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” everywhere Donald goes – on the radio, on the phone, at the mall, etc. It is important to remember that, while Donald may not be feeling the Christmas spirit, that does not give him – or us – the right to spoil the holiday mood for those around us, particularly our loved ones. “Mickey’s Dog-Gone Christmas” has a similar message. Pluto wrecked the decorations for Mickey’s party, but that doesn’t mean that Pluto ruined the holiday, despite what Mickey said to him. Tensions often run high during the holidays and it is easy to overreact when something doesn’t go the way we planned, but it is important to remember how much we love our family and friends and forgive. If Mickey had reacted differently, Pluto would not have run away and they would have been able to spend the holiday together rather than searching for each other.
There were some wonderful lessons to learn in Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas. The best part about the lessons is that they are wrapped up in such entertaining trappings that children will not even know that they are learning! This Christmas special is one that I look forward to seeing every year and I hope that it will become a holiday favorite in your house, too!
This movie is appropriate for viewers of all ages.