Sunday, November 08, 2009

Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse

Both of my girls love Disney, and Mickey holds a special place in their hearts. One of the most popular DVDs in our house is an older Disney Halloween special called Mickey's House of Villains, a special where the Disney villains take over the House of Mouse. (Remember the House of Mouse cartoon? Essentially it involved Mickey and friends running a club for all of the Disney characters to visit, where they shared various Disney shorts for the audience and Huey, Dewey & Louie were the club band.)

We've watched House of Villains so much that I had to create a rule that it was only to be seen in October for Halloween. And then, just as it was being placed back on the shelf for a long winter rest, I received an e-mail asking if I would like to review Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse? Another House of Mouse special that isn't about Halloween? Sign me up!

Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse follows the standard House of Mouse format with a few added surprises. A heavy snow has trapped the Disney characters at the club, and so they decide to make the most of it and throw a big holiday bash. Clips of classic Disney cartoons are shown, with character interviews featured in-between. The character interviews felt a little forced to me, with several of the jokes falling flat with our screening audience. Some of the character voices didn't match up well, either. Thankfully they're short and not the primary focus of the DVD.

The best parts of this DVD are the cartoon shorts themselves. The Nutcracker features Mickey and Minnie in a jazzed-up version of the holiday classic. The music has a Trans-Siberian orchestra feel to it that will have you humming along. My favorite, however, is Mickey's Christmas Carol, starring Donald's Uncle Scrooge as the "bah, humbug!" protagonist. I've loved this retelling of A Christmas Carol for years, and I was thrilled to see it on this DVD. Both of my daughters loved it, too - Goofy as the ghost of Marley kept it from being too scary while still getting the message through to them.

Bonus features on the DVD include the premiere episode of the House of Mouse cartoon and two sing-along songs, along with a featurette about Disney sound effects that is interesting for adults, but not so much for young children.

I like having a holiday-themed DVD for Christmas, and from the first few viewings, I know that Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse will get a lot of play over the next two months. I have a feeling I'll have to place limits on how often this DVD is played, too.

If you're interested in purchasing this DVD, Amazon has it on sale for $15.99 right now!

Full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this DVD, but received no further compensation for this review.

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