Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed In At The House Of Mouse

Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed In At The House Of Mouse (2001)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck
Extras: Bonus Episode, Sing-alongs, Sound Effects Featurette

The ’House of Mouse’ television program is an ingenious concept, which never really pays off. On this show, Mickey Mouse runs a nightclub called ’House of Mouse’. Here, dozens of animated Disney characters can be seen having a good time and commenting on the many short films and on-stage acts which appear nightly. Sadly, the presence of great characters from Disney classics only reminds the audience of how banal the new material is. Now, we have a feature-length episode of the show entitled ’Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.’ After a blizzard traps the patrons at the ’House of Mouse’, Mickey decides to throw a Christmas party. This is fine with everyone, except for Donald Duck, who has no Christmas spirit. Mickey attempts to fix this problem by showing several Christmas themed movies, which deal with various subjects such as Christmas decorations, a snowman building contest, and an updated version of ’The Nutcracker’, starring Mickey, Minnie, and Donald. These shorts are a mixture of new material and old classics.

As with the TV show, the new material in ’Mickey’s Magical Christmas’ is weak, and truly pales in comparison to the older stuff shown here. The saving grace of this program (and the only real reason to check this one out) is the inclusion of ’Mickey’s Christmas Carol’, which features Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer and Mickey as Bob Cratchett. This is a fun film, and makes creative use of the Disney characters as the many denizens of Dicken’s beloved classic. Most of ’Mickey’s Magical Christmas’ will appeal only to younger Disney fans, but ’Mickey’s Chritmsa Carol’ makes this package worth opening.

Disney DVD delivers ’Mickey’s Magical Christmas’ to the digital format and the show is presented in a full-frame format. For the most part, the image is sharp and clear, but on the older pieces, especially the short with Mickey, Pluto, and Chip ’n Dale, there are some minor defects evident from the source print. The colors here are sumptuous and there is no oversaturation or bleeding evident. Unusual for a kid’s DVD, ’Mickey’s Magical Christmas’ contains both a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a DTS 5.1 track. Both give the viewer clear dialogue, yet neither are overwhelming in terms of surround sound. The DVD contains a full-length bonus episode of ’House of Mouse’, as well as two sing-alongs. There is also a short vignette with a Disney sound effects specialist, who demonstrates how sound-effects are done for animation.