The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers (2004)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Pete, Clarabelle
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes, Build your own Opera, Deleted Scenes, Song Selection

Mickey is back, this time in his very first full-length movie! Hard to believe, but after all those years, he and his friends, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Daisy and all the others make a glorious feature film debut in the swashbuckling adventure ’The Three Musketeers.’ Part opera, part adventure movie, this film offers plenty for everyone and tells the story of the lowly janitors Mickey, Donald and Goofy who would do anything to become Musketeers. One day their chance has come when Pegleg Pete needs unsuspecting volunteers to help him in his plan to overthrow the throne and become King of France. But before long, the three aspiring musketeers see through the plan and fight with all their might to make sure Queen Minnie and her reign remain safe and sound.

’The Three Musketeers’ is a well-balanced animated film with some great songs, a very light opera feel and plenty of daring adventures during which the three have to safe themselves and each other from peril while trying to protect Minnie. The film is beautifully animated and the art direction has been done tastefully to make sure the computer-generated shots are not overly intrusive and won’t destroy the style of the overall product. The film sports a number of truly great backgrounds which reminded me a lot of the wonderful quality found in classic animated features.

Voice acting is once again superb with Wayne Allwine once again lending his voice to Mickey, as well as Jim Cummings, Russi Taylor, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer and the rest of the current Disney voice cadre bringing to life the characters we all love.

Disney is presenting the movie in an anamorphic transfer in a 1.78:1 widescreen presentation that is absolutely clean of defects or grain. The image is rock solid without even the slightest flaw with colors that are stable and never bleed. Blacks are deep and solid, nicely defining the cartoon outlines as well as the shadows in the picture. There is no edge-enhancement evident and the compression is also without flaws, rendering an image that is a joy to behold.

The sound of the DVD is also impressive, featuring a dynamic 5.1 channel Dolby Digital mix that makes very good use of the surround channels. Sound effects are spatially placed throughout and the music has a wide integration filling the entire sound field at times. Dialogues are balanced and always understandable without problems.

The DVD comes with a number of extras, such as a fun-filled commentary track featuring Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pete, making it thoroughly enjoyable to experience the film once again with their more intimate take on the production. For fans of the characters, this is an invaluable track.

Also included are deleted scenes, a not-so-serious featurette on the making of the movie, a featurette on Mickey Mouse throughout the years, as well as a fun filled game, ’Build your own Opera.’

I had a lot of fun watching ’The Three Musketeers.’ It’s a wonderful Mickey Mouse story the way you expect it, with some tastefully arranged music and songs. The film is never too dark for small children, yet exciting enough for them to feverishly feel for their favorite characters on the screen. For adults, the film also has plenty to offer and thus makes for a perfect family viewing. This is a DVD I can whole-heartedly recommend to anyone with a liking for Mickey Mouse.