Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas

Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas (2004)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Extras: Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Games

Well, it’s official. Computers have taken over the world. After abandoning hand-painted cel animation some time ago, Disney has now also replaced the hand-drawn mouse with a 3-dimnesional computer rendered counterpart. When I first heard about it, the thought alone made me shudder. It appeared blasphemous and vulgar – and in a sense it certainly is.

Not all is lost however, as Mickey’s first 3D computer animated release does not disappoint. Once I got over my initial trepidation I realized that the animators at Disney did a very good job in bringing Mickey and his Toontown friends to the new realm. The swagger is still there, the charm and atmosphere, all has been captured very nicely an accurately. And, after a few minutes you will find that you have completely forgotten about the technology, and just enjoy the wonderful vignettes that Disney has put together on this DVD. The episodes range from rivalries between Mickey and Daisy, Donald’s lack of Christmas spirit, Goofy’s antics as his son Max tries to bring home his girlfriend for Christmas and Pluto running off to the North Pole after Mickey yelled at him.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment is presenting the episodes in an anamorphic widescreen transfer in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The image is absolutely fantastic without any speckles – it is an all-digital transfer after all. Colors are superbly reproduced with vibrant hues and the most subtle shades, Blacks are rock solid and no edge-enhancement or compression artifacts are visible.

The audio on the DVD is a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that is well produced and boasts a good frequency response and dynamics.

A few extras are also included on the disc, such as featurette with Michelle Kwan as she discusses how she became the template for the wonderful ice skating sequences in the film. A number of games are also on the disc, such as ’Guess what Donald’s Singing’ and a Santa Workshop.

All in all this is a great release. My reservations about a CGI-Mickey have certainly been disproved as the film has the same qualities that made earlier Mouse releases so enjoyable. It may be a bit short, running for a mere 68 minutes, but combined with the great extras and video quality, this is definitely a perfect stocking stuffer.