Mickey’s Christmas Carol is soon to be available as a 30th anniversary Disney Blu_ray and it is so much fun. I adore the song that plays during the credits. To me, it is a perfect representation of Christmas that takes me back to my childhood, when I watched this beloved adaptation of Dickens’ classic. It is short, and therefore lacks the depth of the original story that is more adequately explored in other great versions, but it cuts to the heart of it in a way that is light entertainment fun for kids and just scary enough to be exciting, without any real danger of true fright. I really enjoy the repurposing of classic characters, casting Jiminy as the ghost of Christmas Present, Mr. Toad as Fezziwig and so on. That treatment of Disney’s repertoire of characters is what intrigued me most about Tale Spin, a Disney Afternoon series that breathed new life into the cast of A Jungle Book. It gives Mickey’s Christmas Carol a familial glow that is sweet and funny and bound to be an instant tradition for the family.
The quick boil down of the well known story is the cheap, miserly Mr. Scrooge– mean, but not without humor– reluctantly grants Bob Cratchit (Mickey Mouse) half a day off for Christmas. That Night, he is spooked by the ghost of his old partner Jacob Marley (Goofy) who warns him that three spirits will visit him before morning. Scrooge is woken up by Jiminy Cricket who takes him to witness a Christmas party from his past, and the day he turned his back on love for his own greed. He is next woken up by the Giant from Mickey and the Beanstalk who shows him Bob Cratchit’s family and suggests that the sickly child Tiny Tim will soon be gone. Scrooge is hardly able to grasp the weight of this when he sees the weasels from The Wind and the Willows digging a grave that the Ghost of Christmas Future (Pete) reveals is his, before pushing him down screaming into a flaming pit. Scrooge wakes up with a change of heart and makes Bob his partner.
It’s a brief, but fun romp with a bonus features line up of classic cartoons starring Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale, plus, a new Mickey cartoon starring Harold, the abominable snowman, that is in some inexplicable way reminiscent of a Phineas and Ferb type show. The whole thing is great fun that runs just under an hour. you can pre-order here for the holidays.