Disney Christmas Movies

December 18, 2010 at 3:28 PM | Posted in !Features!, !Film reviews! | Leave a comment

The Small One

Released: December 15, 1978
Running time: 25 minutes

With: Sean Marshall, William Woodson, Olan Soule, Hal Smith, Joe Higgins a.o.

A young boy, outside Nazareth, must part with his best friend, an old donkey named Small One, because Small One is getting too old to work for him and his father. He brings it to the market in Nazareth to sell him, but no one is in need of a “scrawny donkey”, save for a tanner. Small One is humiliated by everyone who lays eyes on him. And when things look bleak, Small One leads his friend back to the tanner’s, ready to give his life. But new hope comes along, in the form of a gentle man, who buys Small One for his blessed wife.

Well, this is not my favourite Disney Christmas short, but it certainly has something. The animation is very well done (the boy looks a bit like Mowgli from The Jungle Book (1967), doesn’t he?) and the story is very funny and emotional at the same time. I immediately recognized Sean Marshall as the boy, because he also starred in a Disney live action movie called <em>Pete’s Dragon</em>, one year prior. The songs are a bit quircky in this film, but then again it’s not all bad. They made use of Jewish stereotypes though, such as the three merchants. I can’t remember the part where Small One actually decides to go back to the tanner to give his life, it is never mentioned, but the part where he goes with Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem is the very best in the entire short. It was a decent one, just to watch once a year, during Christmas time.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Released: December 16, 1983
Running time: 25 minutes

With: Wayne Allwine, Clarence Nash, Hal Smith, Alan Young, Eddie Carroll a.o.

Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Scrooge McDuck) is a selfish duck who cares onlt for money. When on Christmas Eve 1843 his worker Bob Cratchit (played by Mickey Mouse) asks for ‘half a day off’, Scrooge tells him it will be unpaid. That same day, he turns down his nephew Fred (played by Donald Duck, voiced for the final time by Clarence Nash), who invites him for Christmas dinner and he sends away two money collectors. That night, the spirit of his late worker Jacob Marley visits him, and tells him he will be visited by three Christmas ghosts. This is Scrooge’s last time to make up for his selfishness, or he will be sent to hell and chained for eternity.

This has to be the signature story for Christmas, and the very best version of the tale ever (next to the Muppets’ version). The story is funny, exciting, well drawn, it’s Disney Christmas at it’s best. Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse, Eddie Carroll as Jiminy Cricket, Alan Young with full Scottish accent as Scrooge… All those special voices, and ofcourse cream of the crop Clarence Nash as Donald Duck, the last time he voiced the duck before he died in 1985. I can’t imagine my Christmas without this short, and I watch it several times in the month of December. As of December 18, 2010, I have already seen it about three times this month! No doubt, my favourite of all time.


Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas

Released: December 7, 1999
Running time: 70 minutes

With: Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Russi Taylor, Kelsey Grammer a.o.

This Christmas movie is made out of three seperate shorts. The first one features Huey, Dewey and Louie, wishing Christmas to last forever and not one day. The day after they wished upon a star, they find themselves in a life filled with Christmas everyday, and realize the feast is not meant to last 365 days a year.
The second short is about Max, Goofy’s son. Their neighbour Pete tells Max that Santa doesn’t really exist, and things get worse when Goofy dresses up like Santa to convince Max he does. Goofy is determined to show Max Santa exists, and even stays up all night during Christmas Eve to do so. At last, the real Santa actually comes and Max believes in him again.
In the last short, Mickey wants go give Minnie a gold chain for her heirloom, a watch in the shape of a heart. Minnie wants to give him a present as well, so she works extra hard to get her bonus, but it proves to be nothing more than a fruit cake. After playing music for a toy drive, Mickey decides to trade his precious harmonica for the chain. Ofcourse it’s ironic then that Minnie traded the watch for a harmonica case, so they both no longer have the objects the presents were meant for. This shows them that the thought behind each present counts.

I have not seen this movie in years and years, I think the last time I saw it was about eight years ago or something. So, with the power of YouTube, I have found this film on the internet and enjoyed it again. It was so much fun to see those shorts I loved so much when I was little, and more fun that I remembered the dialogues after all those years, so I entertained myself like heck. Oh, writing this review makes me want to watch it again, hehe.


Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas
Released: November 9, 2004
Running time: 54 minutes

With: Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Alan Young, Chuck McCann a.o.

This movie features five segments. The first, Belles on Ice, is about Minnie and Daisy, and how they both desperately want their place in the spotlight during an iceskating competition. They both sabotage eachother’s routine, but when Minnie falls, they realize they didn’t know what they were doing. In Christmas: Impossible, Huey, Dewey and Louie find out they haven’t been good boys last year, so they aren’t on Santa’s List. Their Uncle Scrooge wasn’t on the list as well when he was younger, and they don’t want to end up like him, presentless. They decide to travel to the North Pole to put their own names on Santa’s List. In Christmas Maximus, Max brings home a girl, Mona, for Christmas, and he wants to make a good impression. His father, Goofy, though, keeps on doing and saying the wrong things that will only embarrass Max. By accident ofcourse. When Max is down and feels like Christmas is over for him, he realizes Goofy always filled his life with laughter and that he should apologize to him. He impresses Mona and things turn out just right. Donald’s Gift is all about Donald wanting to enjoy Christmas all by himself, without all the fuss around him. But then every sound around him sound like “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, and he finally has enough of it. In anger, he detroys the Christmas display of Mousy’s as soon as the dolls start to sing the song. Then he sees that he let everyone down, including Daisy and the nephews, and makes up by teaching some carolers the song he used to hate but knows by heart, and so he saves Christmas for Duckburg. In Mickey’s Dog-gone Christmas, Pluto accidentally destroys Mickey’s Christmas decorations and runs away in fear and sorrow. He joins Santa’s reindeer group, but becomes homesick after a while. Meanwhile, Mickey is still looking for Pluto, and is happier than ever to find him home at the end of the day, safely dropped of by Santa’s reindeers.

Wow, such a big plot, and yet the features are so lighthearted and merry. I have seen this movie about three or four times this month already, and it’s another one I can hardly get enough of. I love almost every story, but Christmas: Impossible, Christmas Maximus and Donald’s Gift are my absolute favourite. I can’t even really say I like Mickey’s Dog-gone Christmas all that much. But the rest sure is very nice!
The special thing about this Christmas movie, is that the entire movie isn’t handdrawn but CGI, the first Mickey Mouse movie ever to be like that. It’s funny to see our Disney friends in this style.


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