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Toon Talk: Twice Upon a Christmas
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by Kirby Holt (archives)
November 9, 2004
Kirby reviews the first 3D feature for Mickey and the gang - Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas.

Toon Talk
Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt

(c) Disney

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
All I Want For Christmas is a 2-D Toon

In 1999, Walt Disney Home Video released Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas, a delightfully charming original production that brought Mickey and the gang together to tell three new yuletide tales for the whole family. Now, five years later, the stars and concept return with, appropriately enough, Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas, but with a new, state-of-the-art twist.

And while we have seen snippets of it before (Mickey’s Oscar show appearance a few years back, the 3-D Walt Disney World attraction Mickey’s PhilharMagic), here, for the first time in a full-length presentation, the classic Disney characters of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and their relations are presented in computer animated form. While certainly not as disastrously jarring as one might have feared - the classic characters that we all know and love are mostly rendered realistically - bits of their beloved personalities are still lost in the translation.

(c) Disney

In addition to the upgrade in animation, the filmmakers have upped the ante story wise as well, increasing the total number of stories from three to five. Once’s narrator Kelsey Grammer is gone, replaced by a generic Santa sound-alike who introduces each tale as a 3-D pop-up book (harkening back to the classic storybook introductions of such classic features as Snow White) springs to life to lead into each chapter:

  • Belles on Ice: The heretofore implied rivalry between Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck comes to a head at an ice-skating competition, where their elaborate routines (featuring the hippos and crocodiles from Fantasia) culminates in a rousing finale and joyful reconciliation.
  • Christmas: Impossible: Huey, Dewey and Louie sneak into Santa’s workshop to forge their names on his “Good List? but end up learning about putting others’ needs before their own.
  • Christmas Maximus: Max is worried about introducing his new college girlfriend (I guess that thing with A Goofy Movie’s Roxanne didn’t work out) to his father Goofy when they come home for a Christmas break visit.
  • Donald’s Gift: The stress of the holidays finally gets to be too much for our Duck friend, but he eventually finds a way to recapture the Christmas spirit.
  • Mickey’s Dog-Gone Christmas: When Pluto accidentally destroys Mickey’s Christmas decorations, the Mouse’s “best pal? runs away, only to end up at the North Pole with Santa’s reindeer. While Mickey frantically searches for him, Pluto learns a thing or two from the reindeer that helps him find his way home.
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