The first of four seasonal specials from The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse debuted today on Disney+. Full of frozen fun, The Wonderful Winter of Mickey Mouse features three new shorts in a 24-minute package feature. As always, they’re full of Easter Eggs for longtime Disney fans and this recap not only relives the fun of each segment, but also points them out. “Everybody neat and pretty? Then on with the show!”
A snowglobe narration segues between the three stories, the first of which takes place in a snowflake factory above the clouds, which fits right in with Mary Blair's it’s a small world style.
Mickey Mouse is a janitor at the snowflake factory who dreams of becoming a snow maker. Snowflake Juice gets pumped through machines that create ice balls, which then get pressed and cut into unique snowflakes. The factory contains many tubes and ramps before the snow gets sprinkled down to Earth.
Mickey’s cleaning leads him to a big room, with a floor reminiscent of Elsa’s ice palace from Frozen. It’s there that he ends up alone with a giant jar of Snowflake Juice that wasn’t put away. His curiosity gets the better of him and he tries his hand at making a snowflake, but the jar breaks and pumps too much juice into the machinery, creating a giant ice ball that looks like a mace. Mickey loves it and gives the giant ice ball a kiss, but it suddenly crashes through the floor!
Mickey dives off the snowflake factory in the clouds, using his mop to hop on a cloud and sail towards his creation, hitting it back up to the factory. It then goes through a Wipeout-style obstacle course of ramps, including one with giant clapping hands. The ball rolls through them fine, but Mickey gets clapped by each one. The ramp leads to a giant horizontal fan and the ball rolls to the middle of the blade. As Mickey tries to get to it, he accidentally hits a switch that makes it spin faster.
Mickey and the ball get knocked into the air by the fan blade, arriving at a lightning factory above the snowflake factory where a furry creature is surrounded by balloons, rubbing them on itself to create static, which then makes lightning. After getting shocked, Mickey and the ice ball end up perched at the bottom of a ramp and Mickey cries with joy that he and his creation are safe.
A storm cloud sees the loving scene, which makes it cry. A giant pink elephant (bearing little resemblance to the ones from Dumbo) comes to console the cloud and Mickey becomes frozen in the cloud’s tears. When the ball rolls off the ramp, Mickey realizes that his only option is to destroy it.
Mickey grabs a balloon, a pair of clapping hands, and reverses the fan blade to rocket him down towards the falling ice ball. He tries to break it with the hands, but they don’t cause much damage.
The ice ball is hurtling towards a village where a baby parade and kitten cuddle time are taking place. A cameo from the Walrus from Alice in Wonderland is included, in which he announces that everyone just won the lottery.
Mickey comes to the realization that he’s not a snowflake maker, but a janitor. He grabs his mop and uses the handle to beat the ice ball, which begins to crack. It bursts apart into a gorgeous snow shower. Back up in the factory, Mickey’s boss tells him that it’s the best snow shower they’ve ever made, promoting Mickey to a snowflake maker… after he cleans up the mess he made.
In the second story, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy arrive at Mineral King for a ski vacation (Mineral King was a ski resort Walt Disney was planning to build at the time of his death). They arrive at their cabin only to find that it’s rundown and smelly. Above the couch are mounted heads of a moose, buffalo, and deer (Max, Melvin, and Buff from Country Bear Jamboree, originally designed for Mineral King and repurposed for Walt Disney World).
Mickey reminds his pals that they will hardly be in the cabin just as a snowdrift collapses on top of them, trapping them inside. Mickey tries to cheer Donald and Goofy up by making dinner, finding a can of beans. When he cracks it open, a can-shaped frozen chunk of ice slides out with just a single bean inside (a nod to the “Mickey and the Beanstalk” segment of Fun and Fancy Free).
Hours later, the trio sit freezing on the couch. Goofy grows claustrophobic, envisioning the walls closing in around him. Donald gets furious at Mickey’s chattering teeth and snaps, breaking down the door and trying to dig his way out of the cabin. Mickey asks Goofy for help, who is now delirious and envisioning Max, Melvin, and Buff talking to him with his own voice. Goofy sees Mickey and Donald as terrifying monsters (Mickey’s ears are a nod to Runaway Brain) and races to the attic to hide, where he finds a parka.
Mickey and Donald try to dig their way out, but all tunnels somehow lead back into the cabin. This causes the two pals to fight and Mickey claims it’s not his fault, showing Donald the brochure that boasts about the location’s “Deluxe Accommodations.”
Goofy returns to the living room, putting on a fashion show with his coat, but Mickey and Donald see it for what it really is: a collection of raccoons, opossums, and rats! In their panic, the cabin becomes dislodged from the ground, sliding out from underneath the snow, but also sailing down the mountain. The gang tries to escape out of the back door, but finds that an avalanche is following them. The cabin crashes through the Mineral King sign on its way down.
The cabin ends up on giant skis in its descent and Mickey is able to use ski poles to steer, sending it into the resort’s hot tub in hopes that it will melt the avalanche, but it only makes it angrier (the avalanche occasionally takes on a human form to change directions).
Mickey steers the cabin onto a ski lift, with the avalanche boarding a gondola behind it (a similar style to the Disney Skyliner). At the top, the house sails down another mountain and the avalanche pours out in pursuit. Goofy sees a snowboarding hashpipe and regrets not getting to use it, but Mickey tells him that’s a great idea. As he steers towards it, Goofy gets prepared in 1990s snowboarding attire.
The cabin ends up winning a trophy from the Walrus (apparently Mineral King is near the village from the first short). The avalanche crashes and the cabin spirals out of control, landing where it belongs right in front of Mickey’s car.
The gang gets in, having had enough of Mineral King for one trip. Mickey starts the car and the engine backfires, causing a new snowdrift to collapse on top of them. We hear Goofy say that he just found another coat, meaning more raccoons and rats.
The final short takes place on a frozen pond, starting with a blue and red snowflake dancing, creating a heart shape on the ice, reminiscent of the intro to the “Once Upon a Wintertime” segment from Melody Time. As the camera pulls back to reveal skaters on the ice, the human couple from that short are present for a brief cameo.
Mickey and Minnie skate together in a pairs routine, delighting a crowd of spectators, including a bulldog girl who is Mickey’s biggest fan. He autographs the back of her head. A spectator says “How ever will they top that?”, which motivates Mickey to do another performance. Minnie is reluctant, telling Mickey that her feet hurt, but Mickey is insistent that they do another dance and make it even more magical. As the crowd cheers for more, we see Thumper from Bambi pounding his foot on the ice.
Goofy believes the dancing is done, so he begins ice fishing, cutting a hole in the ice, sitting in a lawn chair, and producing a thermos of hot soup from his hat. As Mickey and Minnie begin their second performance, Goofy loses control of his thermos, which goes bouncing all over the ice, causing Mickey and Minnie to crash.
With that mess cleared up, Mickey and Minnie’s next obstacle is a zamboni, driven by Chip and Dale, who run them over. The spinning bristles send the couple flying to the top of a tree where their mangled forms top it like a star.
Mickey starts to cry and Minnie stops him, saying “Mickey, there’s no crying in ice dancing” (a variation of a Tom Hanks from A League of Their Own, non-Disney reference). Minnie points to the sad spectators to empower him to continue the show. Just then, Goofy gets pulled by his fishing pole down under the ice, emerging moments later on the back of a giant green fish. The ice cracks as the giant fish emerges, stranding Mickey and Minnie on a floating chunk of ice.
Mickey is ready to give up again, citing his own feet hurting as one of his reasons, but when Minnie sees the sad face on the bulldog girl, it breaks her heart. She reminds Mickey that they’re not dream killers and they resume their routine. In their heads, they soar up a mountain and ice dance down it with a big finish to a 90s-style love ballad. In their dance down the mountain, they glide under Friend Owl from Bambi.
Their dream sequence finishes on the pond, now frozen again, but it disappears to reveal that they were skating on their chunk of ice the whole time. The giant fish splashes up underneath them, Goofy riding on its tongue, and blows water out of its blowhole (what?), elevating the block of ice Mickey and Minnie are on as the crowd goes wild.
In the end, the snowglobe becomes a scene depicting imagery from all three shorts. The End.
The next seasonal special is coming on March 25th, The Wonderful Spring of Mickey Mouse.