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Toon Talk: Mickey's House of Villains
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by Kirby C. Holt (archives)
September 9, 2002
Kirby reviews the recent home release Mickey's House of Villains.

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

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Mickey's House of Villains
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Since Pegleg Pete first menaced Steamboat Willie, the bad guys and gals of the Disney Universe have possessed an intoxicating allure over audiences. From the Evil Queen's egomaniacal machinations to Captain Hook's one-handed under-handedness to Cruella de Vil's sartorial sinisterness, the denizens of Uncle Walt’s Rogue’s Gallery have often overshadowed the so-called heroes of many an animated film with their outlandish schemes and scene-stealing bravado.

The Disney villains developed a cult-like following beginning in the late 80s, when ‘to hip for toons’ teens gravitated to the increasingly available merchandise featuring the villainous visages of the likes of Maleficent and Chernabog. And, with each new inductee (such as Ursula, Gaston, Jafar, Scar and Hades), their popularity grew, prompting even more specialized merchandise and more prominent roles in theme parks and other media.

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So it is no surprise that the House of Mouse franchise would be used to capitalize on such a juicy premise such as the one presented in the newest direct-to-video offering, Mickey’s House of Villains: a cadre of the best of Disney’s ‘worst’ teaming-up to take on the Main Mouse and take over his House of Mouse. Such a premise has been playing out for years at Disneyland and the Disney-MGM Studios every night with Fantasmic!, so why not bring it home?

Sad to say, but, like last year’s equally dismal Christmas outing (Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse), this ‘Halloween Night at the House of Mouse’ special is merely a repackaging of previous shorts, with a weakly-scripted and shoddily animated ‘storyline’ trying vainly to connect it all together. The result is a mish-mash of animation quality, recycled footage, one-dimensional characterizations and little in the way of fresh entertainment value.

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