(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. The song "Twelve Days of Christmas" plays throughout)
Doug (vo): Merry Christmas, everybody. In honor of the occasion, we'll take a little break from the Disney sequels and instead look at something a bit more Christmas-oriented, but is still a direct-to-DVD movie. That's Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. Every year, I see this brought out, and I've never really seen it before, because I think it came out a little past my time, in that, I love Disney, but it's kind of the basic Disney cartoons. It's Mickey, Donald, Goofy all learning about the meaning of Christmas while hijinks ensue. I kind of assumed there wasn't that much adult stuff in it, and, yeah, it does seem mainly for kids, but for a Christmas movie aimed mainly at kids, I think it's done pretty good.
Story and review
Doug (vo): It's an anthology of stories each dealing with the holiday.
(Clips from the first story, Donald Duck's Stuck on Christmas, are shown)
Doug (vo): The first one centers around Huey, Dewey and Louie and them all wishing that Christmas could be every day. Yeah, you know this tale, and you kind of know what comes of it. They get Christmas every day. At first, they love it, but then they find they don't, and eventually, a lesson is learned. It's pretty standard, until they throw in a little bit of a twist, where once the boys get sick of it, they start to act up and make things worse. This results in them seeing the consequences of their actions on the rest of the family and, I don't know. I thought that added a little bit more, at least from what you usually expect of this story. It's kind of nice, and there's a nice little bit about a Christmas card that you think is the throwaway joke, but it makes a return, too, and, I don't know. It was actually pretty emotional in the end. I liked it.
(Clips of the second story, A Very Goofy Christmas, are shown)
Doug (vo): The second centers around Goofy and his son Max. Actually, a much younger version of Max, which I like. I kind of like the idea of seeing him at a different age. But then again, they probably did that because it's about his belief in Santa Claus, in that, he's starting to doubt. Next door neighbor Pete tells him that there's not a Santa Claus, so Max is bound to find out if that's true or not. The one bizarre twist is that Goofy believes there's a Santa Claus, too, and actually ends up staying out all night until he comes. This one is mostly pretty good, but I don't know. I thought the ending was a bit of a cop-out. Not to give anything away, but they do reveal whether he exists in this world or not, and...I don't know. I thought you could've done this without a definitive answer, like maybe they go to bed, they wake up in the morning and find the gifts, and then you don't really know if Goofy did it or if it was just an act. I don't know. I felt that there was a really good, smart ending to this, and they just kind of do the traditional route. But honestly, the rest is so good, especially with Max trying to make his father feel better, that I think it's fine.
(Clips of the third story, Gift of the Magi, are shown)
Doug (vo): The third and final one stars Mickey and Minnie reenacting the Gift of the Magi. Yeah, they actually call it that. I really think that's cool. I usually don't care for Mickey Mouse stories, but honestly, Mickey and Minnie are kind of the perfect people to tell this story. You all know this tale. Mickey wants to get a gift for Minnie, Minnie wants to get a gift from Mickey, but neither of them have a lot of money. So Mickey has a plan involving his harmonica, and Minnie has a plan involving her watch, and all right. I won't give it away in case you haven't seen it, but it's a very decent telling of the story. Mickey and Minnie are the epitome of wide-eyed innocence that it really does make sense to do this story with them. It's a good humble telling.
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): All the stories are tied together with a narration from Kelsey Grammer. The minute you hear his voice doing the whimsical, inspiring things, you just kind of laugh and giggle at how corny it is, but you also kind of admire how sweet it is. And that's the best way to describe this movie: corny, but sweet. The animation is really good, especially considering it's just kind of the Disney cartoons. I mean, they didn't have to throw all this money into it, but they did, and they really tried to make it look nice and Christmas-y. There's a lot of little nice touches, too, if you know the Disney universe. For example, one of these ornaments is from the second Beauty and the Beast movie, Minnie works for Mortimer's, which is this classic Disney villain. And even all the characters are kind of tied into each other, like one person in one story might be the neighbor to another person in another story. It's kind of clever that way. There's even a couple of laughs in there. There's one involving Goofy finally spotting Santa Claus that literally made me laugh so hard and so loud, I think my neighbors walking by heard me. I won't give it away, but it was a really funny scene.
Doug (vo): So, yeah, this is obviously something meant for little, little kids, but as something for little, little kids go, it has a lot of charm and delight to it. It's probably not something I would put on a lot for Christmas time, but I think it's great to show your kids and kind of get them the culture and some of these classic stories and some new stories as well with your favorite Disney characters. There's clearly effort that went into it, and the effort pays off. You get three nice, gentle stories that aren't phenomenal but are effective. Each one has a legitimately emotional moment, and each one has one or two laughs in it as well. Definitely a nice one to check out around the holidays. There's plenty more Disney sequels along the way, but until then, Merry Christmas and enjoy the best day of the year.
(The final scene, showing all the characters singing Christmas carols together, is shown)