Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Thirty years after Mickey's appearance in The Simple Things in 1953, Disney decided to put their main star in another theatrical film. Mickey's Christmas Carol hit the theatres on December 16, 1983 before a re-issue of The Rescuers. It is a retelling of the classic Charles Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol.

Mickey stars as Bob Cratchet, an overworked, under-paid employee of Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge gets a visit from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley (played by Goofy) who tells his he will be visited by three ghosts who will tell him to change his life or else. The three ghosts are played by Jiminy Cricket, Willie the Giant and Pegleg Pete.

Nothing really spectacular came out of Disney in the eighties with the exception of Mickey's Christmas Carol. Disney's new batch of animators got a chance to strut their stuff and prove to everyone that they were ready to compete with the great 'Nine Old Men'. The result is beautiful scenery and charming animation. With such a solid story already in place, the animators got the chance to explore the emotion of the characters.

The thing that stood out the most to me was the colour. I have always been a fan of Disney colour and their use of the Technicolor process. It always makes the scene so warm.

While Scrooge McDuck had a few cartoons before this one, it wasn't until now that Scrooge became a well known character. This cartoon set the tone for his character for years to come. In 1987, Scrooge went on to star in his own TV series, DuckTales where he used the lessons he learned in this Christmas classic in everyday life.

Fans of Disney animation will get a kick out of trying to spot the characters in the backgrounds. Classic characters like the Clarabelle Cow and the Three Little Pigs appear along side more modern characters like Lady Cluck and the kids from Robin Hood.

This is, and always will be, a classic to be viewed by generations to come. It is also a must see for any animation enthusiast. You can find it on various DVDs but the best viewing would be the original widescreen version on Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two.


coolshades said...

I didn't realize that the Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales was the same Scrooge McDuck in Mickey's Christmas Carol. I just thought the latter was a character *played* by Scrooge McDuck. Shows ya' how much I know. LOL

Anonymous said...

Actually, what you know is the truth;) In Mickey's Christmas Carol, Scrooge McDuck 'plays' Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens' A Christmas Carol. In the Ducktales version, he is the Scrooge McDuck character folks already know from Carl Barks' wonderful "Scrooge McDuck" comic book stories. And contrary to what the review on this site says, Scrooge McDuck was a well-known comic character long before this film... even though it did make him a more well-known character in animation.