Mickey’s Christmas Carol: 30th Anniversary Special Edition (Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray Review)

mickey's christmas carol bdRing in the holidays with a new 30th Anniversary Special Edition of Mickey’s Christmas Carol.  Disney’s timeless tale sparkles like never before on Blu-ray and Digital Copy, with fully-restored classic holiday shorts, plus all-new bonus features!  Make the season merry as Mickey, Goofy, Donald and all their pals star in a heartwarming retelling of Dickens’ unforgettable holiday tale.  Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) is far too greedy to understand that Christmas is a time for kindness and generosity.  But with the guidance of some wise ghosts (Goofy and Jiminy Cricket) and a bunch of newfound friends, Scrooge learns to embrace the spirit of the season.  Share this wonderful holiday treat with the whole family.



Mickey’s Christmas Carol is Disney’s adaption of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel A Christmas Carol, which tells the cautionary tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge whose lifetime of greed and indifference to the needs of others is given an intervention by several spirits of Christmas.  In this Disney version, all of the characters are played by the usual gang but there’s also characters from other Disney movies like Robin Hood and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad in supporting roles.  Even though this is an animated film, I can’t imagine more suitable actors for the roles.  For the role of Scrooge who better than Scrooge McDuck (Alan Young) to play him?  And of course casting the irrepressible Mickey Mouse (Wayne Allwine) as his long suffering employee Bob Cratchit was a brilliant choice too.

Just like Dickens’ story, the story focuses on one day in Scrooge’s life where we see just how miserly and cruel he can be to not only his employee Bob Cratchit, but also his own nephew, Fred (Donald Duck as played for the last time by original star Clarence Nash).  Scrooge also makes sure to not give to the poor or to worry too much about how his treatment of Bob affects the man’s family, especially his youngest son, Tiny Tim who is in poor health.  It’s on Christmas Eve that Scrooge gets his moral wake up call when he’s visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley (Goofy as played by Hal Smith) who warns him to change his ways and who also lets him know that three more ghosts will come to visit him.

First is the Ghost of  Christmas Past (Jiminy Cricket as played by Eddie Carroll) who takes the cranky Scrooge back in time to see just how he became the greedy duck that everyone doesn’t like.  We see a younger Scrooge who is kind and shy and in love with Isabella (Daisy Duck as played by Patricia Parris).  Over time, Scrooge becomes so obsessed with money that no one is safe from his avarice including Isabella whom he forecloses on when her final payment on their honeymoon cottage is an hour late.  Seeing Isabella again, Scrooge starts to realize how his greed has hurt others and himself.

His pain isn’t over as the Ghost of Christmas Present arrives to show him how bad off the Cratchit family is thanks to the meager salary he pays Bob.  The Ghost informs Scrooge that Tiny Tim will die soon due to the lack of medical care and malnourishment.  Before Scrooge gets any further answers, the Ghost of Christmas Future arrives to show him an even darker and more personal fate.  After this series of supernatural visits, Scrooge must decide whether or not to change his ways and accept this second chance at having a fulfilling life.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol is one of my favorite Disney movies that now that it’s out on Blu-ray finally, it will become a family Christmas viewing tradition.  One of the surprising aspects of this film is the fact that it not only is very faithful to the original story, but that it also manages to tell the story in a scant twenty-three minutes without feeling like anything was missed.  Every major story beat is here and it all adds up to a powerful ending that’s just as good as any of the other adaptations.  Despite its adherence to the original story, this version also offers a lot of humor too as you’d expect from a Disney film.  This film also represented the return of Mickey Mouse in a theatrical cartoon in over thirty years.  It was also nice to see the characters from other Disney films that hadn’t been seen  in years.  This is a fantastic adaption that all Disney fans will love!



This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is probably going to be divisive for viewers because in the process of restoring this film, Disney got a little overzealous with the DNR.   The image looks clean and much sharper than I’ve ever seen it before, but there’s no grain left in this transfer at all which I know is going to upset a lot of people.  Colors look decent but not as bright as Disney’s recent restorations and many shots look soft.  This isn’t one of Disney’s better efforts but it’s also not the complete disaster that many are claiming.



Mickey’s Christmas Carol’s Dolby Digital 2.0 mix could have been better but it is faithful to the original presentation.  It may be that I’ve gotten spoiled by Disney’s latest restorations and now have my expectations are higher than they should be, but this mix just does the job and little more.  Dialogue is clear but not full bodied and the sound effects don’t pack much of a punch but they do register.  None of this is a huge issue for a film like this because this mix is basically the same as the original sound design, but it would have been nice if they had spruced up this lossless mix a little.



Since the main feature is only twenty-three minutes long, I was hoping for a lot of extras to pad this set out but that didn’t happen.  While I didn’t get as much as I wanted, what is included is really cool but I wish there was more.

  • Bonus Shorts – There’s over a half an hour of classic cartoons and one of them is new and even better they are in high definition.  The five cartoons included are: a new Mickey Mouse cartoon called “Yodelberg”, “The Hockey Champ” (1939), “Pluto’s Christmas Tree” (1952), “The Art of Skiing” (1941) and “Corn Chips” (1951).  Considering that the classic cartoons can now only be seen heavily edited on the Disney Channel’s “Have a Laugh” episodes, it’s great to not only see these in their entirety, but also in high definition.  While I’m very happy to see a new Mickey Mouse cartoon, I really wish they didn’t make the animation look like “Ren and Stimpy.”  Why couldn’t they just make Mickey look like Mickey?  It just drives me crazy!
  • Disney Intermission – If you haven’t seen the Disney’s Intermission feature before, then you will enjoy this and I’m glad that they’ve continued it.  If you pause the film at any point, the Intermission will kick off and and you can three different holiday sing-along songs including: “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells.”

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This is one of my favorite holiday themed movies and I’m glad that it’s finally out on Blu-ray although I wish more effort had been put into making it the best it could be.  The video and audio quality aren’t up to Disney’s usual gold standard, but this Blu-ray is still better than the previous releases.  It’s also great to get the classic cartoons in high definition and uncut.  If you’re looking for something good to watch during the holidays then you should pick this up!

Order your copy today!

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