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Joy to the children far and near
What a wondrous time of year
Isn't it just grand to say
Merry, merry Christmas
Merry, Merry Christmas
Oh, what a merry Christmas day!
It was the year 1983. For years, Mickey Mouse, a once mighty force in animation, was but a memory. After his fallout of popularity in the 1940s, and his final appearances in the 1950s, it seemed like there was no future for the mouse.
But then this film came along and changed that—well, sort of.
Mickey's Christmas Carol is a 24-minute film, and a fairly straightforward adaptation of that one classic story everybody knows about by now. Despite the short being billed as Mickey's comeback, he serves only as the character of Bob Cratchit. Scrooge McDuck (in the role of—take a wild guess—Ebenezer Scrooge!) carries the bulk of the film instead.
Debuting with the 1983 re-release of The Rescuers, this adaptation was fairly well received, but many moviegoers were obviously disappointed that the film had virtually nothing to do with Mickey at all. Although that feeling might have been a contribution to him coming back after that, since people wanted to see more of him. In 1984 it began airing annually around Christmas on network television, becoming a holiday favorite for many years.
Tropes Used in This Film:
- Adaptation Distillation: Shortens the already short story. This causes some points to be lost, while others condensed.
- All-Star Cast: Just about every other character, that appeared in a Disney short, was in this.
- Anthropomorphic Shift: Inverted with Cyril Proudbottom. He is a Partially-Civilized Animal in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, but he's a Nearly-Normal Animal in this featurette.
- The Cameo: Several classic Disney characters make appearances, including the Three Little Pigs, Jiminy Cricket, Willie the Giant and Mr. Toad.
- Chewbacca Defense: Scrooge confounding the charity workers.
- Comically Missing the Point: Though tragically missing it in this case. When Isabelle asks Scrooge about his decision, she means whether they get married, while he thinks it's about the mortgage on their honeymoon cottage, which he closes.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Expecting Someone Taller: Scrooge's reaction to meeting the Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Jiminy Cricket. The Ghost's response is that if men were measured by kindness, Scrooge would be no bigger than a speck of dust.
- Furry Denial: Scrooge McDuck, who's playing Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol is referred to as an "Englishman," despite being a drake (a male duck).
Willie The Giant (as The Ghost of Christmas Present): Fe! Fi! Fo! Fum!
I smell. I mean, I smell.
A stingy little Englishman!
I think I do.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Isabelle's second dress, and her Parasol of Prettiness, and fur cape.
- Out of Focus: Despite getting top billing, Mickey only got a relatively small role, in what was supposed to be his comeback film (which fortunately happened anyway). Then again casting Mickey as Scrooge would have probably been too Out of Character, and in any event he portrays a very sympathetic and likable Bob Cratchit.
- Pink Means Feminine: Isabelle's first dress.
- Rule of Funny: Some of the greedy stuff Scrooge brags about. Marley's prat-falling. The giant walking around town.
- Second Face Smoke: Done by Pete as the Ghost of Christmas Future to Scrooge.
- Spin-Off: Sort of. The success of this movie led Disney to put together DuckTales, with Alan Young returning as the voice of Scrooge McDuck.
- Universal Adaptor Cast
- Yet Another Christmas Carol