"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, making his first animated appearance, having previously never appeared outside of the Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge
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:
- Accidental Bargaining Skills: After Scrooge's reformation, he goes to the alms collectors. They are stunned at his sudden turnaround, which leads him to think they're holding out for more.
Scrooge: Good morning, gentlemen. I've something for ya.
[Puts a bag of coins on the second collector's head]
Collector for the Poor #1: Twenty gold sovereigns! Oh, no!
Scrooge: Not enough? Here.
[Puts another bag on the collector's pants]
Scrooge: Fifty gold sovereigns!
Collector for the Poor #2: Really, Mister Scrooge. It's...
Scrooge: Still not enough! You drive a hard bargain. Here you are.
[Throws several bags at the collectors]
Scrooge: One hundred gold pieces, and not a penny more!
Collector for the Poor #1: Oh, thank you, Mr. Scrooge! Thank you! And a *merry* Christmas to you!
- Adaptation Distillation: Shortens the already short story. This causes some points to be lost, while others condensed.
- All-Star Cast: Just about every major character from the Classic Disney Shorts appears in this, with the odd exception of Pluto.
- Noteworthy for being the final time Clarence Nash voiced Donald.
- Animated Adaptation: This one is an adaptation of Disneyland Records' 1974 audio musical entitled An Adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol, except that the first and third ghosts in the animated adaptation (Jiminy Cricket as Past, Pete as Future) are quite different characters than in the audio musical (Merlin as Past, the Evil Queen/Witch as Future).
- Anthropomorphic Shift: Inverted with Cyril Proudbottom the horse. 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.
- Carnivore Confusion: Suckling pig makes an appearance when Scrooge meets the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Three Little Pigs have a cameo. Donald also invites Scrooge to have goose for dinner.
- Maybe that's what Scrooge meant when he said "You know I can't eat that stuff!"
- Chewbacca Defense: Scrooge confounding the charity workers.
- Digital Destruction: The 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray and Digital Copy have digitally smeared picture, which also looks zoomed in too closely.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: 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.
- Expospeak Gag:
Ratty: Sir, we are soliciting funds for the indigent and destitute.
Scrooge: For the what?
Moley: We're collecting for the poor.
- 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) (and actually Scottish).
- Got Me Doing It: Mickey almost says "And a Bah Humbug to you" to Scrooge, but catches himself and wishes Merry Christmas instead.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Isabelle's second dress, and her parasol, and fur cape.
- Mythology Gag: The younger version of Scrooge when he meets Isabelle is based on Donald in the 1950 short "Crazy Over Daisy".
- Offscreen Crash: Happens to Goofy (playing Marley). Scrooge tells him to "watch that last..." Step.
- 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.
- Porky Pig Pronunciation: As in Fun and Fancy Free, Willie still can't say "pistachio".
- 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.
- Suddenly Voiced: The Ghost Of Christmas Future AKA Pete
"Why, yours, Ebenezer! The richest man in the cemetery!!
- 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