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Recap / Mickey Mouse S3 E21 "Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special"

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"Duck the Halls" is a special installment of the Mickey Mouse (2013) series created by Paul Rudish for the Disney Channel and Disney.com. It's the 58th to air on the Disney Channel and be put up on Disney.com.

The Christmas season has arrived and Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto are getting into the holiday spirit, while Donald and Daisy prepare to migrate south for the winter with the other ducks. However, Donald, jealous that he's never gotten to enjoy a real Christmas, decides to stay north so he can join his friends in celebrating the holiday.

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This episode contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: As Santa Claus himself points out to the characters, "It's not where you have Christmas that's important. It's how you have it!"
  • Anger Born of Worry: As Daisy grows concerned for Donald's health, she and Donald's family decide go back home and bring him down south. She notes that as soon as she know's he's safe, she's going to kill him. When they're reunited, she slaps him after exclaiming that he scared her. But then she kisses him.
  • Ascended Extra: Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Scrooge McDuck have supporting roles in this episode, compared to their previous series appearances which were just cameos.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: At the end of the special when Donald finally celebrates Christmas in the South.
    Mickey: Well, Donald, is Christmas everything you thought it would be?
    Donald: No... It’s EVEN BETTER!
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  • Big Red Button: The hyperdrive button on Santa's sleigh. Pushing it activates a mechanical arm with a thumbtack to prod the reindeer to go faster.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Daisy sounds like this when Donald is torn between going south or staying for Christmas.
  • The Cameo: Bambi and Thumper are seen on the ice during Donald's rampage.
    • The toy soldiers from Babes in Toyland appear during the "Jing-a-Ling" musical number.
    • Gus Goose also appears among the ducks in Florida.
  • Christmas Episode: A full-length one in fact.
  • Cold Turkeys Everywhere: As Daisy and Donald drive south, Donald sees people celebrating Christmas everywhere, culminating with a huge billboard that says "Xmas is awesome!!!"
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Von Drake covers the nephews' eyes when it appears that Donald had gotten cooked in the sleigh crash.
  • Deus ex Machina: Santa uses some "Christmas magic" to instantly fix the devastation caused by Mickey crashing his sleigh.
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  • Disney Death: When Mickey and the gang crash Santa's sleigh down south, Goofy finds a roasted duck and believes that Donald had perished in the crash. It turns out to be another duck sunbathing in the raw.
  • False Dichotomy: Donald believes his only choices are to either go south for the winter with the other ducks and not celebrate Christmas or stay home with Mickey and celebrate the holiday but get sick in the cold weather. At the end, Santa himself points out to Donald and everyone else that even if it doesn't snow in the South, they can still celebrate Christmas (albeit not necessarily in the same exact way as northerners).
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Donald after downing some of Goofy's hot cocoa.
  • Furry Reminder: The ducks going south for the winter, behavior that the Disney ducks have never engaged in until now.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When Donald and Daisy are in the car:
    Daisy (to Donald): You'll like this; I bought six new bikinis!
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Parodied when Donald threatens Mickey with a broken candy cane.
  • Hiss Before Fleeing: Donald after going crazy.
  • Instant Roast: Goofy thinks this is what happened to Donald after the crash. Turns out it was just another duck sunbathing in the raw.
  • It's Always Sunny in Miami: Although never explicitly mentioned, "Down south" is clearly Miami, judging from the art deco architecture. Naturally, it's sunny and the beach is full of sunbathers.
  • Medium Awareness: The end of Mickey's narration involves him describing the camera zooming out of his childhood home to reveal its snowy front yard.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Near the end of the special, Donald Duck goes crazy over his friends trying to get him to the south and starts to go on a rampage without clothes or feathers.
  • Negative Continuity: This special shows that Donald cannot survive in winter weather, while in all other appearances, he goes outside in winter and did not suffocate. He also says he never celebrated Christmas before, when he did in past productions.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mickey and Donald when they realize they've wrecked Santa's sleigh and see a very pissed-off Santa towering behind them.
    Mickey: Heh-heh, looks like somebody's on the naughty list.
  • Reality Ensues: The winter weather eventually takes its toll on Donald's health and the gang tries to get him to go south before he dies.
  • Sanity Slippage: Donald undergoes some as he tries to stay for Christmas despite his failing health, culminating with him rampaging through town nearly nude.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening song is sung in the style of Bing Crosby. Mickey is revealed to be the one singing, wearing a sweater vest similar to the one Crosby wore in his Christmas specials.
    • During Mickey's flashback to his family celebrating Christmas, we see mice versions of a familiar pair of creepy twins.
    • Some of the backgrounds from said flashback are based on the ones from Mickey's Christmas Carol.
    • The sleigh and horse Mickey rides at one point is taken from the "Once Upon a Wintertime" segment of Melody Time.
    • When Donald's rampage is cut short by falling through the roof of a barn, the state his friends find him in clearly invokes a nativity scene, complete with him lying in a manger and the Star of Bethlehem shining above the hole Donald's entry left.
    • Santa Claus's design is based on his appearance in the Silly Symphonies shorts "Santa's Workshop" and "The Night Before Christmas".
    • Pluto actually becomes a reindeer, similar to what occurred in Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Daisy gives one to Donald when he finally makes it down south.
  • Unexplained Accent: Mickey, for some reason, has a British accent in his childhood flashback.
  • Visual Pun: When Goofy mentions mistletoe, his toes rocket into the air like missiles and turn to mistletoe leaves.
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