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Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, Chip 'N Dale
Writing Credits:

'Tis the season for fun, fun, fun as Mickey and pals celebrate the holidays in these classic animated stories! Mickey and Pluto reap the rewards of "Mickey's Good Deed" and discover the gift of friendship is the best gift of all. In "Toy Tinkers," Donald and those rascally chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale battle over a huge spread of holiday treats using all the toys around the Christmas tree. Seven hilarious and heartwarming stories are included in this classic collection - there's something for everyone!

Rated NR

Fullscreen 1.33:1
English Monaural
French Monaural

Runtime: 55 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 9/27/2005

• Sneak Peeks


Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.


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Holiday Celebration With Mickey & Pals: Walt Disney Classic Cartoon Favorites (Volume VIII) (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 5, 2005)

Disney aims their “Treasures” collections at the serious fans and shoots for more casual admirers with shorter, cheaper compilation packages like this one: Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals. This one purports to follow a Christmas theme, though in truth, most simply connect with cold weather and have nothing to do with holidays.

The fans who bought all the “Treasures” will already own some of these shorts via a combination of sets. “Mickey’s Good Deed” comes from Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Volume 2, while “Peculiar Penguins” is on Silly Symphonies. Both “Lend a Paw” can be found on The Complete Pluto, Volume One. This makes “The Clock Watcher”, “Rescue Dog”, “Corn Chips” and “Toy Tinkers” currently exclusive to this package, though I have little doubt they’ll eventually show up on future “Treasure” releases.

For each short, I’ll offer the following information: the year in which it was produced and its director. I’ll also provide a quick synopsis of the cartoon plus my number grade for each one done on a scale of 1 to 10.

Mickey’s Good Deed (1933, B. Gillett): Mickey sells Pluto to help some kids whose father is in jail. A Christmas short, this one enjoys a surprisingly creative bent. I like the little touches; for instance, the family’s so poor that their fish is just a swimming skeleton. 8/10.

Peculiar Penguins (1934, Unknown): Two penguins go out on a date. Cute but insubstantial, this one predicts March of the Penguins, though with a slightly less realistic bent. 5/10.

The Clock Watcher (1945, J. King): Donald slacks off at his job as a gift wrapper. Not one of Donald’s best adventures, this one still manages some good moments. 7/10.

Rescue Dog (1947, C. Nichols): Pluto spars with a frisky seal. This one echoes many other Pluto flicks. I can’t say it stands out as particularly special, but it manages to become cute and charming. 7/10.

Corn Chips (1951, J. Hannah): Chip an’ Dale interfere when Donald Duck attempts to enjoy some popcorn. No characters get under Donald’s skin quite like these chipmunks. “Corn” takes a simple premise and makes the most of it. 8/10.

Lend a Paw (1941, C. Geronimi): Pluto tries to deal with the presence of a kitten he inadvertently rescued from a river. It’s a cute offering that works fairly well. 7/10.

Toy Tinkers (J. Hannah, 1949): Chip an’ Dale attempt to retrieve their nuts from Donald’s house. This leads to a battle waged with toys. Unusually violent for a Disney cartoon, this one becomes pretty lively. It’s creative and clever. 8/10.

The DVD Grades: Picture C/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. With these themed compilations, the quality tends to fall into two categories. Cartoons already found on “Treasures” DVDs look great, while those new to the cheap DVDs present more flawed visuals. That was usually the case here.

The sole exception came from “Mickey’s Good Deed”. This one appeared rather “digital”, with edge enhancement and an oddly processed video look. Since the studio viewed it as an “extra” on the Black & White DVD, I don’t think it got spiffied up there, which is why it looked rough here. It also suffered from specks, blotches and hairs, elements not usually found on the “Treasures” DVDs.

The other two repeated cartoons – “Peculiar Penguins” and “Lend a Paw” – looked much better. Crisp and concise, they showed very few source defects and boasted lively colors. They clearly benefited from some TLC.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same for the four exclusive cartoons. All will almost certainly improve when they hit various “Treasures” DVDs, but now they remained rough. They tended to display adequate sharpness, though they could become somewhat soft at times. Colors were a little heavy but usually stayed pretty bright and clear.

Blacks also looked dense, while shadows varied. The two Chip an’ Dale shorts suffered from excessive darkness in their low-light shots. All the exclusive shorts showed a fair amount of print flaws. “Rescue” was dusty, while the others displayed moderate levels of specks and marks. The mix of good and bad left this one with a “C” for picture.

At least the monaural audio of Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals seemed more consistent. Not surprisingly, the earliest shorts – “Penguins” and “Deed” – were the roughest. They could be a little harsh and brittle, though they remained reasonably clear given their vintage.

The others sounded just fine for their age. They showed fairly clear speech – what little we heard, at least – and presented bright but not too sharp music. Effects remained concise and acceptably accurate. A bit of bass popped up; I didn’t hear great low-end, but what I got was fine. These weren’t sonic treats, but they fared well.

When we look at supplements, we get virtually nothing. A mix of ads appear under the Sneak Peeks banner. This area includes trailers for Lady and the Tramp, Kronk’s New Groove, Tarzan, Chicken Little, Old Yeller, Toy Story, Disney’s Timeless Tales, and Kermit the Frog’s 50th Anniversary.

As with the other Disney theme packages, I can recommend this one to casual fans only. They will like the bargain price, and Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals includes quite a few very good cartoons. They also probably won’t mind the less than stellar presentation for many of the shorts.

More serious fans should skip Celebration, though. Yes, the four exclusive cartoons will tempt them, but I’d recommend patience. These shorts will almost certainly eventually appear on “Treasures” packages, and they’ll also probably look much better there.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.5 Stars Number of Votes: 6
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