The House Of Mouse first appeared on television in January of 2001. It took advantage of pretty much every Disney character from nearly every Disney property. Mickey was the host of a nightclub called The House Of Mouse, I guess a riff on The House Of Blues. The standard bearing characters ran the club. In the audience was where you’ll find all of those lovable characters from films like The Lion King, Aladdin, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Winnie The Pooh, and so many more. The shows were both performances by the characters and the showing of Disney shorts. The series was very much like the Warner 70’s show The Bugs Bunny And Road Runner Show. There too you had an audience and staff of Warner’s entire Loony Tunes library. There was also a rivalry there between Bugs and Daffy Duck. The same kind of relationship exists here between Mickey and Donald. The series only lasted a couple of years and was soon gone from the airwaves.
Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed In At The House Of Mouse aired November of 2001. The characters are all snowed in on Christmas Eve and can’t get home to celebrate the holiday. Mickey decides they should all throw a Christmas bash at the club. For the most part they’re all trying to cheer up Donald, who has a case of the humbugs. In between these antics a few shorts are shown. The most notable are a Disney version of The Nutcracker with ultra modern music and a telling of Dickens’ famous A Christmas Carol. Many of the vast cast get at least a couple of lines.
The film works fine for what it is, but no one is going to confuse this one with a perennial classic. There are really too many characters to serve that it all ends up feeling rather forced and artificial. It’s nice to see a couple of actual Disney classics amid the mayhem. This is the kind of DVD you rent when you get tired of the classics.
Mickey’s Magical Christmas is presented in its original full frame broadcast format. It all looks pretty good, certainly above average. The film is colorful and that comes across rather nicely at times. Some of the shorts are older and show a little more wear, but all in all the presentation serves the film well enough.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track works about as well as it is required. Dialog and zany sound effects are the order of the day, and they work just fine.
Premiere Episode Of The House Of Mouse: The gang has their cartoons stolen, and Pete will take over the club if they don’t find a way to keep the show going. It was the pilot, of sorts, for the series.
The Sounds Of Christmas: (2:33) A tour of the Foley props used in some of the vintage Disney classic films. They’re put to use in a Disney style retelling of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.
Sing Alongs: Follow the mouse shaped bouncing wreath to sing Deck The Halls and Sleigh Ride.
I’m usually a big fan of most things Disney, but I have to admit I didn’t get that warm feeling from this one. It might appeal fine for children, but there are so many better collections of Disney stuff out there. Go with the stronger Animation Collections. You’ll be glad you did. If you do decide to check this out, might I suggest a rental? It might be nice to see so many characters assembled in one place, but most don’t even speak. And, after all, “Who could describe them all?”