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Dustin Putman

Dustin's Blu-ray Review
Mickey's Christmas Carol  (1983)
Reviewed by Dustin Putman

The Film
2.5 Stars
(Release Date: November 5, 2013) – Originally released theatrically alongside the 1983 rerelease of "The Rescuers," the 26-minute "Mickey's Christmas Carol" casts Scrooge McDuck (four years before the character got his own television series, "DuckTales") as the crotchety, "bah humbug"-spewing miser Ebenezer Scrooge and Mickey Mouse as his cheery, long-suffering assistant Bob Cratchit. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future as he is taken on a journey of his life and a bleak destiny that may come true if he does not change his ways. Directed by Burny Mattinson, "Mickey's Christmas Carol" is a heavily streamlined adaptation of the classic novel by Charles Dickens. It is pleasant and sweet by the end, but also becomes too simplistic when it bypasses Scrooge's experiences as a school-aged boy and suggests that the only reason he became the way he is as an adult is due to pure greed. A longer-form version would have helped this issue, and Disney sort of did just that with the more straightforward 2009 adaptation directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Blu-ray Picture/Sound

Purists and fans of natural grain fields will be sure to cry foul over the high-def 1080p transfer of "Mickey's Christmas Carol," which has been scrubbed noticeably clean. While it is difficult to say what kind of details in the beautiful hand-drawn animation might have been lost in the process without a side-by-side comparison, I can report that this Blu-ray's picture looks aesthetically very pleasing. There are some soft, almost blurry individual shots here and there, though this may be inherent to the source. Otherwise, this looks like a brand-new movie, which was probably Disney's intention—for better or worse. The English 2.0 Dolby Digital is unassuming and barely noticeable, but that is a good thing: there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it, and dialogue and music are always on point.

Blu-ray Features
Bonus Shorts: "Yodelberg" (2013), "The Hockey Champ" (1939), "Pluto's Christmas Tree" (1952), "The Art of Skiing" (1941) and "Corn Chips" (1951) (33 minutes, HD); Disney Intermission

Bottom Line
"Mickey's Christmas Carol" will be a must-buy for fans of the film, and the addition of five various seasonal-centric shorts sweetens the pot. Disney probably ought to start listening to their naysayers' complaints about their notorious use of digital noise reduction, but until then this is a solid and attractive treatment of the title. Recommended.

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© 2013 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman