Mickey’s Christmas Carol Christmas Animated Film review


Mickey’s Christmas Carol
1983
Directed by Burny Mattinson

Story adaptation writers
Charles Dickens (based on the book: “A Christmas Carol” by)
Burny Mattinson
Tony Marino
Ed Gombert
Don Griffith
Alan Young
Alan Dinehart

Music by Irwin Kostal

Cast
Alan Young – Scrooge McDuck (voice)
Wayne Allwine – Bob Cratchit Mickey Mouse / Weasel Gravedigger / Begger Dog (voice)
Hal Smith – Jacob Marley’s Ghost Goofy / Collector for the Poor #1 (voice)
Will Ryan – Collector for the Poor #2 / The Ghost of Christmas Present – Willie the Giant / Ghost of Christmas Future       (Pete) / Santa Claus (Big Bad Wolf) / Weasel #2 (voice)
Eddie Carroll – Ghost of Christmas Past – Jiminy Cricket (voice) (as Eddy Carroll)
Patricia Parris – Belle Daisy Duck (voice)
Dick Billingsley – Tiny Tim (voice)
Clarence Nash – Nephew Fred – Donald Duck (voice)

I liked this flick. Mickey’s Christmas Carol is a visually appealing performance-capture animated film showcasing the talent of Disney studio’s animators and voice actors. The film was nominated in 1984 for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The story remains faithful to Dickens’s timeless original he penned in 1838.

Animation has some time constraints, so the story moves along fairly quickly, populated with Disney characters in a slightly abbreviated tale.

Story Line
Christmas Eve 1843, all of Victorian England has the spirit of Christmas in their hearts. All excepting the miserly and miserable Ebenezer Scrooge, who thinks only of the money he has made in the year and is excited at the prospect of making even more making more. He gouges everyone, charging  800% interest, compounded daily.

As visions of endless piles of gold coins roll through Scrooge’s head, his underpaid and overworked clerk Bob Cratchit, hesitantly asks for a half day off on the next day, Christmas. Scrooge allows it but insists it will be unpaid.

Leaving his office, Scrooge meets Rat and Mole, collecting for the poor. They ask him to contribute. Scrooge angrily dismisses them saying that if he contributes then they would be out of work. He angrily shrugs off any poor folk he encounters.

Scrooge’s cheery nephew Fred invites his crotchety uncle to an elaborate holiday feast which Scrooge declines, citing health conditions.

Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, his  greedy former business partner who died seven years earlier, whom Scrooge admired his way of stealing from the poor. Because he was cruel in life, Marley is now doomed to wear heavy chains for eternity. He warns Scrooge that the same fate will befall him unless he changes his ways. He tells of three forthcoming visits by spirits. Marley leaves, falling down the stairs when he tries to avoid tripping over Scrooge’s cane, accompanied by his Goofy holler.

At the stroke of one, the Ghost of Christmas Past appears, showing Scrooge his past. Scrooge’s money obsession led him to foreclose on his fiancee Isabelle’s honeymoon cottage’s because the last payment due was just an hour late, breaking her heart.

Two a.m. arrives and with it the second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present. He transport Scrooge to show him Cratchit’s poverty-stricken family, who somehow maintain a festive attitude in their home, despite their poverty and hardship.

The Ghost reveals that Bob’s young son Tiny Tim, is ill, foretelling tragedy if the family’s unfortunate circumstances doesn’t change. But just when Scrooge wants to know Tiny Tim’s fate, the Ghost disappears, and the house returns to complete darkness.

At the stroke of three, the third and final spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come arrives. He is a frightening figure who takes Scrooge to see his future in a graveyard. Scrooge sees Bob mourning Tiny Tim’s death and is horrified, asking whether this future can be changed.

Two grave digging weasels are amused that no one attended the funeral of someone they are digging a grave for. They take a break from their work, and the ghost reveals the grave is Scrooge’s by lighting a match. The ghost roughly shoves Scrooge into his grave calling him “the richest man in the cemetery.” Despite  pleas that he will repent, Scrooge falls into an empty coffin which bursts open reviling a terrifying vision of hell.

Scrooge suddenly awakens back at home. It is Christmas Day and he’s overjoyed to have been given another chance.. He quickly tosses a  coat over his nightshirt, puts on slippers, grabs his cane and top hat, and goes to visit the Cratchits.

Along the way he stuns folks with his happy demeanor and cheerfully gives away generous amounts of money. He givers 100 gold sovereigns to Rat and Mole, the charity collectors he met earlier. He tells Fred that he’ll ll come to his house after all.

At Cratchit’s house, he drags in a large sack he says is filled filled with his dirty laundry that Cratchit has been doing to earn extra money. Scrooge gruffly announces that Bob will have even more work in the future.

But to the Cratchits’ joy, the sack does not contain laundry but is filled with toys and a big turkey for the family dinner. A smiling Scrooge gives Bob a raise and makes him his partner in the counting house, while Tiny Tim proclaims “God bless us, everyone!”

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