|Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas|
VHS front cover
|Directed by||Alex Mann
George Evelyn (director)
|Screenplay by||Charlie Cohen|
|Narrated by||Kelsey Grammer|
|Music by||J. Eric Schmidt|
|Edited by||Elen Orson|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Home Video|
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas is a 1999 direct-to-video animated Christmas anthology film produced by Walt Disney Video Premieres and won the Award for Best Animated Feature Film at the 5th Kecskemét Animation Film Festival in 1999. The video features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Pete, Goofy, Max, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Scrooge McDuck, Mortimer Mouse, Figaro the Kitten and Chip 'n' Dale with cameos by Owl, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and a Beagle Boy. The film comprises three separate segments, with narration by Kelsey Grammer. A sequel, titled Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, was released in 2004.
Inspired by Christmas Every Day by William Dean Howells. Huey, Dewey and Louie wake up one Christmas morning and open their presents, even though they are supposed to wait first for Daisy, Uncle Scrooge and Aunt Gertie to arrive. After the boys take their new sleds from their Uncle Donald (not reading the included gift card) they go sledding and have Christmas dinner in which Donald yells at them to learn their manners. While Donald, Daisy, Uncle Scrooge and Aunt Gertie sing carols, the boys play with their new toys.
Later, it is time for the boys to go to bed and having enjoyed the day immensely, the boys then wishes for it to be Christmas every day. Their wish is granted and at first the three are joyful. After a few days, however, they begin to get tired of Christmas and soon realize that every day will be exactly the same as the day when they first made their wish. They then decide to change the course of action of the next day by playing tricks and pranks, including swapping the cooked turkey with a live one for the dinner table. The day turns out to be a bad Christmas for everyone, especially Donald.
After this, the boys finally read the gift card that was given to them which they had previously disregarded. The card is from Donald and Daisy, it wishes them love and explains that Christmas is not just about presents, it is also about being with family. The boys instantly become guilty for their pranks and decide to make amends by making the next day the best Christmas ever. At the end of the next day, the boys finally realize the true meaning of Christmas and the time loop comes to an end, leading into the day after Christmas.
Goofy and Max are mailing out a letter to Santa Claus. However, as soon as they get home, Pete, the neighbor, tells Max that Santa does not exist, predicting how he can't fly around the world in one night. Things get worse when Goofy poses as Santa for some kids and Max finds out that he tricked him. Goofy is determined to prove to Max that Santa does exist and even stays up all Christmas Eve to keep an eye out for him. But after falling off the roof, Goofy gives up hope of Santa coming. Now, Max does everything that Goofy did to make his father happy, including posing as Santa. In the end, the real Santa actually comes and gives Max the gift the boy asked for earlier (as well as blowing some snow on Pete's house when the cunning neighbor tries to flatter the legendary figure).
Based on the story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. Mickey wants to get Minnie a gold chain for her one heirloom, her watch, so he works at Crazy Pete's Tree Lot. Minnie wants to give Mickey something special for Christmas as well, so she works hard to get her special bonus. Mickey gives a poor family a short tree who can't buy a pete 10-footer tree. However, Pete (Mickey's uptight and greedy boss) steals all of Mickey's money and fires him. He puts his cigar and money to his pocket, causing to go crazy and set his trees on fire, which ruins his chance to sell his expensive 10-footers and Minnie's bonus proves to be nothing but a fruit cake. After playing music for a toy drive with the Firehouse Five, Mickey has the idea that he can trade his harmonica for the chain. The shop closes by the time he gets there and the owner rejects it, thinking it's not worth anything, but changes his mind after hearing its music. Back at Minnie's house, Mickey gives her the chain for her watch and Minnie gives him a case for his harmonica. Of course, the irony is that Minnie no longer has her watch--just as Mickey no longer has his harmonica--so the gifts are essentially useless. As in the classic Gift of the Magi upon which this adaptation--penned by O. Henry--is based, the thought behind each gift is what counts. The film concludes with a medley of various carols featuring the main characters from the three segments.
In "The Gift of Magi", one of Mickey's dance moves are very similar to his dance routine in the 1942 theatrical short, "Mickey's Birthday Party".
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The film was originally released on VHS and DVD on November 9, 1999. It was later re-released on VHS and on DVD (as part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection) on November 7, 2000. The film was released in a 2-Movie Collection Blu-ray and DVD with Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas on November 4, 2014.