Mickey’s Christmas Carol (short) (1983)

Hi,

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As Christmas is getting near, I’m going to give my opinion on a minor Christmas staple (two years ago, I did it for the classic Christmas TV-special “A Charlie Brown Christmas”). Coming from Walt Disney Pictures, here’s the 1983 short animated feature “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (adaptated from Charles Dickson‘s famed story “A Christmas Carol”, released in 1843), directed, produced and co-written by Burny Mattinson

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General plot: 1843, Victorian EnglandChristmas Eve – generally, everyone is into the spirit of Christmas. Well, not everyone – Ebenezer Scrooge (portrayed by the character Scrooge McDuck)‘s way of living has always been in the function of money, making him visibly cold, selfish and greedy with other people, such as his current head Bob Cratchit (portrayed by Mickey Mouse), the charity collectors Rat and Mole and even his nephew Fred (portrayed by Donald Duck)

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In the evening, Scrooge gets the visit of a ghost – that of Jacob Marley (portrayed by Goofy), a greedy former business partner – who warns him that if he doesn’t change his ways, the similiar fate that occured with his ex-partner could indeed happen. For that reason, he will be visited by three spirits in a few hours’ course

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The three spirits represent the three main courses of time during Christimas time:

– The Ghost of Christmas Past (portrayed by Jiminy Cricket), who recalls him the time when he lost his sweetheart Isabelle forever (portrayed by Daisy Duck) due to his obesession for money, foreclosing their supposed honeymoon cottage’s mortgage from the moment Isabelle payed her dues one hour late

– The Ghost of Christmas Present (portrayed by Willie the Giant), who shows him how his head (Bob Cratchit)‘s family

– The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (portrayed by a somber figure, later revealed to be Black Pete), who takes him to the graveyard and witness the funeral of Cratchit‘s ill son, Tiny Tim... and of his own (from which the most frightening sequence of the movie happens before the end of the third spirit’s visit – almost entering into hellish bounds)

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After the terror, Scrooge is suddenly awaken on Christmas Day. A premontion of having been given a second chance, he goes all the way to visit the Cratchit family – but not without cheerfully donating amounts of money to the collectors and telling to his nephew Fred  he’ll appear on his holiday feast. Once he arrives to Cratchit‘s house, he tries to play a joke on Bob, making him think the sack he brought is filled with laundry and . To everyone’s suprise, the sack is actually filled with toys and a big turkey for dinner – plus, he gives Bob a raise and a partnership in the counter house. The story then ends with a thoughtful quote from Tiny Tim: “God bless us, everyone!”

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My opinion: This was the very first animated adpatation of Charles Dickens“A Christmas Carol” I’ve ever seen on my childhood and it captivated me from the first moment I saw it on my family’s videotape (dubbed in brazilian portuguese) – certainly a nostalgic moment whenever I see this countless of times

The story is surely well adaptated in a modern approach that doesn’t feel too dated, with a good sense of humor and tenderness – it’s as if Charles Dickens was one of the writers of the screenplay himself

The animation, done amazingly well (as per usual with the Walt Disney Pictures company) for a short movie of its kind, really gets that sheer spirt of Christmas of that era. Of course it’s below the many animated movies the company had done before for , but there’s still something quite intriguing and sweet that makes it all worthwhile

In terms of the Disney characters’ portrayal of the story’s characters and voice acting, well… everything is spot on – I dare say Scrooge Duck got the biggest animated moment of his life since the character’s creation before going to the TV-series “Ducktales”, created in the late 80’s

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All in all, an interesting approach to Dickens‘ story – something that only the staff from the Walt Disney Pictures could see it coming with some minor changes from the original source. Expressly recommended to the ones who like to see different adaptations of classic Christmas inspired stories or novels

As last treat, here’s a documentary about the making of the short animated movie at the time:

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)

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Posted on 4 de December de 2014, in Cinema. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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