Last up for today is Bex, the gal behind Film Music Central, and her review of the 80s Disney holiday special Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Bex examines all sorts of songs and scores in films on her site. So if you enjoy film music, be sure to give her site a look. Now, here’s what she has to say about her favorite holiday special.
When I was growing up, I’m pretty sure I watched every animated Christmas special ever made (and that’s not a bad thing). One of my favorites was Mickey’s Christmas Carol, released by Walt Disney Studios in 1983. Growing up, the only copy of this story that we had was recorded onto a blank VHS tape from a live television program, which was fine until the VCR went bust and the family switched to DVD only. You can imagine my joy when I spotted a DVD copy of this film at a used DVD/book store (naturally it went home with me).
Mickey’s Christmas Carol, as the name implies, tells the classic Charles Dickens story “Christmas Carol” with a Disney twist: Scrooge McDuck is Ebenezer Scrooge; Mickey Mouse is Bob Cratchit, Goofy is Jacob Marley, Jiminy Cricket is the Ghost of Christmas Past, Willie (the giant from Mickey and the Beanstalk) is the Ghost of Christmas Present and Black Pete is the Ghost of Christmas Future.
It’s Christmas Eve and Ebenezer Scrooge is in no mood to celebrate. He answers all holiday greetings with “Bah, humbug!” All he thinks about is money, and getting more of it. His hapless assistant, Bob Cratchit, works for a pittance and is barely able to keep his family fed. After reluctantly giving him the day off for Christmas, Scrooge goes home and is confronted by the ghost of Jacob Marley, his former partner who died several years ago. Marley has been sentenced to an eternity of suffering wrapped in chains, based on the horrible way he lived his life. And the same thing is going to happen to Scrooge if the miserly duck doesn’t mend his ways. Over the course of the night, Scrooge is visited by three spirits. The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to happier days when Scrooge was a relatively happy duck working for a man named Fezziwig. It’s here that he falls in love with a girl named Isabelle (Daisy Duck). The two initially plan to marry, but over time Scrooge becomes more interested in money and breaks the girl’s heart.
The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge across London to where Bob Cratchit and his family live, and Scrooge finally sees how badly off the family is. He also sees their young son, Tiny Tim, who is not very well and won’t survive another year unless he gets badly needed treatment. Moved to compassion, Scrooge is suddenly left alone and greeted by the menacing Ghost of Christmas Future, who points Scrooge to a nearby cemetery. There he sees Tiny Tim’s grave, a future that will happen if nothing changes. But there’s another grave being dug as well, and the two weasels doing the job comment on how nobody came to the funeral, strange for a man that died so rich. Scrooge approaches the grave to discover that the name on the headstone…is his own!!
Scrooge’s question of who the grave belongs to is answered by one of the most terrifying lines of dialogue I’ve ever heard: Why yours Ebenezer, the richest man in the cemetery!!
Scrooge is knocked down into a suddenly bottomless pit that begins opening up into the flames of Hell itself. Just before he falls in, Scrooge screams that he’ll change, and then he wakes up! It was a dream…or was it? It’s now Christmas morning and Scrooge has been given a chance to prove he really is a new man. The reformed duck races around town making amends with everyone he mistreated the day before: he loads a pair seeking charity with bags of money, he gladly accepts his nephew’s invitation to Christmas dinner, and last of all, he buys a bag full of toys, along with all the fixings for a proper Christmas meal, for Bob Cratchit and his family. But he also decides to play a little trick on them: he comes in pretending to be the Scrooge of old, but this doesn’t last very long. Scrooge informs an amazed Bob that from now on, he will be an equal partner in the business, which means a greatly increased salary. It’s a happy ending for all!
Who did Bex invite to our Christmas party? It was none other than Jared Leto!
Tomorrow, Rob from Movierob stops by to give a review double shot.