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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Short -- but Funny and Sweet
by Betty Jo Tucker

How many versions of A Christmas Carol have you seen? Quite a few, I’ll bet. This beloved tale by Charles Dickens never gets old. If you haven’t watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol, a 1984 Oscar nominee for Best Short Film, be sure to check out Walt Disney’s Animated Collection 7 on DVD. Three other animated shorts are also included – Pluto’s Christmas Tree, The Small One and Santa’s Workshop. The entire family will enjoy these four delightful holiday offerings. I know mine did.

In Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Mickey Mouse plays the warm-hearted Bob Cratchit to Scrooge McDuck’s miserly Scrooge. Some of our other favorite Disney characters also get into the act. For example, Jiminy Cricket (from Pinocchio) is the Ghost of Christmas Past, Goofy portrays Jacob Marley’s ghost, Minnie Mouse appears as Mrs. Cratchit and Donald Duck is Scrooge’s nephew. Fortunately, this version of the classic holiday story focuses on humor instead of those dark and dismal aspects depicted in the recent film adaptation starring Jim Carrey. Because the animation is not too scary, it’s a great way to introduce A Christmas Carol to the little ones.

Adding to the DVD fun, Pluto’s Christmas Tree shows the comical canine trying to help Mickey decorate their holiday tree. But two naughty critters inside the branches become obstacles standing in the way of their mission. Naturally, Pluto has trouble making Mickey realize what’s happening, so amusing chaos results. I absolutely loved this hilarious cartoon!

The third short, The Small One, features a donkey with a special fate in store for him. It’s a poignant and beautifully presented Christmas story. To conclude the DVD, Santa’s Workshop gives us a look at Santa’s gnomes assembling all sorts of toys. Although a much older type of animation is used in this short, it’s still a goodie.

I predict the holidays at your house will be a bit happier by viewing Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, The Small One, and Santa’s Workshop. (Capsule review)

(Released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment; not rated by MPAA.)

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