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Mickey's Christmas Carol is a 1983 American animated fantasy short film.
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The Film is produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution Company. It was directed and produced by Burny Mattinson. The film is a theatrical featurette featuring established Disney characters re-enacting the classic Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. The film also marked the first screen production in which Alan Young provided the voice of Scrooge McDuck, whose voice he had provided on the aforementioned album. The featurette also marked the first theatrical outing for Wayne Allwine as the voice of Mickey Mouse (who had previously voiced the character in animation produced for The New Mickey Mouse Club TV series in 1977) as well as Clarence Nash's final film performance as Donald Duck. Nash is the only original voice actor involved in this film, since other original voice actors such as Walt Disney (Mickey Mouse), Pinto Colvig (Goofy Goof), Billy Bletcher (Pete), Cliff Edwards (Jiminy Cricket) and Billy Gilbert (Willie the Giant) have all died prior to the film's production.

Plot

On Christmas Eve, while all of Victorian England is in the merry spirit of Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Scrooge McDuck) thinks only of the money he has made and of making more (apparently, he charges people 80% interest, compounded daily). As he reaches his counting house, he realizes it's seven years since the passing of his partner Jacob Marley. While Scrooge's selfish thoughts cascade in his head, Bob Cratchit (Mickey Mouse), exhausted and underpaid, continues to work long and hard for him. Cratchit reluctantly asks for a "half day off" for Christmas, to which Scrooge replies it will be unpaid (in contrast to the original version where Scrooge is irritated at giving Cratchit Christmas off with pay). Scrooge's nephew Fred (Donald Duck) comes in to invite Scrooge to his family's Christmas dinner, but Scrooge turns him down. When collectors Rat and Mole, along with beggars on the streets, kindly ask for a simple donation, Scrooge responds to them that if he does, the poor will no longer be poor and thus they (the collectors) will be out of work, "and you [can't] ask me to do that, not on Christmas Eve." In response, he gives them Fred's christmas gift that Fred gave him earlier, and tells them to give it to the poor, by slamming the door on them. After Rat and Mole left, Scrooge asked Bob what is the world coming too; when you work so hard to make money, then which you get the money you work so hard for you have to give it away. Bob after hearing this, gives no response to his boss.

At night time while working still by trying to keep his hands warm, Bob looks at the clock thinking that it's time to go, Scrooge is seen writing papers but tells him that clock is two minutes fast. So Bob continues his work, but Scrooge tells him he can leave anyway. Bob thanks him and tells him that he is so kind, but Scrooge tells him to be to work on time tomorrow. Bob tells him that he will, and takes the bag of Scrooge's clothes with him while wishing his boss a very merry Christmas. But Bob did this in the process by almost saying his boss's catchphrase "Bah-humbug". As Bob leaves the shop, Scrooge doesn't care what Bob said.

Later, the ghost of Scrooge's greedy former business partner Jacob Marley (Goofy Goof) appears and scares Scrooge out of his wits. When Scrooge commends him for his ruthlessness, Marley chuckles "Yup," but then recalls his sinfulness, and tells that because of his cruelty in life, he is doomed to wear heavy chains for eternity ("maybe even longer"). He warns that a similar fate, if not worse, will befall Scrooge unless he changes his ways. Marley then leaves, falling down the stairs when he tries to avoid tripping over Scrooge's cane again and letting out his signature Goofy holler.

Scrooge soon dismisses the incident, but is later awoken by The Ghost of Christmas Past (Jiminy Cricket). He shows Scrooge his past, when his growing love of money led him to cruelly break the heart of his fiance Isabelle (Daisy Duck) by foreclosing on the honeymoon cottage's mortgage. (This is in sharp contrast to the original novel where Isabelle is the one who ends the engagement with Scrooge in a relatively amicable manner.)

Not long after the first visit, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Willie the Giant) arrives, surrounded by turkey, mince pies, suckling pigs and other delicious foods. He shows him the poverty-stricken Cratchit family, who still keep a festive attitude in their home despite their hardships. Bob's young son Tiny Tim (Morty Fieldmouse) is revealed to be ill and Willie foretells tragedy if the family's hapless life does not change. However, just when Scrooge is desperate to know Tim's fate, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the house both vanish. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (a hooded figure later revealed to be Pete) takes Scrooge to the future in a graveyard. When he sees Bob mourning for Tiny Tim, who has passed away (indicated by Bob placing Tim's crutch on his memorial marker), Scrooge fearfully asks whether or not this future can be altered.

He then overhears the laughter of two gravediggers (two weasels from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad), who are amazed and humored by the fact that no one attended the funeral of the man whose grave they were digging for. After the weasels leave to take a break from their work, Scrooge and the ghost approach the lonely grave, where the ghost lights a cigar, revealing Scrooge's name on the tombstone, and gives him a shove into his grave, calling him "the richest man in the cemetery". Scrooge falls towards his coffin as the lid opens and the flames of Hell burst out. Scrooge clings to a root, while the ghost laughs cruelly, but it snaps and Scrooge falls into his grave, shouting he's finally change.

Suddenly, he is back home on Christmas morning. Having been given another chance, he throws his coat over his nightshirt, dons his cane and top hat, and goes to visit the Cratchits. When he goes outside, he cheerfully donating generous amounts of money along the way much to the surprise of the collectors for the poor. While he is walking to his destination, he bumps into his nephew while seeing him riding his horse. Scrooge while being cheerfully donating generous amounts of money along the way, tells Fred that he will come to dinner at his house after all. Fred becomes surprise and confuse by looking at his horse asking him what have they done to his uncle. He then asked his uncle if he really is coming for dinner, with him responding with a yes, and telling Fred that he'll see him later. Scrooge tells his nephew to keep the food hot once he gets there, and Fred happily replies back to him that he will and wishing his uncle a very Merry Christmas. Arriving at Bob's house, he tries to play a ninny on Bob, dragging in a large sack supposedly filled with laundry and announcing gruffly that there will be extra work in the future. But to the Cratchits' joy, the sack is instead filled with toys and a big turkey for dinner. Scrooge gives Bob a raise and makes him his partner in the counting house as Tiny Tim proclaims the original character's famous line of "God bless us, everyone!"

Scrooge picks up Tiny Tim and sits him on his lap before setting his top hat on Tiny Tim's head, picking up Tiny Tim's little sister Martha and sitting her on his lap and then getting a hug from Tiny Tim, Martha and Peter before directing his smile at the Cratchits - the scene of which goes into a freeze frame and the words "The End" and "Walt Disney Productions" appear.

Voice Cast

Japanese
  • the late Koichi Kitamura as Scrooge
  • Takashi Aoyagi as Mickey
  • ??? as Tiny Tim
  • ??? as Otto
  • ??? as Weasel #1
  • Yu Shimaka as Goofy
  • ??? as Ratty
  • Masashi Ebara as Jiminy
  • Minoru Uchida as Willie
  • ??? as A mole
  • ??? as Weasel #2
  • the late Toru Ohira as Pete
  • Koichi Yamadera as Donald
  • Mika Doi as Daisy
English

Production

Broadcast

The film premiered in the United Kingdom on October 20, 1983 and was packaged together with a re-release of the 1977 film The Rescuers, starting on December 16th of the same year. It was billed as Mickey's "big-screen comeback" because his last appearance in a theatrical cartoon, the short The Simple Things, was 30 years earlier, in 1953.

The film made its television debut on NBC on December 10, 1984 and was rebroadcast there annually until 1990, after which it aired on CBS from 1991 to 1998. These broadcasts spanned a full hour, with the first half consisting of three winter-themed theatrical Disney shorts (Donald's Snow FightPluto's Christmas Tree and The Art of Skiing). Each segment was preceded by a narrative wraparound segment in which one of the characters (Donald, Pluto (with Mickey translating), Goofy and Mickey, respectively) would talk about his favorite Christmas, thus leading into the cartoon in question. From 1989 onwards, The Art of Skiing was removed from the annual broadcast, replaced at the end of the hour by a new different segment each year. The 1993 telecast, for example, featured a behind-the-scenes featurette on The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The special last aired on ABC in 2003. It has aired alongside Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too on ABC Family as part of the 25 Days of Christmas since 2008, but with many abrupt edits in order to show more commercials (a common practice on ABC networks when showing older programming). The special notably also aired on Toon Disney on Christmas Day in 2008.

Characters that appear in the film
  • Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge
  • Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit
  • Donald Duck as Fred Honeywell (Ebenezer's nephew)
  • Water Rat and Mole as Collectors for the Poor
  • Goofy Goof as Jacob Marley
  • Jiminy Cricket as The Ghost of Christmas Past
  • Daisy Duck as Isabelle
  • Willie the Giant as The Ghost of Christmas Present
  • Minnie Mouse as Mrs. Cratchit
  • Morty Fieldmouse as Tiny Tim
  • Ferdie Fieldmouse as Peter Cratchit
  • Melody Mouse as Martha Cratchit
  • Pete as The Ghost of Christmas Future
  • J. Thaddeus Toad as Mr. Fezziwig
  • Zeke "Big Bad" Wolf (as a street corner Santa)
  • The Three Little Pigs (Singers standing with street corner Santa, also seen running in the street at the end)
  • Toby Tortoise and Max Hare from the Silly Symphonies shorts The Tortoise and the Hare and Toby Tortoise Returns (seen in the crowd)
  • Clara Cluck (dancing with Gus Goose)
  • Gus Goose (dancing with Clara Cluck)
  • Peter Pig (seen in the crowd)
  • Paddy Pig (seen in the crowd)
  • Clarabelle Cow (dancing with Horace)
  • Horace Horsecollar (dancing with Clarabelle)
  • Grandma Duck (seen in the crowd)
  • Chip 'n Dale (On top of the Christmas tree)
  • Huey, Dewey and Louie (seen decorating a Christmas tree)
  • Angus MacBadger from The Wind in the Willows (seen in the crowd)
  • The Secretary Bird from Bedknobs and Broomsticks (seen in the end)
  • Lady Kluck, Sis and Tagalong from Robin Hood (seen at the end)
  • Skippy and Toby from Robin Hood (seen playing in the streets at the end)
  • Mother Rabbit and Grandma From Robin Hood (seen at the end)
  • Otto from Robin Hood (a beggar in the streets)
  • Cyril Proudbottom from The Wind in the Willows (pulling Donald's cart at the end)
  • Two of the weasels from The Wind in the Willows (gravediggers)

Trivia

  • This is notably one of the very few times Mickey's nephews Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse, originally featured in the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip, have ever appeared in animation.
  • In the Finnish language dub, the characters are referred to as the Disney characters portraying the roles, rather than as the Christmas Carol characters they are portraying. A notable result of this change is that Daisy's character, Isabel, is instead identified as Goldie O'Gilt, Scrooge's secret sweetheart introduced in Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge comic story Back to the Klondike.
  • The Goof Troop episode "Wrecks, Lies & Videotape" featured a nod to this special, in which Goofy poses as a Jacob Marley-like ghost to warn Pete what will happen if he doesn't change his ways.
  • In the Mickey Mouse Works short "How to Haunt a House", Goofy, having temporarily become a ghost for the short's purposes, attempts to scare Donald, dressing up as Jacob Marley at one point.
  • A short snippet of the film appears in Prep & Landing, in the scene where Wayne starts slacking off and sits down to watch TV.
  • This is the last "official" theatrical Disney cartoon to start and end the "classic" way; where it starts with the Buena Vista logo and opening credits, and end with "THE END. A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION". Starting from the next theatrical cartoons; Tummy Trouble and The Prince And The Pauper, theatrical cartoons start and end the "modern" way; Starts with the Walt Disney Pictures logo, then followed on with "Walt Disney Pictures Presents" and the short's title (no opening credits), and have end credits.
  • The scene in which Scrooge hangs over a fiery grave might have been the inspiration to use a similar scene in another version of the story, Disney's A Christmas Carol (with Jim Carrey).

all information on Mickey's Christmas Carol came from http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Mickey%27s_Christmas_Carol

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