Merry Christmas, everybody! In honor of the occasion, I’m gonna take a little break from the Disney sequels and instead look at something a bit more Christmas oriented but is still a direct-to-DVD movie. That’s “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas”. Every year, I see this brought out, and I’ve never really seen it before because I think it came out a little past my time in that I love Disney, but it’s kinda the basic Disney cartoons. It’s Mickey, Donald, Goofy… all learning about the meaning of Christmas while hijinks ensue. I kind of assumed there wasn’t that much adult stuff in it, and, yeah, it does seem mainly for kids, but for a Christmas movie aimed mainly at kids, I think it’s done pretty good. It’s an anthology of stories, each dealing with the holiday. The first one centers around Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and them all wishing that Christmas could be every day. Yeah, you now this tale, and you kinda know what comes of it. They get Christmas every day! At first, they love it, but then they find they don’t, and, eventually, a lesson is learned. It’s pretty standard until they throw in a little bit of a twist where, once the boys get sick of it, they start to act up and make things worse. This results in them seeing the consequences of their actions on the rest of the family, and I don’t know. I thought that added a little bit more. At least from what you usually expect of this story, it’s kinda nice, and there’s a nice little bit about a Christmas card that you think is the throwaway joke, but it makes a return, too, and I don’t know, it was actually pretty emotional at the end. I liked it. The second centers around Goofy and his son, Max. Actually, a much younger version of Max, which I really like. I kind of like the idea of seeing him at a different age. But, then again, they probably did that because it’s about his belief in Santa Claus in that he’s starting to doubt. Next door neighbor, Pete, tells him that there’s not a Santa Claus, so Max is bound to find out if that’s true or not. The one bizarre twist is that Goofy believes there’s a Santa Claus, too, and actually ends up staying out all night until he comes. This one is mostly pretty good, but I don’t know. I thought the ending was a bit of a cop out. Not to give anything away, but they do reveal whether he exists in this world or not, and I don’t know. I thought you could’ve done this without a definitive answer. Like, maybe they go to bed, they wake up in the morning, and find the gifts, and then you don’t really know if Goofy did it or if it was just an act. I don’t know. I felt there was a really smart, good ending to this, and they just kinda do the traditional route. But, honestly, the rest is so good, especially with Max trying to make his father feel better, that I think it’s fine. The third and final one stars Mickey and Minnie reenacting “The Gift of the Magi”. Yeah. They actually call it that. I really think that’s cool. I usually don’t care for Mickey Mouse stories, but, honestly, Mickey and Minnie are kinda the perfect people to tell this story. You all know this tale. Mickey wants to get a gift for Minnie, Minnie wants to get a gift for Mickey, but neither of them have a lot of money. So Mickey has a plan involving his harmonica, and Minnie has a plan involving her watch, and– Alright, I won’t give it away in case you haven’t seen it, but it’s a very decent telling of the story. Mickey and Minnie are the epitome of wide-eyed innocence that it really does make sense to do this story with them. It’s a good, humble telling. All the stories are tied together with a narration from Kelsey Grammer. The minute you hear his voice doing the whimsical, inspiring thing, you just kinda laugh and giggle at how corny it is, but you also kind of admire how sweet it is. And that’s the best way to describe this movie: corny but sweet. The animation is really good, especially considering it’s just kind of a Disney cartoon. I mean, they didn’t have to throw all this money into it, but they did, and they really tried to make it look nice and Christmas-y. There’s a lot of nice, little touches, too, if you know the Disney universe. For example, one of these ornaments is from the second “Beauty and the Beast” movie. Minnie works for Mortimer’s, which is this classic Disney villain. And even all the characters are kinda tied into each other, like one person in one story might be the neighbor to another person in another story. It’s kinda clever that way. There’s even a couple laughs in there. There’s one involving Goofy finally spotting Santa Claus that literally made me laugh so hard and so loud, I think my neighbors walking by heard me. I won’t give it away, but it was a really funny scene. So, yeah. This is obviously something meant for little, little kids, but as something for little, little kids goes, it has a lot of charm and delight to it. It’s probably not something I would put on a lot around Christmas time, but I think it’s great to show your kids and kinda get ’em the culture in some of these classic stories and some new stories as well with your favorite Disney characters. There’s clearly effort that went into it, and the effort pays off. You get three nice, gentle stories that aren’t phenomenal, but are effective. Each one has a legitimately emotional moment, and each one has one or two laughs in it as well. Definitely a nice one to check out around the holidays. There’s plenty more Disney sequels along the way, but until then, Merry Christmas and enjoy the best day of the year!