Making the Grades
The Disney characters are out in full force to tell the story of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Mickey Mouse (voice by Wayne Allwine) takes on the role of Bob Cratchit. He works for the acrimonious Scrooge McDuck (voice by Alan Young), the owner of a counting house who believes that kindness is of little use in the world.
On Christmas Eve, Scrooge meets his long-dead partner Jacob Marley (played by Goofy and voiced by Hal Smith) who has come back from the dead to warn the miserly employer about the consequences of his penny-pinching habits.
To help Scrooge avoid the same fate that has befallen him, Jacob promises to send three ghosts, Jiminy Cricket (voice by Eddie Carroll), Willie the Giant (voice by Will Ryan) and Pete, the ominous Ghost of Christmas Future (voice also by Will Ryan) to visit his old business associate. During the nightly voyage, the trio of characters shows the crotchety mallard visions of his past, present and future.
While on his flight with the Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge visits the home of his underpaid, underappreciated employee Bob. There he gets a glimpse of Bob’s invalid son Tiny Tim (voice of Dick Billingsley), who must hobble around on a crutch. However, a peek into the future shows Scrooge that Tiny Tim’s prognosis for a long life isn’t a good one.
Sobered by the experience, Scrooge awakens with a changed heart. Fortunately for him, the three visitors have made a full night of it and the changed duck discovers it is still Christmas morning. Giddy with happiness, he goes about sharing his wealth and good wishes with everyone he meets, including his nephew Fred (voice by Clarence Nash).
Only 26 minutes long, this animated tale will keep the attention of most younger children, although some moments of peril may be frightening. One scene shows fire and flames that appear to be licking at Scrooge. A visit to a dark and gloomy graveyard with a cigar-chomping ghost and two smoking gravediggers may also make some kids nervous.
In 2009, the story is being re-released in combination with three other Disney shorts. In the 1952 Pluto’s Christmas Tree, the spunky puppy gets in trouble with his owner while trying to capture two little chipmunks that have come home in the Christmas tree. The Small One, originally released in 1978, tells the story of an aging donkey who must be sold at market. His young owner is sad about losing his favorite pet but promises to find someone kind to buy the animal. After a challenging day, the boy finds a gentle man who needs a beast of burden to carry his pregnant wife. Santa’s Workshop is a 1932 musical short featuring the jolly man in red and his elves getting ready for their big day.
With this collection of seasonal favorites, parents can introduce their children to the Christmas classics from their past.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
What do you think the Spirit of Christmas is? How does it impact the characters in these movies?