Making the Grades
With a wave of a computer-animating wand, Disney's beloved characters come to 3D-styling life, in Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. New for the 2004 gift-giving season, the DVD offers five short vignettes strung together by a narrator reading from a pop-up book.
In the first story, peace on earth turns into war on blades when Daisy and Mini face off in a competition for the title of hometown darling. Sporting a chorus line of hippos in tutus and gator skaters (borrowed from Fantasia), and with animation inspired by Olympic star Michelle Kwan, the Belles on Ice learn the rink isn't big enough for the two of them- unless they become a team.
Next, Huey, Dewey, and Louie set off on an a Christmas Impossible mission to ensure their names are inscribed on Santa's nice list--knowing full well they've been too naughty to get on it the usual way. During their visit to the North Pole, the trio's selfish goal soon undoes all the preparation efforts of the selfless elves, and jeopardizes the holiday season for everyone. Can these ducks pluck up enough consideration for others to lend a wing and save Christmas -- even if they won't receive any presents from Santa themselves?
Christmas Maximus begins with Max phoning home to warn his pop not to do anything Goofy when he brings his girlfriend home for the holidays. Of course that's a tall order for the floppy-eared, bucked-toothed, well-intentioned father to fill. As the visit unfolds, the true question becomes, "Who really lacks the ability to look beyond the outward clumsiness?"
According to the fourth installment, Donald's Gift, all he wants for Christmas is peace, quiet, and a cup of hot chocolate. However, Daisy and his nephews think he ought to be hanging around the mall with his friends and family, enjoying all the sights and sounds of the season. When the hustle and bustle cause the hot head to quack up, is there any way Donald Duck can bring harmony back to the holiday celebration?
Last, but not least, is Mickey's Dog Gone Christmas. After Pluto's turns all paws while enthusiastically placing the star on the top of the tree, he finds himself in the doghouse. As Mickey tries to salvage what's left of his decorations, the chewed out mutt decides to run away. As luck would have it, he lands in the barn of some famous flying reindeer that happily adopt him as their own. Although he should be flying high, the dog has a sinking feeling he'd rather be back home.
This direct-to-home release also provides some deleted scenes, a short segment featuring Michelle Kwan skating for the animation artist, and a couple of games. What is Donald Singing? proves the rest of the world has just as much trouble understanding that sibilant duck as I have. Another activity called Santa's Workshop Challenge features some sugar coated condescending questions like, "On Christmas eve when your parents tell you to go to bed should you: a) beg and plead to stay up until Santa comes, or b) obey them." (Perhaps such tactics will only offend viewers too old to be watching this title anyway.)
Although devoid of any religious content, Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas does provide massages of love, friendship and caring for others. With the exception of some silly antics, slapstick humor, and ill-mannered belching, parents can feel confident tucking in their little ones with this product straight from Disney's workshop.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Mickey’s Twice upon a Christmas.
Max is embarrassed by his father’s goofy antics. Have you ever been afraid your family’s behavior may reflect poorly on you? What did Max come to understand that helped him stop being ashamed?
How did Mickey and Pluto allow their misunderstanding to drive them apart? What could the characters have done differently to avoid the hurt they caused each other?