Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

mickeys christmas carol poster 1983 movie rescuers double feature
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Smart use of Disney characters to tell the classic tale

Could have been a longer adaptation

Movie Info

Movie Name: Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Studio: Walt Disney Productions

Genre(s): Animated/Family/Seasonal

Release Date(s): December 16,1983

MPAA Rating: G

mickeys christmas carol goofy jacob marley scrooge mcduck

“I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers” (Goofy goes all Pulp Fiction)

Miserly Scrooge finds his least favorite time of year is approaching…Christmas.  With everyone jolly and happy, Scrooge finds the rampant spending of money on pointless gifts an abomination.  When he is visited by the ghost of his old partner Jacob Marley, Scrooge finds himself on a trip that he never expected into his past and the future.  Scrooge is about to discover what he lost over the years and the opportunity to save himself from damnation.

Directed by Burny Mattinson, Mickey’s Christmas Carol is a Walt Disney animated holiday short.  The movie is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novella A Christmas Carol which was first published in 1843 and is film version of the Disneyland 1974 record An Adaptation of Dickens’ Christmas Carol.  It was initially released in 1983 as part of double feature with The Rescuers re-release.  It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short.

I saw Mickey’s Christmas Carol when it came out with The Rescuers (which was also my first viewing of that film).  I loved Christmas, and Scrooge McDuck so even though the film and short and sweet, I always favored it.  It isn’t the best or most developed telling of A Christmas Carol, but it does a lot right.

mickeys christmas carol scrooge mcduck donald duck

Hey, Uncle Scrooge…I’m the nice one now!!!

The story is as expected.  Scrooge is a jerk, gets shown his past and where he went wrong, and then Scrooge becomes good.  It isn’t a twist or play on the story.  It is as basic as you can tell.  Unfortunately, it is told at rocket speed since it is less than thirty minutes, and it feels like such a rich tale that it could have been a full length (or at least double the time) film.  The clever use of popular and somewhat obscure Disney characters for stand-ins for Dickens’ character is inspired and that is why you wish it went on for longer.

The film does mark some firsts and last in the cast.  Mickey Mouse had not been in a film since The Simple Things in 1953 and it was Wayne Allwine’s first feature as Mickey (he had voiced him in the previous few years).  Longtime Donald Duck voice actor Clarence Nash performed the final time as Donald Duck, and the movie introduced Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck (which he voiced for years until his death).

mickeys christmas carol scrooge mcduck bob cratchet

Yeah…I’m a good guy now…got it, Cratchet?

The combination of Disney and Dickens is a perfect mix and like many other versions of the story, it is a good way to make a holiday movie and utilize a franchise.  The movie sets it up as a complete stand-in (it isn’t a play like some other animated takes using known characters like the Flintstones version or Mr. Magoo), but the classic animated feel of the movie is combined with some nice Disney features to make it one of the last traditional animated Disney shorts.

Regardless if it is underdeveloped, Mickey’s Christmas Carol is worth seeking out simply because it is a short take.  If you are a fan of DuckTales or Scrooge McDuck, the character gets to play his namesake, and it is worth it simply for that.  It is also simply just wholesome fun that everyone can enjoy.  Slow-down, pop in A Christmas Carol (or twenty versions of it) and have fun.  Disney revisited A Christmas Carol in 2009 with a computer animated version.

Related Links:

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (Scrooge) (1951)

Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)

Scrooge (1970)

An American Christmas Carol (1979)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

Scrooged (1988)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

A Christmas Carol (1999)

Christmas Carol—The Movie (2001)

A Christmas Carol:  The Musical (2004)

Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

Batman:  Noel

Zombies Christmas Carol

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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