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Walt Disney Home Video presents
Mickey Saves Santa (2006)

"Will you play hide-and-seek with me and help me find Donald?"
- Mickey Mouse (Wayne Allwine)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: November 14, 2006

Stars: Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer
Other Stars: Tress Macneille, Russi Taylor, April Winchell
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:12m:03s
Release Date: November 14, 2006
UPC: 786936704266
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A+ AA+A- C

DVD Review

There is an astounding amount of educational, animated programming available to toddlers and preschoolers these days. Between the Noggin, Sprout, and Disney channels, there's never a moment in the day when my (nearly) three-year-old doesn't have something to watch. Her newest favorite is Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, a fun learning tool that uses razor-sharp CG animation to continue the legacy of Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and friends. Walt Disney Home Video brings us the premiere of the newest episode on DVD just in time for the holiday season.

Mickey Saves Santa is also the first batch of episodes to make it to disc, allowing kids to easily enjoy a trio of tales. The first, Mickey Saves Santa, turns out to be the perfect way to introduce my three-year-old to Santa Claus.

The title episode is one of the better Clubhouse offerings. It begins with the show's signature opening set pieces, including the "Mousekedoer" where Mickey introduces three specific "Mousketools" and a mystery one via the floating Toodles device. Mickey asks the viewer questions throughout the program as well, keeping the little ones involved, while pausing long enough for them to answer out loud. After seeing this episode's "Mousekedoer" segment, Mrs. Claus tells Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Daisy, Minnie, and Pluto that Santa's sleigh is stuck at the top of Mistletoe Mountain. She gives Mickey and Donald the daunting task of rescuing Santa so that Christmas will still come this year.

This would be a fun Christmas story by itself, but this series' numerous nuances elevate it to a potentially classic level. The gang uses great vehicles like the Toonplane to get to Santa, with the magical Toodles showing up at just the right times. The journey is a great time for the whole family.

The second "Mouseketale" is Goofy's Bird in which the title character discovers a baby redbird and his nest. Of course, the not-so-bright Goofy thinks the nest is a hat, but when Mickey sees it, bigger brains prevail and the pair seeks out the bird's mother. Goofy fans will enjoy seeing the spotlight aimed on their favorite Disney character. Mickey Go Seek finds Mickey and Donald playing hide-and-seek. This is clearly Donald's game, though, as he makes it very tough for Mickey to track him down. This is the least entertaining of the trio, but the episode is far from dull, capturing the charm every installment of the series exhibits.

The pleasure of this entire series, and so this DVD release, is that the program will keep parents entertained as well. I've never been a big fan of Mickey Mouse, but there's something special about this big-eared guy's latest incarnation that has me actually enjoying him, whiny voice and all. It's clear that Disney has another bona fide hit series on their hands.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: These shows are presented in their original full-frame aspect ratio and have made a seamless transfer from TV to DVD. The same amazingly vibrant colors are on display, and they practically burst off of the screen. Modern CG can be very impressive, and these episodes are a prime example of the best this form of animation has to offer.

Image Transfer Grade: A+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio also emulates that of the series' TV broadcasts, ramping up the music so that the little ones can sing along and enjoy it fully. The fun dialogue is integrated into the overall mix pretty well. There's even a bit of a bass presence during a few sequences that will please the audiophile parents in the audience.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
10 Other Trailer(s) featuring Peter Pan: 2-Disc Special Edition, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt, Little Einsteins: The Legend of the Golden Pyramid, Disney DVD Game World: Princess Edition, Disney DVD Game World: Disney Dogs, Meet the Robinsons, Robin Hood: Special Edition, The Fox and the Hound 2, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. "Hot Dog" Dance-Along
  2. Mickey's Picture Puzzle - Interactive game
Extras Review: Aside from a slew of previews for upcoming Disney DVD releases, there is a pair of interactive kid-friendly extras. The first, Hot Dog Dance-Along, is a short music video by They Might Be Giants. There's also an interactive game called Mickey's Picture Puzzle. Kids will love this, as they have to use their "Mouseketool" to unscramble a series of picture puzzles.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Believe it or not, Christmas is upon us once again, and what better way to ring in the holidays than with Disney's newest kids DVD, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey Saves Santa. The disc offers over an hour of fun with Mickey and friends in three episodes from their best show in years. Everything is technically sound, with great audio and video transfers, and a couple of extras that the kids will love.

 


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