Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. With these themed compilations, the quality tends to fall into two categories. Cartoons already found on “Treasures” DVDs look great, while those new to the cheap DVDs present more flawed visuals. That was usually the case here.
The sole exception came from “Mickey’s Good Deed”. This one appeared rather “digital”, with edge enhancement and an oddly processed video look. Since the studio viewed it as an “extra” on the Black & White DVD, I don’t think it got spiffied up there, which is why it looked rough here. It also suffered from specks, blotches and hairs, elements not usually found on the “Treasures” DVDs.
The other two repeated cartoons – “Peculiar Penguins” and “Lend a Paw” – looked much better. Crisp and concise, they showed very few source defects and boasted lively colors. They clearly benefited from some TLC.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same for the four exclusive cartoons. All will almost certainly improve when they hit various “Treasures” DVDs, but now they remained rough. They tended to display adequate sharpness, though they could become somewhat soft at times. Colors were a little heavy but usually stayed pretty bright and clear.
Blacks also looked dense, while shadows varied. The two Chip an’ Dale shorts suffered from excessive darkness in their low-light shots. All the exclusive shorts showed a fair amount of print flaws. “Rescue” was dusty, while the others displayed moderate levels of specks and marks. The mix of good and bad left this one with a “C” for picture.
At least the monaural audio of Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals seemed more consistent. Not surprisingly, the earliest shorts – “Penguins” and “Deed” – were the roughest. They could be a little harsh and brittle, though they remained reasonably clear given their vintage.
The others sounded just fine for their age. They showed fairly clear speech – what little we heard, at least – and presented bright but not too sharp music. Effects remained concise and acceptably accurate. A bit of bass popped up; I didn’t hear great low-end, but what I got was fine. These weren’t sonic treats, but they fared well.
When we look at supplements, we get virtually nothing. A mix of ads appear under the Sneak Peeks banner. This area includes trailers for Lady and the Tramp, Kronk’s New Groove, Tarzan, Chicken Little, Old Yeller, Toy Story, Disney’s Timeless Tales, and Kermit the Frog’s 50th Anniversary.
As with the other Disney theme packages, I can recommend this one to casual fans only. They will like the bargain price, and Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals includes quite a few very good cartoons. They also probably won’t mind the less than stellar presentation for many of the shorts.
More serious fans should skip Celebration, though. Yes, the four exclusive cartoons will tempt them, but I’d recommend patience. These shorts will almost certainly eventually appear on “Treasures” packages, and they’ll also probably look much better there.