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Chris Diamantopoulos, Tony Anselmo, Tress MacNeille
Writing Credits:

Ride a tide of holiday hilarity with these contemporary classic shorts starring Mickey and friends.

Rated TV-G

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/16X9
English Dolby 2.0
French Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 43 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 9/26/2017

• Bonus Shorts
• Previews


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Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 5, 2017)

With 2017’s Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary, Disney provides a program that spans two holidays – and consists of two separate sections. The disc breaks into The Scariest Story Ever and Duck the Halls.

Aimed at the Halloween crowd, Story (21:34) focuses on Mickey’s (voiced by Chris Diamantopoulus) attempts to celebrate the holiday. He tries to tell the scariest of all possible scary stories – and flops, which forces him to try again and again to bring the terror.

In Halls (21:34), Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo) decides not to migrate south for winter so he can celebrate Christmas. This doesn’t go well, as the irascible fowl struggles to cope with the season’s cold.

To coin a phrase: this isn’t your father’s Mickey. Back in the “classic era”, Disney cartoons typically offered lovely animation but lacked the same bite and zaniness typical of the Looney Tunes shorts. Though those comparisons didn’t always fit, they stuck.

With Merry, we get a much greater nod toward a wackier sensibility than we found in the Walt era. There’s a definite shift toward outrageous comedy, with a 21st century vibe that leans toward irony and self-parody.

These choices could fail, as the segments of Merry don’t connect to the classic characters well. They’re essentially broadly stereotypical versions of the roles from Walt’s years, and their personalities shift some dependent on the settings.

In theory, this could – and probably should – flop. Merry should feel like a desperate, disingenuous attempt to update the characters.

To my surprise, it doesn’t, as the new versions of Mickey and company prove to be surprisingly amusing. Sure, they’re not all that true to their classic predecessors, but they entertain, as their newfound freedom works well.

Of the two programs, Story fares best, mainly because the manic energy suits the broad humor one can connect to Halloween. It throws nutty gags at us left and right, with a clever nod to Young Frankenstein on the way. This fast-paced short offers good amusement.

A little more sentimental and subdued, Halls still manages comedy. Despite the usual mushiness of the Christmas holiday, it continues an irreverent vibe – while it does go down a warm ‘n’ fuzzier path than Story, it’s still packed with plenty of jokes and nuttiness.

Those elements add up to another fun show. Halls throws a lot at the wall – including a quick allusion to The Shining - and it provides fine entertainment.

All together, Merry works surprisingly well. I feared its two programs would just offer cheap, gratuitous holiday product, but instead, they deliver clever, witty entertainment.

The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C+/ Bonus C-

Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Given the limits of SD-DVD, the image worked fine.

Overall sharpness seemed positive. Inevitably, the restrictions of SD-DVD meant a little softness, but the shorts usually showed pretty nice delineation. I saw minor signs of jagged edges and shimmering, and both edge haloes and source flaws remained absent.

With bright hues, the shorts offered fine colors. These stood out as bright and peppy. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. This wasn’t HD caliber, but for SD-DVD, it looked strong.

As for the shorts’ Dolby 2.0 audio, it lacked much pizzazz. The soundfield emphasized music, though manic effects spread to the side channels on a moderately active basis. These elements didn’t dazzle, but they added some energy to the programs.

Quality seemed fine. Music was full and rich, while effects showed good accuracy and range. Speech remained natural and concise. Nothing about the audio impressed, but the material suited the shorts.

Among the set’s extras, we find five Bonus Shorts. These include “Ghoul Friend” (3:47), “The Boiler Room” (3:47), “Black & White” (3:47), “Entombed” (3:47) and “Split Decision” (7:17).

I thought these would offer vintage shorts, but instead, they’re modern creations, and that’s fine with me, as they’re consistently entertaining. All of these highlight “scary”, not “merry”, and they’re a lot of fun.

The disc opens with ads for Coco and the “Walt Disney Signature Collection”. Sneak Peeks adds a promo for Disneynature: Dolphins.

A mix of Halloween and Christmas programs, Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary fires on all cylinders. It offers comedy with bite and energy that might amuse adults more than kids. The DVD brings us pretty strong visuals as well as mediocre audio and supplements. These shows turn into fun options for your holiday viewing.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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