Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas is an animated direct-to-video Christmas anthology film produced by Disneytoon Studio in 1999. The movie consists of three original short segments starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and their friends. It won the Award for Best Animated Featured Film at the 5th Kecskemét Animation Film Festival, and was also nominated for the 2000 Annie Award for Best Animated Home Entertainment Production, which it lost to An Extremely Goofy Movie.
The film was followed by Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas in 2004.
"Donald Duck: Stuck on Christmas"
The first story, an adaptation of Christmas Every Day by Willaim Dean Howells, opens when Huey, Dewey and Louie wake up on Christmas morning and open up their presents even though they are supposed to wait for Daisy, Uncle Scrooge, and the previously-unmentioned Aunt Gertie. After they take their new sleds from Uncle Donald (without bothering to read the card) and go sledding, have Christmas dinner and sing carols, it is time for the boys to go to bed. Having enjoyed the day immensely, the boys then wish that it would be Christmas every day. Their wish is granted and at first, the three are joyful at having Christmas every day.
After a few days, however, the boys begin to get sick of Christmas being every day, soon realizing that every day will be the same as the day when they first made their wish. They decide to change the course of action the next day by playing tricks and pranks, including swapping a live turkey with the cooked one. Unfortunately, this creates a mess and the day turns out to be a bad Christmas for the rest of the family, especially Donald. The boys then finally read the gift card that was given to them which they had previously disregarded. The card is from Donald and Daisy; it wishes them love and explains that Christmas isn't just about presents, it's about being with family.
Upon learning how hard their family has tried to make Christmas better for them, the boys feel guilty for their pranks. They then decide to make amends and make the next day the best Christmas day ever. They switch the turkey with ham, give Aunt Gertie exclusive kisses, and join in on singing carols. When Donald questions their behaviour, they admit that they are up to something and eventually present him with a gift of their own - a boat that they built from the sleds he gave them. The next day shows that Christmas is finally over, and Huey, Dewey and Louie all become happy. The narrator explains that Christmas can't always be here but that the feeling it gives us can always be here.
"A Very Goofy Christmas"
Goofy and Max are writing their letter to Santa Claus. They finish it and rush off after the postman, managing to catch him just in the nick of time. After mailing the letter, Max mentions to his dad that he wants a snowboard for Christmas and hopes that Santa will bring it, but their next-door neighbour, Pete, insists that Santa does not exist. Goofy, however, tells Max that Santa does exist and that he should never stop believing in him.
The next evening, Goofy and Max visit a poor family who lives nearby to give them a Christmas dinner. Goofy then dresses up as Santa Claus for the children, but one of the family's kids pulls off his hat and beard, exposing him. This upsets Max and makes him think that his dad was lying to him about Santa, and he runs home upset. Goofy tries to cheer him up, unsuccessfully, and then decides to prove to Max that Santa Claus does exist by staying up all night to keep an eye out for him.
After quite a few hours of waiting, Goofy sees someone coming out of the chimney on Pete's roof, but it turns out to be a Beagle Boy robbing Pete's house. Goofy then falls off the roof and goes into a deep depression, now believing that everything Max said was true. Max eventually cheers his dad up by dressing as Santa Claus himself. After Goofy finds out it's Max, they look up into the sky and see the real Santa Claus, who gives Max the snowboard he wanted and then blows the snow from Goofy's house onto Pete's house to teach Pete a lesson. Max then tells his dad that he is going to go share his present with little Jimmy (one of the kids from the poor family). The narrator explains that Christmas is found in the way that we live by not what we receive but by what we give.
"Mickey and Minnie's Gift of the Magi"
In this adaptation of The Gift of the Magi, Mickey and Minnie Mouse are trying to gather enough money to buy the perfect gift for each other. Mickey is working at Pete's Christmas tree lot so he can earn enough money to buy Minnie a gold chain for her one heirloom, her watch. However, after Mickey suggests a poor family buy a small Christmas tree that he found out back instead of one of Pete's ten-foot trees, Pete takes away the money he has earned and kicks him out. Pete ends up getting payback for his actions, though, as he unintentionally stuffs the money he took from Mickey into his pocket along with his still-smouldering cigar, leading to a chain reaction that leaves him charred, burnt, and singed, and then watching helplessly as his ten-foot Christmas trees get burned down.
Meanwhile, Minnie is working in the gift-wrapping department at Mortimer Mouse's department store, hoping that her Christmas bonus from her boss will be enough to pay for Mickey's present. Unfortunately, her Christmas bonus is nothing but a fruitcake.
Mickey plays his harmonica for a Charity Toy Drive by the fire department and is told that his harmonica plays so great that it must be worth lots of money. This gives Mickey the idea to trade his harmonica for the chain, so he and Pluto rush off to the store. Later, at Minnie's house, Mickey gives her the chain for her watch and Minnie gives him a case for his harmonica. Of course, the irony is that Minnie traded her watch for the case -- just as Mickey has traded his harmonica -- so the gifts are essentially useless, but the couple is happy to know they were willing to give up their most prized possessions for each other. As in the original story, the thought behind each gift is what counts.
As the movie comes to a close, we see Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Max, Donald, Daisy, Huey, Dewey and Louie joining each other in the streets outside and singing a medley consisting of "Jingle Bells", "Deck the Halls", and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".
|Wayne Allwine||Mickey Mouse|
|Russi Taylor|| Minnie Mouse|
|Tony Anselmo||Donald Duck|
|Tress MacNeille|| Daisy Duck ("Stuck on Christmas")|
|Diane Michelle||Daisy Duck ("The Gift of the Magi")|
|Bill Farmer|| Goofy|
|Shaun Fleming||Max Goof|
|Alan Young||Scrooge McDuck|
|Jim Cummings|| Pete|
|Frank Welker|| Turkey|
|Jeff Bennett|| Mortimer Mouse|
|Taylor Dempsey|| Kid #1|
|Kylie Dempsey|| Kid #2|
|Andrew McDonough||Poor boy|
|Gregg Berger|| Mr. Anderson|
|Pat Musick|| Angry woman|
|April Winchell|| Firefighter|
The film was originally released on VHS on November 9, 1999, and was notably also the first animated direct-to-video Disney film to debut on DVD as well. The DVD included a read-along storybook based on the "Mickey and Minnie's Gift of the Magi" segment, sing-alongs of "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells", and a music video of "Deck the Halls" performed by SHeDAISY. Despite the film being produced in 1.78:1 widescreen, the VHS and original DVD release presented it in 4:3 fullscreen. Both the VHS and DVD were later reissued as part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection on November 7, 2000.
A Blu-ray/DVD combo pack release, which also included the sequel, was released on November 4, 2014. Unlike the original DVD release, both the Blu-ray and the included DVD present the film in its intended widescreen aspect ratio. The "Gift of the Magi" read-along and the two sing-alongs from the previous DVD release were also included on both discs, but the SHeDAISY music video was dropped.
The film was also part of the launch line-up for the Disney+ streaming service.
The film aired annually on the Disney Channel from 2004 through 2018, on ABC Family/Freeform from 2009 to 2018, and on Disney Junior from 2011 to 2018. As of 2019, however, the movie is no longer airing on either of those channels.
- One of Goofy's Christmas tree ornaments resembles Angelique from Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
- Mickey performs one of his dance moves from 1942's theatrical short Mickey's Birthday Party.
- The firefighters who perform at the charity toy drive are called the Firehouse 5. The name is a nod to the Firehouse Five Plus Two, a seven-piece Dixieland jazz band founded in 1949 and consisting of Disney animation staff, including animators Ward Kimball and Frank Thomas.
- Disney Wiki: Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas at the Internet Movie Database
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas at the Big Cartoon DataBase
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