Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other Disney toon superstars make their first appearances as CGI renderings outside of theme park attractions in "Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas," moppet-skewing vidpic released just in time for yuletide stocking-stuffing.

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other Disney toon superstars make their first appearances as CGI renderings outside of theme park attractions in “Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas,” moppet-skewing vidpic released just in time for yuletide stocking-stuffing. Think of it as a gift that will keep on giving — to the giver. Even after repeated viewings, delighted tykes should keep ho-ho-hoing (and remain conveniently distracted) while parents tend to more pressing household matters. Disney can expect steady seasonal sales for years to come.

Anthology format allows helmer Matthew O’Callaghan and platoon of scripters to present five self-contained, holiday-themed episodes linked by pop-up book visuals and Clive Revill’s cheery narration. Not surprisingly, all segments are sufficiently brisk to sustain interest of restless small fry.

“Mickey’s Dog-Gone Christmas,” vidpic’s grand finale, has Mickey Mouse (Wayne Allwine) searching for runaway Pluto while the rambunctious mutt visits the North Pole for reindeer games with Donner (Jeff Bennett) and Blitzen (Jim Cummings). Other standout segs include “Belles on Ice,” which finds Minnie Mouse (Russi Taylor) and Daisy Duck (Tress MacNeille) competing fiercely (and briefly straining their friendship) during an ice-skating competition, and “Donald’s Gift,” in which irrepressibly cranky Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo) gets a dose of Christmas cheer in spite of himself.

Computer-generated imagery provides pleasingly colorful, seemingly 3-D eye-candy. Even so, novelty value of classic toon characters in CGI format likely will be lost on little ones raised on “Shrek” and “Toy Story.”

Grown-ups may be amused by occasional allusions to “Fantasia.” Dancing hippos and alligators loom large in “Belles on Ice.” Later, in “Dog-Gone Christmas,” Mickey surveys damage after Pluto inadvertently destroys the yuletide decorations, then remarks: “I’d have to be a sorcerer to clean up this mess!”

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas

Direct-to-Video

Production

A Buena Vista Home Video release of a Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a DisneyToon Studios production. Produced by Pam Marsden-Siragusa. Directed by Matthew O'Callaghan. Screenplay, Bill Motz, Bob Roth, Peggy Holmes ("Belles on Ice"); Chad Fiveash, James Patrick Stoteraux, O'Callaghan ("Christmas: Impossible"); Motz, Roth, Shirley Pierce, from story by Theresa Pettengill ("Christmas Maximus"); Jim Peronto, Carole Holliday ("Donald's Gift"); Michael Shipley, Jim Bernstein, Pierce, from story by Colin Goodman, O'Callaghan ("Mickey's Dog-Gone Christmas").

Crew

(Color); editors, Julie Rogers, Kirk Demorest; music, Stephen James Taylor; art director, Alan Bodner; sound (Dolby), Donald J. Malouf; dialogue directors, O'Callaghan, Thomason; voice casting, Jamie Thomason. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, Dec. 12, 2004. MPAA Rating: G. Running time: 68 MIN.

With

Voices: Mickey Mouse - Wayne Allwine Donald Duck - Tony Anselmo Goofy - Bill Farmer Minnie Mouse - Russi Taylor Daisy Duck - Tress MacNeille Max - Jason Marsden Scrooge McDuck - Alan Young Narrator - Clive Revill Blitzen - Jim Cummings Donner/Jailbreak Bob/Elf - Jeff Bennett

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