Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Holiday (Double Feature) Review

A Holiday (Double Feature) Review
By Taylor Castro
With Christmas just around the corner, here's my double feature review of two children's animated holiday classics, "The Snowman" and "Mickey's Christmas Carol." First up is the 1982 film, "The Snowman", which was based on the children's book of the same name by Raymond Briggs. Interestingly, this film has no dialogue with the exception of the opening narration, and the lyrics to the song "Walking in the Air."
"The Snowman"
One Christmas Eve many years ago, a young boy was surprised when a snowman he made earlier that day magically comes to life. After playing around inside the boy's house, the Snowman and the boy fly to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus and other living snowmen. There was some joyful dancing and silliness. It was one Christmas night the young boy would remember for the rest of his life.
When I first saw the film as a kid, I was impressed by the film's animation style. It has that moving Illustration like feel, since it looked like they used colored pencils or pastels on each of the animation cells. The illustrations and movement convey a lot of emotion since there's no talking. The vibe is gentle, sweet, and whimsical. I give the film, four out of four stars.

"Mickey's Christmas Carol"
We fast forward to the following year of 1983: the 1977 Disney animated classic, "The Rescuers" was re-released along with the new Mickey Mouse cartoon, "Mickey's Christmas Carol." The film marked Mickey's return to the big screen since his last cartoon in 1953. It marked the movie debut of the late Wayne Allwine who provided the voice of Mickey Mouse.
The first time he did Mickey was for the short lived 1977 television version of the Mickey Mouse Club, which lasted for only one season. Allwine continued to do the voice of the character until his death on May 19, 2009 at the age of 62. The film also marked the last time that Clarence Nash provided the voice of Donald Duck. He passed away nearly two years later on February 20, 1985, at the age of 80. The voice  of Donald Duck was then handed over to Disney animator, Tony Anselmo.
If you're familiar with the original Charles Dickens story, it needs no introduction. This film has classic Disney characters playing the Dickens characters. For example, Mickey plays Bob Cratchit, and Scrooge McDuck plays Ebenezer Scrooge.
The animation style was the standard Disney 2-D of the time. The setting was true to the era of the original publication of the book in 1843, and added to the story. Even after nearly 30 years, the film holds up, and is one of those films you'll want to see during the holiday season. I give the film four out of four stars.
Next month will be my 24th Birthday, I will review one of my all time favorite movies, the Disney version of "The Little Mermaid."

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