Have a lot of fondness for 'House of Mouse'. Love Disney and the concept was such an interesting and for Disney shows at the time a unique one. There are times where it could have done more with the concept, with showing more of some of the guests and not focusing all the featured cartoons on Mickey and the gang. It is however so much fun and how it makes an effort to retain the spirit of the classic old cartoons is to be lauded.
"Pete's Christmas Caper" is definitely up there with the best, and one of my favourite, 'House of Mouse' episodes. As has been said in my previous 'House of Mouse' episodes, really like that it and the rest of the show tries to and succeeds in making the personalities of Mickey and the rest of the gang true to those of their "golden age" ones when they first came out (1930s-1950s), especially Donald. Except that Mickey is far more interesting in personality in 'House of Mouse', feels like a lead character, is used well and isn't over-shadowed by the rest of the characters. Minnie is also more resourceful.
Pete is a fun character as always with great interaction with the rest of the gang, even if his scheming is not much new at all.
'The Nutcracker' is one of the best featured cartoons. Treats being Von Drake's amusing appearance in the more crotchety Drosselmeyer role, the back and forth between him and John Cleese's thoughtful and witty narrator, the arrangement of some of Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker' music (the most prominent being the Chinese Dance) and Mickey and Minnie in the appealing lead roles. Plus Donald's unlikely and pretty hilarious Mouse King, having Mortimer as the character may have made more sense but the cartoon went for a more unlikely pairing and it works.
While too short and formulaic, the "Donald's Dynamite" cartoon 'Snowman' is well-engineered and amusing, although another cartoon shown twice in the show, 'Donald's Pool' being another example.
It is always nostalgic seeing so many characters from various Disney films, shows and cartoons in 'House of Mouse'. Even those that don't get much exposure or forgotten. The festive spirit is very well handled and the ending is great.
While not surprising in outcome, the story is lively and engaging, kept afloat by the character interaction, characters and the atmosphere. The writing is clever and very funny, even with the deliberately corny moment and pun which made me grin rather than groan.
Furthermore, the animation is very colourful, smooth in movement and with some meticulous detail. The cheap recycling footage for the audience reactions at the end of the featured cartoons does jar and annoy though. The music is suitably groovy and cleverly used, while the theme song is one of the catchiest of any Disney show in the past twenty years.
Voice acting is very good as always. Especially from Jim Cummings having a whale of a time as he always does in particularly villain roles.
Overall, great and one of my favourites from 'House of Mouse'. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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