Today I thought I’d get into the Christmas spirit with a festive movie, which is why I’ve plumped for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. My understanding is this movie is composed of three animated tales featuring the likes of Donald Duck, Goofy and Mickey Mouse and was popular enough to warrant a sequel.

I don’t know any more than this, because I have never watched it, but back during the early ’00s, when I worked in a video rental store, I do remember this film being a consistent renter with kids. I’m not sure if this speaks volumes about the quality of the movie or the fact we only had one copy, but either way it was out on loan a lot, so someone must have liked it! 

Will it be any good? Will the combined talents of Donald Duck, Goofy and Mickey Mouse put me in a festive mood? Will I get through this movie without the aid of a drink?

I’ll know for sure in just over an hour’s time!


*Clicks the play button*

10secs – Kelsey Grammer narrates this? Cool.

20secs – If I wanted my movie narrated (not that I have a movie), I’d choose Kelsey Grammer. Or Sir Patrick Stewart. Or Sir Ian McKellen. Oh, who am I trying to fool? On my budget I’d struggle to get Mr. Blobby.

1min 30secs – Into the first segment of this movie and it’s a story involving Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie.

4mins – What the fudge?! Daisy Duck has just served up turkey for all of the Ducks to eat! That’s cannibalism, right?!

4mins 30secs – More importantly, why is Daisy having to cook? Donald is an ex-sailor – he should know how to cook! He might have spent years surrounded by sea men, but I’m sure he knows how to stuff a bird.


6mins – OK, so this first segment is a Groundhog Day scenario, with Huey, Dewey and Louie caught in a Christmas Day time loop. Of all the days to be caught in a time loop, Christmas Day is arguably the best day for it to happen. Either that or the day when you tell your boss where to go.

8mins – Oh jeez, Daisy is serving up turkey again. If this time loop continues these ducks are going to be chowing down on birds for eternity. When will this carnage end?!

15mins – After repeating the day numerous times, Huey, Dewey and Louie decide to make Christmas Day the best day possible, by not being selfish arseholes. 

17mins – It worked! The time loop is over. Brilliant – now they can go back to being brats.


18mins – And now into segment two, starring Goofy and his son Max. 

18mins 30secs – Can anyone tell me why Goofy can talk and act like a human, but Pluto is treated as a pet? This seems unfair to me.

25mins – Pete – Goofy’s next door neighbour – has told Max that Santa doesn’t exist. For some reason, Max believes him. Pete is a nasty piece of work.

30mins – To convince Max that Santa does exist (and to point out that Pete is a jerk) Goofy has dressed up as the big man himself. I see this falling at the first hurdle.

31mins – Yep, Goofy has been rumbled. Now Max has to deal with the fact that his dad is a liar and his neighbour is a vile human being… bear… dog? Seriously, what is Pete supposed to be? Anyone?

37mins – Because the adults in his life have let him down, Max is now forced to dress up as Santa to live out his fantasy. Crikey! This kid needs to be taken into care for his own good. 


40mins – Into the final segment now and that means it’s time for Mickey (finally).

42mins – Pete is in this story too. Probably trying to ruin Mickey’s Christmas.

51mins – Mickey is playing Jingle Bells on his harmonica. It sounds dirtier than it is. And that’s the highlight in this segment.

*Clicks stop*

As an (almost) 37-year-old in 2018, it’s pretty clear that Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas is not aimed at me. Back in ’99, when I was 18, it also wasn’t aimed at me. 

Now that said, if I was a kid back in ’99 I’d have found much to enjoy here. The animation is crisp and clean; the characters are likeable (apart from Pete – the arsehole); and each story is suitably festive.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas is not something I’m likely to revisit, but it’s fine for younger audiences. A perfectly serviceable Crimbo treat!


If you enjoyed reading about my first screening of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, then you might like to know this is just one of 100 movies which appear in my new book: Rewind to the ’90s – A Journey Through 100 Movies of the 1990s.

The book is available as a digital edition from Amazon and features an exhaustive collection of discussions about movies, including You’ve Got MailShe’s All ThatPassenger 57, and Murder at 1600, amongst others.


Disclaimer: I earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.