Double Dribble Review


It’s time to look at a Goofy short. I haven’t seen a whole lot of these over the years as typically the specials are about Mickey or Donald. I admit that I assume Goofy’s specials would be the weakest since he definitely isn’t one of my favorite characters, but he’s actually not that bad here. In fact, the special is surprisingly real good and one of my favorites from these retro shorts that I’ve seen.

The plot of the special is all about a big basketball game that is about to start. The home team is heavily favored to win to the point where there is only one guy in the stands for the away team while the other one is packed. Both teams don’t have any real energy though but someone’s got to win. Additionally the blue (away) team has one player who may not be as tall as the rest but he’s got heart.

One interesting thing to note is how the blue team is actually about on par with the red one. I guess their fans didn’t want to pay the ticket prices of going to the away game, but it’s actually not because the team is bad as you may have expected. The game is within 1 point at the final seconds and that’s considering that the team was fielding a bunch of backups by this time. Both teams have basically identical players so this makes sense as well.

Even though the players start out with no motivation they gradually start to get into the game as the special goes on. This leads to a lot of fun tricks like guys appearing out of nowhere and even some crazy bodyslams. I guess even these players can feel that competitive spirit. The guys making the calls in the booth also did a tremendous job of keeping up with the plays on the field since it was all so fast. These guys definitely knew their stuff with the sport.

The animators also probably had a lot of fun here. The characters start out by using realistic basketball moves but by the end they’re using super speed, stretching abilities and all kinds of other techniques. As always Disney presents you with very smooth animations here so it all flows together really well. The fast paced nature of the animation fits perfectly.

Overall, Double Dribble is definitely a great special that I would recommend. It’s a lot of fun and doesn’t drag on. I also tend to enjoy specials that revolve around sports and what better one to show than a quick paced basketball game? If you haven’t seen this one yet then you should change that ASAP. It’s very short too so it’s not like it’ll take you all that much time to give it a whirl.

Overall 8/10

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The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow Review


It’s time to look at another classic short. This one deals with the first Christmas snow for the main character Lucas. He definitely had a pretty raw deal but always sees the bright side of things. This is another special that I hadn’t heard of previously so I’m certainly getting introduced to a bunch of new Christmas animations this year. It’s definitely been a fun run of holiday cheer and we are just getting started.

The short starts with a few Nuns taking in a boy named Lucas. He is a shepherd but a close bolt of lightning took away his sight. The nuns, particularly Sister Theresa decide that they must take care of him. Unfortunately the main priest doesn’t like this and wants Lucas to be sent away. As a result Lucas’ stay at the orphanage can be a bit awkward at times. Still, he does his best to fit in and help with the upcoming show that will be put on. When bullies allow his sheep to get lost in the forest Lucas must try to bring them back even if he is blind. Can the kid handle it?

I have to say that the main priest was definitely a lot more antagonistic than I would have expected. Right from the start he is against Lucas. Why is he running an orphanage if he doesn’t want to take kids? He just looks pretty bad the whole time so even at the end when he has a change of heart you have a tough time buying into it. It’s all too late by that point. Then we have the bullies who were about as mean as you’d expect. I guess what’s an orphanage in these films without some of those right? Lucas handles himself pretty well throughout all of this though. Even the wolves in the forest can’t scare him. They surprisingly didn’t get much of a role but that’s good since for a minute there you start to get worried that some animal violence might happen. No need to hurt the score like that when the whole plot can be avoided right?

The animation is the same as the rest of these specials so no need to go into that all that much. I’m still not a fan of the style but it is what it is. At least we get an interesting effect for Lucas’ eyes when he is blinded. I thought that part was handled pretty well. Considering what shape his eyes were to show the blindness, the ending also makes sense with how his eyesight is brought back. Now he can go back to being an expert shepherd and keeping his flock safe.

Overall, This was a fun special. While the orphanage was a little meaner than it needed to be, I’m glad that Lucas didn’t let it get to him. He didn’t go for revenge or fall into sulking. He just stayed the course and kept on helping out wherever he could. He adapted to his blindness as best he could and having a good main character like this is always important. If you haven’t seen this special and like this line of stop-motion shorts then I’d recommend checking it out. If this is your first experience and you want a nice story then you should still enjoy it. It’s also fairly short so you really don’t have anything to lose here.

Overall 6/10

The Little Whirlwind Review


It’s time to look at another Disney short! This time Mickey is back in the lead but he’ll have to deal with some pretty powerful opponents. You’ll probably feel bad for Mickey here because it seems to happen quite a lot that he has to go up against beings which aren’t quite human and have a lot of supernatural abilities. How is Mickey supposed to handle these beings? Well, he’ll certainly give his 100% into stopping such a threat.

The short starts off with Mickey finishing up a hard day of work and heading home. That’s when he notices that Minnie is baking a pie and asks if he can have some. She explains that he can only have some if he does all of the yard work for her. Mickey agrees and begins the task. Unfortunately just as he is finishing up a tornado appears and begins to try and sabotage all of his efforts. Mickey doesn’t know what it wants, but he’s got a pie to eat so the mouse tries to end this fight.

As you can probably imagine the majority of the special is about Mickey trying to capture the tornado. Mickey tries everything from tying it up to beating it into submission. Unfortunately nothing appears to work and the tornado even calls in a few of his buddies. At that point Mickey can’t even afford to worry about the pie as his life is in jeopardy. Unfortunately Minnie doesn’t notice any of this so you can probably guess who will get the blame once the town is leveled into the ground. I mean, Mickey doesn’t look like he’s quite that strong, but if it’s believable to Minnie then who am I to argue? Yeah…Minnie definitely had a pretty rough time of it in these last two specials.

The special can be a little tragic, but on the other hand Mickey does get his pie in a way. I suppose that beats not getting it at all right? The animation is on point here and the battle between Mickey and the tornado is on point. You can feel the emotions at play here as the fight gets brutal. I’d say that Mickey may have even had the edge by the end since the tornado had to call for backup. If Mickey had backup of his own like Donald then the whole situation may have turned out a little differently. Still, he didn’t back down.

Overall, This special was pretty fun. As all of these specials are all just a few minutes long it’s all about trying to squeeze in as much content as possible. You want to keep the audience engaged as much as possible and have a memorable ending. While the ending isn’t a happy one for Mickey it certainly could have been considerably worse. All in all he did all right for himself and I did think that this special was more interesting than the last one. I’d recommend checking it out. As long as you don’t mind seeing the heroes on the losing end here it makes for a pretty fun special.

Overall 7/10

Pluto’s Purchase Review


It’s time for the next Disney short which is another Pluto special. Unfortunately it wasn’t very good like the last one. It’s a shame because this special was going reasonably well until the very mean spirited ending. Definitely not the way you want to end any special.

The story begins with Mickey sending Pluto to the deli in order to grab his lunch. Mickey has been growing old over the years so of course he wouldn’t go grab it himself. Pluto has no problems with the plan since securing his own lunch will make it taste even better. Unfortunately, one of the alley dogs decides to try and steal the meat. Pluto is in for quite a fight!

It’s a classic story of two dogs fighting it out for the same lunch. Obviously Pluto is in the right here as it’s his lunch which he paid for fair and square. The other dog is just another in a long line of villains who would like to stop Pluto but he shall fall like the rest. At least that’s what you would think. Unfortunately the special actually ends with the dog winning and in one of the worst ways possible.

Pluto had made it home but then Mickey snatches the lunch away and gives it to the other dog. That was one of the biggest betrayals that I’ve seen in quite a while and Pluto doesn’t get a happy ending of any kind. Being forced to share it would be one thing, but losing it altogether? Yeah that’s not really a good idea.

The whole thing also makes Mickey look very bad and out of character. He seems completely oblivious to everything when I like to think that he is more on the cunning side and always ready for what is to come. He would have realized that having Pluto go grab his usual lunch would lead to the assumption that it was his. He should have told Pluto straight up what was going on instead of all this zigzag. At least tell him to buy 2 since then the implication would also be clear. Not saying it until the end just isn’t a nice or fair approach.

The animation is smooth as always. Disney is still consistent in that area and that won’t change for quite a while. It’s easy to forget just how old the specials are since they look so bright and vibrant. You would be forgiven for thinking that the special is a lot newer than it actually is.

Overall, this special is one that you will probably want to skip. Dread it, Run from it, but the Pluto specials will always find a way to break the mold of Disney successes and make some kind of mistake. At least if these two specials are a good indication of the group. There’s just no reason to watch a Pluto special when you can watch one about any other character. He’s simply not ready for the big time.

Overall 5/10

Society Dog Show Review


It’s time for what is the weakest Disney short so far. I don’t really think it would be right to blame it on Pluto here, but at the same time I have always suspected that he isn’t quite ready for the big time. He’s better as a supporting character than in the lead role. This special just isn’t all that fun and reminds me why dog shows like this one are more sketchy than anything.

Mickey brings Pluto to a dog show to show that high society aren’t the only ones with fashionable dogs around here. It’s a noble sentiment but seeing as how the judge is one of them I suspect there is already some bias in the equation. There’s no time to think about that though as a big fire starts and Pluto has to quickly turn into the hero that he always knew he could be. It’s a pretty emotional climax there and the special would have been better if it had started with the fire and abandoned the intro.

The scene that is the most drawn out is when the appraiser is messing with Pluto. Pluto tries to grin and bear with it, but the whole thing is pretty unreasonable so I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had tackled the guy right from the get go. Mickey shouldn’t have brought him here in the first place either. Pluto wasn’t having any fun and so it wasn’t fun to see him have to put up with all of this either. The special isn’t very long so it’s not as if any scene goes on for too long either, but the slapstick and comedy just wasn’t all that fun this time around. If a comedy special isn’t too fun…then what hope does it have of being all that solid?

As always the animation is pretty smooth and fluid though. The fire scene is impressive because of how fast everything is going and you just know that the artists must have had to draw a considerable amount to bring all of these scenes to life. Disney really got big through their animation and inventing such colorful and memorable characters really sealed the deal. It’s a visual masterpiece even if the actual special isn’t really the best one that they’ve put out.

Overall, I don’t think Society is ready for a dog show. Stick to the Puppy Bowl if anything since there they all follow the rules and don’t have to worry about bias judges. The second half of the special at least brings in a sense of danger and a lot of tension, but it isn’t enough to totally eliminate the first half. I’d say that if you are in the mood to check out a Disney special, watch one for one of the other characters. If you want to see Pluto then choose a Mickey Mouse special instead of a Pluto one. That is the optimal strategy here.

Overall 5/10

Mr. Duck Steps Out Review


Mr Duck Steps Out focuses on how it can be tough to babysit while hanging out with a friend. Donald has to face off against his nephews while impressing Daisy at the same time. Can it be done? Well, this might not be such a hard feat if the nephews weren’t actively trying to sabotage him. I have to say that I was rooting for Donald here since the kids were just being unreasonable the whole time.

The only questionable thing Donald did was take away their present to give to Daisy but he gave each of them an ice cream in exchange which is a really fair price if you ask me. I’m sure Donald would make it up to them at a later date as well. At the very least they shouldn’t have decided to take revenge over something like that. I’ve never been a big fan of the nephews and this appearance certainly did not help their case in the slightest.

Daisy doesn’t really have much in the way of character here so it’s hard to say much here. She is oblivious to everything around her which is part of the humor for the special but it also means that she is barely a character here. I suppose she seems nice enough so maybe she will get more to do in a future special.

Donald is certainly the MVP here as he does his best to get past the traps of his nephews. He gets them out of the way whenever possible and even seamlessly gets back into the dance or whatever other activity was going on. Donald is always ready to go with the flow and even intentional sabotage is rarely enough to stop him.

The animation is pretty solid as always. The Living Popcorn routine with Donald was certainly animated pretty well. The scene where you see the initial Corn in the Cob transforming into popcorn is definitely solid. It is very detailed and shows the step by step process the animators went through back in the day. It’s a Disney special so I certainly expected as much from them.

Overall, This was a pretty fun special. It’s not nearly as good as most of the other ones as the plot is a bit thin and the nephews are too annoying but it’s solid nonetheless. I’d recommend checking it out if you like the Disney specials or if you just want to watch a high energy special for a few minutes. Something is always happening on screen and typically it involves a lot of running and smashing. We’ll see if the next specials can top this one.

Overall 6/10

Mickey’s Trailer Review


It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of the old Disney shorts. The Donald ones are typically the best but the team up ones are right up there as well since who doesn’t like an ensemble cast? Mickey and Donald have enlisted the aid of Goofy to travel somewhere far away. I assume they are going somewhere to deliver supplies or something. Goofy assures them that he can get the duo there in one piece and so begins their adventure. The Trailer is rather high tech as the click of a button can transform the rooms into just about anything. Of course, this can also be dangerous as Donald finds out the hard way. You could be relaxing as you finish off your dinner only for the table to suddenly turn into a bathtub instead of vice versa. Perhaps the tech has simply gone too far in this case.

On the other hand, some tech could have been useful later on when the trailer is unlatched from the car and the heroes go flying. If they had an electronic lock perhaps they would have been okay. I think it’s safe to say that Mickey played the biggest role in causing this to happen though. He forgot that Goofy was driving the car and later on Mickey was also the one who kicked the trailer away by mistake. The heroes probably shouldn’t have made lunch so early either though so that was on them. Of course the driver would want a bite to eat as well. At least wait until a lunch break or something. Goofy didn’t ask for this and he still managed to drive them safely back to base. Now that’s what I call a top notch driver.

Mickey’s role is a little small next to the others but we do get to see his solid soccer skills in time for the Word Cup. He kicked the Corn with precision and power into the pot. Meanwhile Donald does his best to cope with this place but it’s rough since nothing seems to work right for him. Donald never gives up though. Goofy is the one to feel bad for since the whole thing is hardly his fault. After all, why would you serve breakfast when you know that the journey is still on?

The animation is smooth and consistent as Disney always was back in the day. Everything is very clear and the character models are on point. Everything moves very quickly so I can only imagine how many frames it probably took to make. A lot of effort was put into this one for sure.

Overall, This was a pretty fun special. Naturally there is only so much that you can do in a few minutes but it’s an entertaining experience. Goofy gets a happy ending which is happy for his fans since that seems to be a rather rare occurrence for him. Driving the trailer for so long is definitely tough so he earned this one. If you like the classic Disney specials or just enjoy a light hearted comedy then you’ll enjoy this one. Either way it is only an investment of a few minutes.

Overall 7/10

Mickey’s Polo Team Review


All right, I got to see a Mickey special!…sorta. Well, we’ve finally branched away from Donald and Chip, but the special wasn’t what I expected it to be. It’s basically a 4 on 4 competition of Polo Ball between Team Disney and Team Live Action. The plot is basically just seeing which team will claim victory. Technically it’s a great plot with lots of potential and I love a good sports showdown. The special just did something that I was really not expecting and I’m not sure that it worked so well. It decided to give the humans just as much of a role as the real characters and it may have even been bigger.

Here’s where things got a little tricky for me. There are a bunch of characters on screen so I’m thinking I misread the rules at the beginning and there are more teams or they just look too similar. It feels like a bunch of guys are running around the court and Disney’s side has not teamwork. Donald gets completely destroyed by one of the humans as he is humiliated and beaten up quite a bit. I felt bad for him since Donald losing to the Chipmunks is one thing, but losing to an annoying comic relief character? I don’t know about that. The game doesn’t really end so at least you can say that Donald’s opponent didn’t win, but it’s an empty consolation.

As I mentioned, the others just don’t get much of a role. Mickey is here in the match but you would barely know it from watching the special. He is permanently relegated to side character status and might not even get a line. The rest of Team Disney is completely forgotten. It might help if I liked the humans of course, but not really. I’m still just wondering what the point of them was the entire time. It’s not that their gags are bad although they definitely aren’t as good as the Disney ones, but they feel incredibly out of place. It would be like suddenly including the Disney characters in an episode of the Brady Bunch and suddenly they’re the focus of the episode. It’s strange.

At the very least, I can say that the end was actually really good. It had a pretty good twist as the Donkeys decided to turn the tables on the humans. As I was on team Donkey from the start, it was good to see them get the props. It’s what I’d call a really happy ending and does give the special an extra point. I think if they make a sequel special I’d definitely want them to follow up on the ending. It just makes sense and I think people could get behind that. That or let Donald just clobber everyone.

Overall, I’m not sure about this special. It was certainly pretty weird and unexpected. I think they should have played it straight with just the Disney characters having a sport competition. Hopefully we still get that somewhere down the line. I suppose I’d recommend it, but don’t go into the special with big hopes. Think of it like a spinoff special that isn’t really about the Disney characters. Perhaps it is better on a second watch, but I’d definitely say that it is one of the weakest specials from these classics.

Overall 6/10

All in a Nutshell Review


Time for the final Chip n Dale special that I have seen so far. The little guys are still up to their tricks but once again it is actually Donald who starts the fight. He’s been stealing Acorns from them again so they decide to shut down his butter corporation once and for all. Donald had actually been pretty successful so it’s sad to see him be brought down like this.

Of course, you can’t blame the Chipmunks either. What I do blame them for is wasting a lot of butter though. A lot of bottles crash and the butter goes to waste. Maybe they were too stressed out about getting the butter and being undetected, but it just goes to show you that haste makes waste.

It is the weakest of the 3 specials though because the plot is certainly the flimsiest. As it is, to buy time for the special to end we see the Chipmunks bicker a lot and hit each other. One of them takes most of the damage as the other Chipmunk always picks on him, but they both get their share of blows in. Neither one really wants to stay down. Even after getting beaten up one is still trying to steal butter so I guess you have to admire their dedication and all. The animation is good as always. It’s the same old same old as Disney has mastered this art to a science. It’s hard to believe that every frame was drawn and that they didn’t use computers to set this all up. The amount of work behind such an undertaking is just hard to fathom and will never cease to amaze me.

I have wondered how nut butter would taste though. I’m inclined to think that it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as normal butter just because nuts don’t seem like they would taste that great. It’s a pure assumption of course, but normal butter from milk makes sense. Nuts….I’m still wrapping my head around that one to be honest. Apparently Donald’s customers love it though based on how much his business was booming. If only he had gotten Chip n Dale on board with stock options or something, he’d still be a millionaire today and could have even passed Uncle Scrooge.

Overall, If you like the classic Disney specials then you’ll like this one. There’s certainly not much reason to dislike it and at least it’ll all be over very quickly either way. Donald will make or break this special for you since he’s always the most interesting character. After being with the Chipmunks for so long, I’m ready to go back to Mickey Mouse and his fun supporting cast. He doesn’t even need to steal butter since Mickey has his whole Turkey from the Christmas specials. You can’t stop a mouse on a mission.

Overall 6/10

Winter Storage Review


Another special has Chip n Dale at it again but this time Donald starts the fight. He has started a very successful Nut Butter company by turning Acorns into butter. The problem is that he is running out of butter and business is still booming. He decides to steal the nut supply from the Chipmunks which is where all of the trouble starts. They don’t take kindly to this and initiate a counter strike where they don’t leave a single acorn behind.

To Donald’s credit he does a good job of defending himself once he knows what’s up. An intense hockey game starts up with the highest stakes possible, the nuts. Donald tries blocking the Chipmunks from slamming the nuts into their treehouse but 2 v 1 just aren’t good odds and Donald is getting roasted. He is clearly out of practice and needs to find his inner champion again.

As it is, Donald did deflect some of the nets and held his own in the skirmishes. They just overwhelmed him with the sheer amount of nuts that they were swinging around. Even then he didn’t back down and took them head in which was pretty impressive. I can’t blame the Chipmunks for their actions at all this time either since Donald is the one who stole their nuts. You simply can’t let that happen.

I’d definitely like to see some more sports with Donald and the crew. Honestly I’d probably say that Donald would even outrank Mickey in this area since he just seems the most agile. Donald definitely has the most competitive spirit as well so he wouldn’t mind roughing Mickey up a bit during the plays which would give him the edge. As long as he isn’t unfairly outnumbered like in this special, my money is always on the duck.

There’s not much to say about the animation as it’s basically the usual. Solid and streamlined as always with a lot of heart out into it. I’d expect nothing less from Disney since they always deliver. I’ll give a shoutout to the fact that they always manage to put a lot of plot into the special even with no dialogue. They definitely mastered the art of show don’t tell.

Overall, This was another pretty fun special. The Hockey Game was definitely the highlight and just made the special a blast to watch. Donald also did get the last laugh even if wha he did still helped his opponents. At least he got to go down on his own terms which isn’t something that just anyone can say. I still say that 1 on 1 Donald would have claimed victory here. He doesn’t hold back against any opponent and would have used his size advantage and competitive intensity to control the court. Nobody stops this duck!

Overall 7/10