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Mickey's House Of Villains DVD

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Mickey's House of Mouse Villains seeks to do for Halloween what Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed In at the House of Mouse (2001) did for Yuletide. It's an anthology set on Halloween in the titular house, a nightclub where characters--including Donald Duck, Goofy, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, and Captain Hook--gather to watch Disney cartoons. There's a perfunctory framing plot with the villains taking over the House, but the 65 minutes is almost entirely filled by eight short cartoons. Five are very recent, with clinically clean computer animation, and three are vintage gems glowing with the warm detailed look of Golden Age Disney. These are Trick or Treat (1952), Donald Duck and the Gorilla (1944), and Lonesome Ghosts (1937), in which Mickey, Donald and Goofy star in what was surely the inspiration for Ghostbusters. The best of the new adventures is Mickey's Mechanical House, in which the mouse moves into a futuristic house which goes disastrously wrong. It's made all the more entertaining by a poetic rhyming narration delivered by John Cleese. Young children will love it all, while older fans may prefer a compilation of vintage Disney shorts. On the DVD: Mickey's House of Mouse Villains DVD contains a well-designed animated quiz game, "Wheel of Misfortune", that should entertain young fans for a while. Otherwise, the extras consist of three trailers and a "Fright Reel": a three-minute compilation of Disney clips with two Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. The choice amounts to the same sound effects with or without music. The sound is good, except for the three vintage animations, which are in mono. The picture is 4:3 and is generally very sharp, though varies a little with the source material. --Gary S Dalkin

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