Blu-ray Review: Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers

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It’s hard to believe that Disney didn’t get around to producing a feature-length Mickey Mouse movie until the cumbersomely-titled Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers. Even then, it was consigned to the direct-to-video shelf. Perhaps even harder to believe, it has now been ten years since its 2004 release. Disney has issued a Blu-ray edition to commemorate the anniversary. With a gorgeously colorful high definition transfer and a lossless surround mix, even this decidedly minor Disney release will be a welcome addition to fans’ collections. And, of course, a new generation of youngsters will be thrilled to watch Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Minnie, and Daisy all in the same movie.

3Muketeers_New to Blu-ray_11 (380x222).jpgIn all honesty, this barely qualifies as a feature-film, clocking in at 68 minutes (a full eight of which are given over to end credits). The story is obviously inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, but anyone expecting a faithful adaption is bound to be sorely disappointed. A French turtle named Troubadour serves as narrator, filling us in on the backstory of our trio of heroes. As kids, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy were assisted by the Royal Musketeers and have ever since dreamed of being appointed musketeers themselves. For now, however, they’re just lowly janitors.

3Muketeers_New to Blu-ray_3 (380x248).jpgThe thrust of the story comes when the scheming, villainous Peg Leg Pete plots to kidnap Princess Minnie in order to become king. The three janitors must step up to the challenge of rescuing her, becoming de facto musketeers —swords, costumes, and all. Lucky for Mickey, Minnie takes an immediate shine to him. Her lady-in-waiting happens to be Daisy Duck, whiles Pete’s assistant is Clarabelle Cow, leaving viewers to see the convenient romantic pairings well in advance of their fruition. Well-known classical melodies are given story-appropriate lyrics for the characters to sing (far preferable to a bunch of third- and fourth-rate news songs, the sort that generally populate Disney’s DTV releases). There’s also a dose of sly humor, all delivered by an able, effective voice cast.

3Muketeers_New to Blu-ray_6 (380x323).jpgDespite relatively bland animation that barely hints at the imagination of Disney at its best, the new 1080p high definition transfer for The Three Musketeers is clean and crisp. This was never intended to be an A-list release and as such there isn’t much for animation fans to gawk at. But the presentation is sterling in terms of clarity and color. A few of Disney’s recently reissued Blu-ray also-rans were saddled with the indignity of lossy mixes, but thankfully that’s not the case here. The new DTS-HD MA 5.1 presentation is expectedly front-centric, but it opens up nicely for the songs. The score is pretty much ever-present in the rear channels.

3Muketeers_New to Blu-ray_2 (380x288).jpgThe one new special feature is nothing to get excited about, a short "Get Up and Dance" segment in which three live-action kids dance to the song "All for One." Ported over from the original DVD edition, we get about five minutes of deleted scenes (handily outfitted with optional commentary from a member of Disney's animation team). There’s also a jokey “commentary” track by Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pete that only covers about five minutes of the film but is a fun spin on traditional audio commentaries. There’s also a ten-minute featurette called “Get the Scoop!” and a sing-along option for the film’s tunes. A couple of interactive games from the old DVD have not been carried over.

3Muketeers_New to Blu-ray_1 (380x253).jpgMickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers is a guaranteed kid-pleaser that should also go down well enough with parents. It’s always a kick for fans of any age to see the Mickey Mouse universe characters propel the action and this is a rare chance to see the gang in a full-length feature.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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