[while Huey, Dewey, and Louie are playing, Dawson gets up, but Basil grabs him]
Basil of Baker Street:
Dawson, you fool! Can't you see it's a trap?
[camera pans to a mouse trap; Ratigan pops out]
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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.
"Donald's Lamp Trade" is one of the lower rated 'House of Mouse' episodes and while it is not one of the best episodes it is still very enjoyable, with much of what makes 'House of Mouse' great evident. 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.
The featured cartoons are well done. Closest in maintaining the spirit of the golden age cartoons is 'Survival of the Woodchucks'. Formulaic in story it is, but a classic Donald vs. nephews situation and the characters. their interaction and the style of the gags and humour (which were far more what the older cartoons of theirs were about) evoke the classic Disney spirit really well. 'Goofy's Radio' is amusing, the trademark components of the "How to" Goofy cartoons are here and Goofy is as endearing and fun as ever, but there are funnier and more educational cartoons in the series and as entertaining the lion is he doesn't add as much as he could have.
It is interesting always in 'House of Mouse' to see how it utilises various Disney characters from previous films and cartoons. Felt very nostalgic watching them and they are used well. Did raise a chuckle at the Basil and Ratigan and Gepetto and Pinnocchio parts. Jafar is as deliciously scheming as ever and it is understandable why Donald acts the way he does.
While not surprising as such on the most part, the story is lively and engaging with a nice twist regarding the lamp, 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, Tony Anselmo is the standout of the leads and it is very hard to think of anybody else for Jafar than Jonathan Freeman. Maurice LaMarche though just doesn't compare to Vincent Price as Ratigan, even with one line.
Overall, very enjoyable. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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