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.
"Unplugged Club" is another really good episode. Not one of the best, mind you but the entertainment value is enormous. As said in my previous 'House of Mouse' reviews, 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.
Also successful in maintaining the spirit of the "golden age" cartoons is the featured cartoons themselves. There's only two, but they do Donald and Mickey justice and show why Pete, particularly with Mickey, is such a good foil for them. Liked 'Donald's Music Store' a little bit better, with its inspired fight between Donald and Pete for their jobs and a few neat references (i.e. Quasimodo). Mickey and Pete show in 'Mickey's Cabin' why they work so well together and the cartoon is very funny, but, outside of his squabbling with Pete, Zeke (?) for my taste was a touch annoying.
Seeing other Disney characters from numerous Disney films and cartoons was a large part of the pleasure, with some very nice moments with them. Particularly funny here were Timon's line referring to Rafiki and Piglet's reaction to Eeyore's deadpan stand-up. The spinning tea-cup bit was nice too.
While not surprising in outcome (Pete's plans while fun to watch were always predictable and patly resolved on the show), the story is lively and engaging, 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.
As to be expected, the voice acting is fine. Jim Cummings is a great fit for Pete, while there is a preference to Wayne Allwine to Walt Disney for Mickey's voice and Tony Anselmo fills big duck shoes in a way that does Clarence Nash justice (again similar but not an imitation).
Overall, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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