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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on DVD:Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt Mickey's Treat
Mickey's Storybook Surprises Mickey's Big Splash Mickey's Adventures in Wonderland Choo-Choo Express

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat DVD Review

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Show & DVD Details

Executive Producer: Bobs Gannaway / Directors: Sherie Pollack, Rob LaDuca, Victor Cook / Writers: Ashley Mendoza, Jeff Borkin / Producer/Story Editor/Story: Leslie Valdes / Line Producer: Bradley Bowen

Voice Cast: Wayne Allwine (Mickey Mouse), Tony Anselmo (Donald Duck), Bill Farmer (Goofy, Pluto), Tress MacNeille (Daisy Duck), Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse), Jim Cummings (Pete), April Winchell (Clarabelle Cow), Dee Bradley Baker (Wise Owl, Others), Corey Burton (Chip 'n Dale)

Running Time: 72 Minutes (3 episodes) / Not Rated (TV-Y equivalent)
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Broadcast Ratio) / Dolby Stereo 2.0 (English, French, Spanish)
DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007 / Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
Suggested Retail Price: $19.99 / Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5)
White Keepcase / Episodes Originally Aired October 28, 2006 - February 16, 2007

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Like it or not, "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" isn't going away anytime soon. The latest in a long line of mediums that have showcased Mickey Mouse and his seasoned cartoon pals, this half-hour, computer-animated Playhouse Disney TV series
is a success whose triumphs look effortless while in fact they're almost certainly part of a carefully-choreographed, company-wide game plan.

It's easy to celebrate the show's popularity at least a little. From an educational standpoint, "Clubhouse"'s imparting of basic values, problem-solving and decision-making skills as well as its viewer-participation-seeking design appear to be effective and sound. Meanwhile, those outside of the targeted preschool demographic who are familiar with animated Disney fare can't help but appreciate that the series leans heavily and faithfully on some of Walt's earliest and most enduring characters. It's a show which, like its cast, holds appeal neither fleeting nor limited to indiscernible children. And of chief importance to the Walt Disney Company, this oft-aired series almost instantly became a money-making franchise, earning revenue from a wide array of tie-in products.

In "Mickey's Treat", Mickey Mouse lights the way through the foggy forest with a jack-o-lantern, newly obtained from Tootles. Goofy the Great wows us with a connected assortment of vibrant handkerchiefs.

No respectable franchise is complete without DVDs, and this month's Mickey's Treat marks the series' third appearance on the prevailing home video format. Like the previous DVD releases,
Treat arrives in a package that relies largely on the imagery and lore of an upcoming, globally-celebrated holiday. But it is closest to the first disc, Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales, in that it serves up three standard-length episodes, only one of which has anything to do with its feast at hand, Halloween. Those expecting just the "Halloween Fun" that the cover promises and evokes are apt to be surprised and disappointed by the final two-thirds of the feature presentation.

In addition, those expecting original, never-before-seen content, as was somewhat and wholly delivered in the first two DVD titles, will be let down in that regard. All three of the included episodes have aired over the past year and thanks to the series' still-low episode count and daily timeslot, they'll air again very soon at the regular 8:30 AM time. In fact, the two non-Halloween episodes are scheduled to be rebroadcast on the Monday and Tuesday of the week this DVD is released.

Here's a look at the disc's three featured episodes...

"Mickey's Treat" (24:02) (Originally aired October 28, 2006)

Dressed in a variety of costumes, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto journey past giant candy corn, a foggy forest, and a froggy bridge to get to Trick-or-Treat Tower for Pete's Halloween party.

Uh-oh, the doves have us outnumbered! Whilst playing pretend doctor, Daisy uses toy tweezers to remove the pretend thorn in Pluto's paw.

"Goofy the Great" (24:01) (Originally aired January 13, 2007)

The gang helps Goofy master his magic act, aiding him to overcome problems with pattern-breaking handkerchiefs, inaccurate playing cards, and missing doves.

"Doctor Daisy, M.D." (24:01) (Originally aired February 16, 2007)

The group indulges Daisy's whim to play pretend doctor. Pluto, Minnie, Donald, and a mystery patient all bring faux woes to get treated by their friend,

Browse through dozens of classic
and contemporary Mickey Mouse
movie posters, photos, and memorabilia
who gets closer to earning a pretend doctor sticker with each silly remedy.

VIDEO and AUDIO

"Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" is presented in its 1.33:1 fullscreen broadcast aspect ratio. Bright, colorful, pastel-heavy, and pristine, the series is a soothing sight for sore eyes and the DVD presents it without any noticeable shortcomings whatsoever.

No one buys a DVD like this for the aural experience, but it's still disappointing that a high profile series like "Clubhouse" can't consistently be presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Though the package claims a Surround track and that's what's been provided for previous episodes on DVD, we don't even get that much. Instead, we're treated to mere stereo tracks in English, Spanish, and French. The quality and clarity of the mix is, of course, without issue, but it's unfortunate that there is no chance for your youngster to marvel at the wonder of surround sound.

In the name of candy, Annie, Quincy, Leo, and June quietly clap their way past a Buckingham Palace guard in "A Little Einsteins Halloween." Minnie's Caramel Apples is one of five recipes in the Spooky Clubhouse Cookbook presented as DVD text screens and printable pages via the DVD-ROM's Flash-driven HTML file. With cobwebs, jack-o-lanterns, costumes, clouds and bat passersby, The Clubhouse looks all set for Halloween in the animated Main Menu.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Three bonus features are included and they're of a different and higher caliber than those on the show's earlier releases. First and most substantial is "A Little Einsteins Halloween" (24:05), a relevant holiday episode of a fellow Playhouse Disney series. In it, Leo, June, Quincy, and Annie fly Rocket around the world, making stops at four castles and palaces to trick-or-treat and accumulate goodies for their Halloween party.
This above average episode incorporates artwork by the Limbourg Brothers and, more substantially, the better-known Peer Gynt composition "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg.

The DVD-ROM Creepy Clubhouse Character Stencils provide outlines for the heads of the Sensational Six (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto), but this is no mere crayon bait. Instead the designs are meant to be printed out and taped to a pumpkin as a guide to carving. Those wishing to celebrate a very Disney Halloween should appreciate that the company is giving a rare explicit license to have fun with their copyrighted characters. I'm interested to see how nice jack-o-lanterns made from these turn out.

Spooky Clubhouse Cookbook supplies five seasonal recipes, each billed as belonging to one of the show's leading characters (i.e. "Minnie's Caramel Apples"). In a welcome change, the ingredients and directions for the dishes can be viewed as a series of 2-3 text screens on the DVD. Those not wanting to keep consulting an active TV will appreciate the option to print out all 5 recipes via DVD-ROM.

Most appropriately, the animated main menu finds the Clubhouse decorated for Halloween, with glowing jack-o-lanterns, flying bats, and a cloudy sky. Submenus are silent, static, and not overly inspired. Inside the case, one finds a code for the Disney Movie Rewards program, an insert listing episodes and extras, and a booklet which promotes Buena Vista Home Entertainment's bombardment of new/upcoming preschooler-oriented DVDs and some "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" toys. One worthwhile tidbit gained amidst the print ads is that the 4th and next "Clubhouse" DVD will be an "all-new movie" called Mickey's Wonderland.

The three episodes aren't divided into chapter stops and choosing any one from the Episode Selection menu will play just it. Otherwise, the three proceed in succession, with each providing opening and closing credits.

This FastPlay-equipped disc opens with promos for The Jungle Book: Platinum Edition, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales, "My Friends Tigger & Pooh": Super Sleuth Christmas Movie, "Little Einsteins": Race for Space, "Little Einsteins": Rocket's Firebird Rescue, "Handy Manny": Tooling Around, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt. The seven previews can be played individually or collectively from the Sneak Peeks menu.

The valiant group (left to right, cowboy Donald, Little Bo Peep Daisy, bee Pluto, magician Mickey, witch Minnie, knight Goofy) arrives at Trick-or-Treat tower for Pete's Halloween party. Daisy and Mickey pay a visit to Clarabelle Cow's Moo Mart in search of some jumping beans.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Merry, musical, and a mostly satisfactory mix of education and entertainment, "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" continues to provide first-rate programming for youngsters and a totally tolerable time for those watching along with them. Mickey's Treat doesn't deliver the feature-length Halloween outing that the packaging leads one to expect, but the three episodes supplied are diverting and up to the show's usual high quality. With this disc, Disney asks you to pay $5 each for episodes that air commercial-free every few weeks during the Disney Channel's morning Playhouse Disney block. Replay value exceeds that of toddler-tailored content, but it's probably not extreme, making convenience, endurance, and a lack of Disney Channel some of the better reasons for buying. In its defense, the disc serves up flawless picture, capable but non-surround sound, and a fun slate of extras that promise to provide good times beyond sitting and watching.

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Songs From and Inspired by the Hit TV Series (CD) A Very Playhouse Disney Holiday

Disney Halloween:
Mickey's House of Villains Sing Along Songs: Happy Haunting - Party at Disneyland Hocus Pocus
Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Twitches
The Nightmare Before Christmas Halloweentown & Halloweentown II: Double Feature Halloweentown High
Containing Halloween Episodes: Lizzie McGuire: Volume 1 Boy Meets World: Season 2 Sweet Valley High: Season 1



Playhouse Disney and Present-Day Disney Channel:
Higglytown Heroes: On the Move Bear in the Big Blue House: Early to Bed, Early to Rise
Hannah Montana: Pop Star Profile The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Sweet Suite Victory
High School Musical: The Concert Jump In! Cory in the House: All-Star Edition

More Mickey Mouse:
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Classic Holiday Stories Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
Funny Factory: Volume 1 - With Mickey Vintage Mickey Mickey's Party Songs (CD)
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Best Pals - Mickey & Minnie The Best of The Mickey Mouse Club
Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers Disney Learning Adventures: Mickey's Around the World in 80 Days
Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on DVD:Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt Mickey's Treat
Mickey's Storybook Surprises Mickey's Big Splash Mickey's Adventures in Wonderland Choo-Choo Express

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Reviewed August 20, 2007.