Disney has released another original Mickey Mouse Clubhouse movie onto DVD, the Halloween-themed Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat, and, par for the Disney course, it's a delight. With a bonus episode from another excellent Playhouse Disney series, Little Einsteins, along with some fun Halloween bonuses, Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat will make any young viewer's day come October 31st.
The last two Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVDs I reviewed (please click here and here here to read those) were holiday themed (Christmas and Easter), so it's not surprising that a Halloween original movie would be forthcoming, as well. In Mickey's Treat, Mickey receives an invitation from bad guy/good guy Pete, who wants everyone to come to his Halloween party at the Trick or Treat Tower. The whole gang is excited, and everyone dresses up in fun costumes. The only catch for the party? They have to arrive at the Tower before the moon turns full; otherwise, the gates will lock and they won't be able to enjoy the party. With the aid of Tootles, the flying video mouse-head who offers up the "Mousekatools" needed by the gang to solve their various adventures, Mickey, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, Minnie, and Daisy set out into the forest to try and get to the Trick or Treat Tower before the moon is full.
Having rock-steady viewers of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in my house, I've caught the show many times, and I have to say that there are few series out there that can get my littlest kids so excited. When the fun, hip theme music by They Might Be Giants comes on, they're primed, dancing around the room (they especially love the Hot Dog! song at the end, when Mickey solves the adventure - they go nuts for that). And the bold, primary colors and smooth, rounded, computer-generated shapes create an instantly engaging visual pattern that they respond to immediately. Of course, there's a heavy education quotient going on in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse; counting skills, spatial placement skills, shape and pattern recognition, and problem solving and conflict resolution tools are crammed into each episode, insuring that your child isn't just sitting there, vegging out in front of the tube.
And if you're lucky enough to actually sit down with them and watch the show together, you can double that educational impact by simply playing along with Mickey's adventure, and encouraging your child to participate (which isn't hard, because the episodes are so much fun). There's such a small window in your young child's development where they're going to respond to an innocent, sweet show like Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat (my nine-year-old already thinks it's a "baby show"), so grab that opportunity while you can. Consistently bright and affirmative, the series is just as much fun as it is educational.
Here are the 3, 24-minute episodes included in Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat:
Poor Black Pete. No one ever goes to his parties (as he whines to Mickey about it in the audio-invitation he sends). So Mickey decides to be a good friend and gather everybody together to help Pete celebrate Halloween. But a variety of obstacles block their path (I particularly liked the giant candy corn patch), and they're going to need all their problem-solving skills to find a way to the Trick or Treat Tower before the moon becomes full, and the gates lock.
Goofy the Great
Goofy wants to be a magician. But naturally, he goofs it up and ruins all his magic tricks. Can Mickey and the gang use Toodles and the Mousekatools to help Goofy get his magic tricks in order?
Dr. Daisy, M.D.
Daisy wants to get her pretend Doctor's certificate. So all of the gang gathers together to pretend they have various ailments. Can Daisy figure out what's wrong with each of them, and will the various Mousekatools help?
The full screen video image for Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat is digitally perfect, with no compression issues. Colors are bold and saturated.
Surprisingly, there's a full Dolby Digital English Surround mix for Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat, which your kids will want turned up full blast for the final Hot Dog! song. There are also French and Spanish mono tracks available, as well as close-captioning options.
As a terrific bonus, there's a Halloween episode of Disney's Little Einsteins included, A Little Einsteins' Halloween, which features music from Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, and art from the Dutch miniature painters, the Limbourg Brothers. It's another terrific episode from that high-quality Disney series. Also, you can put Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat into your DVD-ROM, and either view or print up a Spooky Clubhouse Cookbook (we did the pumpkin cookies - pretty good), as well as Creepy Clubhouse Character Stencils of Mickey and the gang - that weren't creepy at all, actually.
If your young child has never seen Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I can't recommend too highly these original movies on DVD (or the series that airs daily on The Disney Channel). Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat makes for perfect viewing this coming fall (if you can wait that long to watch it), and your young kids will no doubt enjoy watching it over and over again. With some terrific bonuses, Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat comes highly recommended.
Paul Mavis is an internationally published film and television historian, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, and the author of The Espionage Filmography.