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The Three Musketeers (2004)

Cast: Wayne Allwine, Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, more...
Director: Donovan Cook, Donovan Cook
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Walt Disney Video
Genre: Comedies, Kids, Animated, Animation, Adventure, Swashbucklers, Cel, Disney
Running Time: 68 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Based very loosely on the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, this direct-to-video Disney version of The Three Musketeers features Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy as janitors who become pawns in a scheme by Peg-leg Pete to take the throne away from Princess Minnie. The threesome works together in order to save the princess and the kingdom. The film features a half-dozen new songs, some of which are based on classical works by famous composers like Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Terrific DTV "feature"--classic Disney style! by JTurner1 August 20, 2004 - 8:25 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
The first thing that surprised me about Mickey's The Three Musketeers was how amazing the animation was. Most of Disney's direct-to-video features are usually lacking in the art department (no doubt to the fact that making animation for feature films is expensive), but this one is absolutely gorgeous. The backgrounds are painted with inked-watercolors in the style of "Uncle Walt"'s good old days. The animation is almost as fluid as one of their animated features. If anything, this one should have gone to theaters, as it would definitely (IMO) make a lot more cash than the other features the Mouse House released this year.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. True to its promise, this woefully short (60 minutes with a seven-minute credit scroll is not enough!) "feature" is outrageously funny, action-packed, and not too syrupy either (even the romance between our heroes and their girlfriends is handled in an deliberately silly light), although it does manage to pack a heartfelt message about true camaraderie and friendship.

This isn't a faithful retelling of Alexandre Dumas' novel (but then again, this is Disney we're talking about); however, the best part about this feature is that it clearly addresses that to the audience. Yes, the film has nothing to do with the original, but the actual story is something that could have been imagined by Walt himself. It's also full of action and derring-do: how wonderful it is to see Mickey, Donald, and Goofy cross swords with the nasty Beagle Boys (and their leader, Captain Peg Leg Pete) to save the lovely Princess Minnie! Even better, there's a showstopping, hilariously paced climax at an opera house, which arguably is the highlight of the film. (The tunes are excerpts from The Pirates of Penzance, meaning that we get to hear a REALLY REALLY fast rendition of the Modern Major General's patter song!)

The best part about this movie, however, is that Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Daisy, Pete, and surprisingly, Clarabelle Cow, all get to act and play actual roles, and not simply exist just for the sake of being there. Mickey is still his confident, reassuring self, but he is also spunkier. Goofy is, well, Goofy, and even though Donald's role is reduced to that of a big chicken (no offense, Donald), he manages to be his cantankerous self. Probably the most amazing role in the movie is that of Clarabelle. Usually, she is cast as a secondary character, but this time she gets to be evil Pete's lieutenant... until Goofy's goodness touches her "little cow-hide heart". (Her moo, he sings, in a very amusing parody of the "Habanera" from Carmen, is music to his ears!)

Speaking of which, the songs in the movie are barely a minute to two-minutes in length, but they don't feel forced--and they're all pieces of classical music set to lyrics. Most of these pieces are sung by ze very French Troubadour Turtle--a newcomer to the Disney group--who narrates the story from time to time and appears in unexpected cameo roles. But as mentioned, Goofy and Clarabelle get a very funny duet, and even Pete gets his own "bad guy" song (set to "In the Hall of the Mountain King")! The musical score by Bruce Broughton, incidentally, is terrific, and does an elegant job spoofing the classical motifs throughout. This is no doubt to Broughton's experience in scoring episodes for Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs.

All in all, this movie is, true to its tagline, "all for fun and fun for all!" While it probably may not match up to the classic Disney films, it certainly is better than a lot of the films the Mouse House has put out recently, and definitely kicks the crap out of their embarrassingly disappointing Home On The Range. There are lots to marvel at, laugh along with, and ultimately, cheer, by the time the end credits (cleverly embedded within the pages of a comic book!) roll. If anything, I think this film far exceeds Disney's outrageous output of "cheapquels" to their classic films, which don't really need them.

The DVD presents the feature in a flawless transfer, and the audio mix is even better. The bonus features, unfortunately, are hit and miss. The cast commentary (where Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pete get a chance to talk together!) is a hoot, but it's only five minutes long. The "behind-the-scenes" documentary is about as close as buffs will get to a feature detailing the production, but its mostly standard and not anything we haven't seen before (although it does continue the idea that Mickey and the gang are actors!). The Many Hats of Mickey, however, is the real gem among the features; here we get to see clips of the Mouse's famous features (narrated by Troubadour Turtle!). This far outshines the other features, which are at best, kiddie-fare.

In closing my review, I'd like to say that the Disney Fast Find option is absolutely unnecessary, almost as if to imply that kids are too "dumb" to use their remote control to make their selections. (Fortunately, you can skip to the Main Menu.) If Disney decides to abandon this feature on future DVD releases, fine with me.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.00)
9 Votes
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