Judge Dan Mancini is splitting the scene; he's full of beans.
Our reviews of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Choo-Choo Express (published December 7th, 2009), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey Saves Santa And Other Mouseketales (published December 18th, 2006), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Adventures In Wonderland (published October 7th, 2009), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt (published March 20th, 2007), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Storybook Surprises (published September 22nd, 2008), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie's Bow-Tique (published May 8th, 2010), and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Road Rally (published September 11th, 2010) are also available.
Dive into fun!
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse debuted in 2006, as the centerpiece of the Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney lineup of shows for preschoolers. The computer animated show follows the adventures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Pluto, and Goofy. In each episode, the gang must solve a problem that challenges its young viewers to think creatively while learning about shapes, colors, and numbers. Like most television series for toddlers, the episodes adhere to a rigid structure. Each kicks off with Mickey Mouse strolling jauntily down a wooded path. He encourages his young fans to chant "Meeska, mooska, Mickey Mouse!" unleashing the magical Mickey Mouse-shaped clubhouse from its underground hiding place. Next, Mickey and the gang are faced with the problem at the center of the episode's drama, and the Mousekadoer computer creates a quartet of Mousekatools (including the mystery tool) to help solve the problem. Mickey then leads the group through a series of logical (and obvious to anyone over the age of five) problem-solving steps, calling for a Mousekatool whenever the team arrives at an impasse. Once the problem is solved, Mickey and friends Mousekadance to the "Hot Dog" song by They Might Be Giants as the end credits roll.
Mickey's Big Splash presents an episode from each of the series' first two seasons, as well as two never-before-aired bonus episodes ("Donald's Ducks" and "Pete's Beach Blanket Luau"):
• "Donald's Ducks"
• "Pluto's Bubble Bath"
• "Mickey Goes Fishing"
• "Pete's Beach Blanket Luau"
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a fine, 21st century reinvention of the Mickey Mouse Club for the preschool set. The three-dimensional computer animation renderings of Mickey, Donald, and the rest of the gang capture the look, spirit, and personalities of these familiar, decades-old characters. Mickey is exuberant and optimistic; Donald is easily flustered (though not as hot-tempered as in the classic Disney shorts); Goofy is affable and a bit dim; and Pluto is as silent as he is loyal and mischievous. The team's adventures are repetitive and lacking in drama or danger, but perfectly suited to both the age range of the show's target audience and its conceit as an educational entertainment series. The show is a marketing masterstroke, in that it's sure to instill a love for Mickey and his pals in a whole new generation of Disney fans/consumers.
The show looks better on DVD than on broadcast television. The full frame transfer, taken directly from the digital source, offers vivid colors and detail limited only by the source. There are no digital artifacts to mar the viewing experience.
English, French, and Spanish audio tracks are provided, all three in Dolby stereo surround. The tracks are clean and crisp but not particularly dynamic.
The only supplement is a game kids can play using the DVD player's remote control.
With its long history of entertaining kids, it's no surprise the House of Mouse proves adept at producing a fine show for preschool audiences, designed to compete in the space owned by Dora the Explorer. Young children are sure to love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Big Splash. These episodes are no better or worse than any of the show's other structurally identical episodes, but that won't stop toddlers from watching them over and over and over.
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