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.
Admittedly "Halloween with Hades" is not one of my favourite 'House of Mouse' episodes, though it very nearly was. It's certainly not one of my least favourites either, in a show where there is a lot to like about all of the episodes even when some are better than others. It is very good and entertaining even if it didn't blow me away. 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.
Loved how it embraced and celebrated the Halloween theme and did so to funny and interesting effect. The Hades falling in love subplot is delightful, as is Donald's constant failures at being scary.
Both featured cartoons are well done, though there are better ones in the show. 'Donald's Halloween Scare' is the vastly superior one though, it's amusing, inventive but also very creepy.
'How to Camp' is entertaining and Goofy is lovable as ever, but it is a typical "How to" cartoon and other cartoons in the series are funnier and educate more.
It is always nostalgic to see all the various Disney characters from various cartoons, films and shows and it is a big part of the fun too. Everything with Hades is a delight, him dressed as Mickey has to be seen to be believed, and have always loved the Disney character-inspired products being advertised at the end of every episode.
While not surprising in outcome, 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 recycled audience reactions seen at the end of the cartoons throughout the show always looks cheap, not an exception here. 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.
Voice acting is very good as always, Wayne Allwine is the most well known and longest serving voice actor for Mickey Mouse for good reason. James Woods (cannot picture anyone else as the character) once again is hilariously hot headed. Lois Nettleton is no Eleanor Audley, not as imperious or as creepy, but she does well with big shoes to fill.
Overall, well done and enjoyable. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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