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.
"House of Magic" is not one of my favourite 'House of Mouse' episodes. One of my least favourites actually while still being above decent, 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.
It is a case though that the featured cartoons are more interesting than the story going on the house of mouse. The story was nice enough but felt a bit thin, not as memorable as other stories on the show and that it could have been resolved in half the length that the episode was. Daisy has also been far more likeable in other episodes, here it is easy to see why everybody is so frustrated with her.
'Presto Pluto' is the most relevant to the theme and is both cute and amusing. The "Donald's Dynamite" cartoon 'Bowling' is predictable in terms of formula but contains some fun well-timed gags and a scenario that suits Donald's cantankerous personality well.
Best is 'Babysitters'. Love Mickey, Donald and Goofy together, they work very well with Baby Shelby/Baby New Year, a one-joke pest but one that works because the chemistry and personality contrasts are so good, the material is funny and the time setting imaginative. Let down only by the annoying character of Mrs Turtle/Mother Time and Estelle Harris once again overdoing the voice acting.
It is interesting always in 'House of Mouse' to see how it utilises various Disney characters from previous films and cartoons. Felt very nostalgic watching them and they are used well, though there are not enough. One of the episode's highlights is Jafar and Iago's rendition of "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo".
While not surprising in outcome, the story is 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 cheap recycling footage for the audience reactions at the end of the featured cartoons does jar and annoy though. 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 reliably strong. Wayne Allwine has been the longest serving voice actor for Mickey for good reason and having Jonathan Freeman and Gilbert Gottfried cast again for Jafar and Iago was a stroke of genius, can't imagine other voice actors than these two.
Overall, nice enough but doesn't quite have enough magic. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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