Christmas Review – “Pluto’s Christmas Tree”

This is the last of the cartoons that preceded
“Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” which will be tomorrow’s

Cast and Crew

James MacDonald as Mickey Mouse and Chip

Pinto Colvig as Pluto

Dessie Flynn as Dale

Written by Bill Berg and Milt Schaffer

Directed by Jack Hannah

Complete information is
available from this

Buy from:
This cartoon is available in Walt Disney
Treasures: Mickey Mouse
In Living Colour Vol. 2
, which also contains
Christmas Carol
and others. The complete set
is strongly

Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate

This cartoon premiered in theatres in 1952. It’s
been used as a
preface to Mickey’s Christmas Carol on
The Wonderful
World of Disney
since the early 1980s.


Mickey and Pluto pick out a Christmas tree, but Chip
and Dale already
live in it.

High Point

Dale twists the lights on and off.

Low Point

After the tree is cut, there’s a zoom out that has
the characters
sliding with respect to the ice they are standing on.
It’s an
irritating technical mistake.

The Review

It’s hard to get a truly original plot with
a seven minute
seasonal short. You need something the viewers
already understand so
you can move right into the parts that make this
situation unique. In
this case, chopping down a Christmas tree is common
enough to require
no explanation, and we move right into the chipmunk
residents and
their reactions. It’s a simple concept, but it works
well. Unfortunately, it’s not that original, but
there’s not a huge
amount of room for concept originality in the format.
I give it 4 out
of 6.

The animation is mostly good. The pencil
work is great, but
the aforementioned zoom is a problem, and there are
some colouring
errors. (Pay close attention to the sequence of
ornaments dropped
from the tree, for example.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is well planned for an animated
short subject. It
has a good story structure, with naturally
progressive events. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The voice acting is decent. There’s not a
lot of room here.
Pinto does a good job, but with an inarticulate
character, it’s all
emotion, and tends to get a little too subtle. Chip
and Dale have
voices so high pitched that expression is lost in
post production.
Mickey only ever has one tone of voice, so it’s hard
to judge the
actor based on that, too. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is good. There’s a
lot of fun
nostalgia to be had here. It’s also an entertaining
cartoon, which is
why it’s lasted the years, anyway. I give it 5 out
of 6.

The production is pretty good. The sound is
excellent, and
the rest is good. The camera is still not quite as
active as on live
action, but it’s better than a lot of animation. I
give it 5 out of

Overall, this is a neat little holiday short
that’s good
enough to be amusing throughout the year. I give it
5 out of 6.

In total, Pluto’s Christmas Tree receives 32
out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

I was searching on Amazon for the Chip and
DVD coming
out next year, and I ran across this
nifty item
inspired by this very cartoon. If I had the cash,
I’d have the