Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004)
(DVD Release Date: August 3, 2004)

Silly, Wacky, and just what the Emperor Ordered!

J.C. Mašek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

After such mega-hit influential novels like The Count of Monte Cristo, The Corsican Brothers, The Black Tulip, and The Man in the Iron Mask, Uber-Novelist Alexandre Dumas pŔre apparently penned a little known and almost completely lost sequel to his Magnum Opus The Three Musketeers. You'll be surprised to note that it was the Walt Disney Company who managed to unearth this venerable tome, but it might not surprise you all that much after you discover that this sequel deals with a Duck, a Mouse and... whatevertheheck Goofy is... assuming the roles that Aramis, Athos, Porthos, and D'Artagnan vacated after the defeat of the evil Cardinal Richelieu and the rescue of the Doppelganger of the vicious King Louis XIV! While avoiding any and all speculations on the potential Laudanum and Absinthe measures that Dumas may or may not have consumed toward the end of his career, most of us should be happy that at the very least we get to see the fruits of his labor right now, in 2004.

At the height of the French Monarchy three lowly servants to the French Crown have been pining away, dreaming of becoming Musketeers after meeting the 17th-century fab four when Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy were mere cute cartoon babies! They get their chance to be Musketeers when the Captain of the Guard (Pistol Pete with a Peg Leg) appoints the boys to be the body guards to the imperiled Queen Minnie against the dread Super-Villain team of The Beagle Boys!

But protecting the queen and her intrepid handmaiden Daisy Duck is proving to be more difficult than getting a Cheap Healthcare Plan through Congress because palace corruption has run rampant and every friend is a potential enemy! Not to mention the fact that Mickey, Donald and Goofy have had as much training as Musketeers as my infant nephew has had as a fighter pilot!

Need I state that from that point on, Mayhem Ensues? Might I add, that's a given. From stem to stern, from peak to valley, this is as silly a movie as Disney's Home on the Range, and it surprises me to know that this all must have sprung from the mind of Alexandre Dumas! In all seriousness, though, the one major thing that this movie does not lack would boil down to a barrel full of laughs! Disney may have pretty much abandoned the traditional hand-drawn animation on the Big Screen, but this direct to DVD release is a winner based on the funnies alone. The story is solid enough for what this is, and it's still not so deep that your little one's can't follow it too (even though the Duck still wears no pants).

There are a lot of jokes that are there specifically for the adults and the big kids, though The Three Musketeers never gets "Blue" (even though the Duck still wears no pants)! Likewise, there are a lot of the old "In-Jokes" for Disney Fans to laugh at.

Furthermore, there's nothing boring about this little movie. It's Action Packed and, at times, even scary. Speaking of which, it's excellent to see the Beagle Boys again! Here I thought they were created specifically for the excellent Disney Comics. The fact that these three Escapees from Cartoon Prison were actually a part of Dumas' vision from way back into the Mid-1800's is as shocking as the fact that the Duck still wears no pants (I have a "thing" about pants-free Ducks)! The Beagle Boys add just a hint of scariness, but less than, say, The Lion King's Scar... so your kiddies will probably be okay! Unless you grew up reading Silly Animal Comics in the '70's (like I did), the Beagle Boys are probably as obscure to you as the lyrics to Syd Barrett's second Solo Album, but director Donovan Cook (along with David M. Evans and Evan Spiliotopoulos, who adapted this script from Dumas' lost novel) introduce these guys well, and leave them neutral enough to fit in this timeline.

Overall, it's an excellent effort from some great animators (not to mention voice actors Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo and Bill Farmer who actually sound like Mickey, Donald and Goofy respectively), but the movie isn't without its flaws. For example, like the Looney Tunes movie before it, The Three Musketeers can get a little repetitive in its jokes. The subplot of the trio overcoming their respective limitations is good for kids, to be sure, but after the third time Donald turned into a Chicken, Mickey lamented being short and Goofy doing something Dan Quayle-ish, I wondered if they were simply trying to pad out this sixty-eight minute film! Aside from that, let's not forget this is a Kid's film and judging it against the rest of its ilk, it's pretty gosh darned cool to watch and snicker at!

And for adapting Dumas' lost work, making it funny, but never talking down to the Kiddos, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers gets awarded Four Stars out of Five! This miraculous discovery makes me wonder, wonder, wonder what else might be out there just waiting to be adapted into a cartoon. If Alexandre Dumas could have had this treasure buried somewhere, what could be next? How about a Shakespeare Play being found about fairies where a major character turns into a Donkey halfway through? Ah? Aaaaaaaaaaaah? Or maybe even a Dickens novel that predicts the names of both an 80's Heavy Metal Band, and an '80's Magician! With such prescience out there, I'll be wringing my hands in wait for such a thing! And until then, I'll see you in the next reel! Hopefully the next reel will contain some venerable work by John Keats about Lizard Vampires! It could happen, man!

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Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004) Reviewed by J.C. Mašek III who is solely responsible for his views about films and for his Rapier [wit]!
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