“Mickey Mouse’s Wonderful Winter” TV Recap and Easter Eggs
The first of four seasonal specials from The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse debuted today on Disney+. Full of frozen fun, Mickey Mouse’s Wonderful Winter presents three new short films in a 24-minute package. As always, they’re chock-full of Easter eggs for longtime Disney fans and this recap not only relives the fun of each segment, but also highlights them. “Is everyone clean and pretty?” Then with the show!
A snow globe narration strings together the three stories, the first of which takes place in a snowflake factory above the clouds, which fits perfectly with Mary Blair’s story. the world is small style.
Mickey Mouse is a janitor at the snowflake factory who dreams of becoming a snowmaker. The snowflake juice is pumped through machines that create balls of ice, which are then pressed and cut into unique snowflakes. The factory contains many tubes and ramps before the snow is sprinkled on Earth.
Mickey’s cleaning leads him to a large room, the floor of which is reminiscent of Elsa’s Ice Palace from Frozen. This is where he finds himself alone with a giant jar of Snowflake Juice that hasn’t been put away. His curiosity gets the better of him and he tries his hand at making a snowflake, but the jar breaks and pumps too much juice into the machinery, creating a giant lump-like ball of ice cream. Mickey loves it and kisses the giant scoop of ice cream, but it suddenly crashes to the ground!
Mickey dives from the snowflake factory into the clouds, using his mop to jump onto a cloud and navigate to his creation, returning it to the factory. It then goes through a Style Wipeout obstacle course of ramps, including one with giant hand claps. The ball rolls right through them, but Mickey gets a cheer from everyone. The ramp leads to a giant horizontal fan and the ball rolls to the middle of the blade. As Mickey tries to get to it, he accidentally hits a switch which causes him to spin faster.
Mickey and the ball are thrown into the air by the fan blade, arriving at a lightning factory above the snowflake factory where a furry creature is surrounded by balloons, rubbing them on itself to create static electricity, which then produces lightning. After being shocked, Mickey and the Ice Ball find themselves perched at the bottom of a ramp and Mickey shouts in delight that he and his creation are safe.
A storm cloud sees the love scene, causing her to cry. A giant pink elephant (little resembling those of Dumbo) comes to console the cloud and Mickey freezes in the tears of the cloud. When the ball rolls off the ramp, Mickey realizes his only option is to destroy it.
Mickey catches a balloon, a pair of clapping hands, and reverses the fan blade to propel it toward the falling ball of ice cream. He tries to break it with his hands, but they don’t cause much damage.
The ball of ice cream rushes towards a village where a parade of babies and hugs of kittens take place. A cameo from the Walrus of Alice in Wonderland is included, in which he announces that everyone has just won the lottery.
Mickey realizes that he is not a snowflake maker, but a janitor. He grabs his mop and uses the handle to beat the ball of ice cream, which begins to crack. It erupts in a magnificent snow shower. Back at the factory, Mickey’s boss tells him it’s the best snow shower they’ve ever made, promoting Mickey to snowflake maker… after he cleans up the mess he’s made .
In the second story, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy arrive at Mineral King for a ski vacation (Mineral King was a ski resort that Walt Disney was planning to build at the time of his death). They arrive at their cabin to find that it is run down and smelly. Above the couch are mounted heads of moose, buffalo and deer (Max, Melvin and Buff from Country Bear Jamboreeoriginally designed for Mineral King and repurposed for Walt Disney World).
Mickey reminds his friends that they will barely be in the cabin when a snowdrift collapses on top of them, trapping them inside. Mickey tries to cheer Donald and Goofy on while cooking dinner, finding a can of beans. When he opens it, a frozen piece of ice shaped like a tin can slides out with a single bean inside (a nod to the “Mickey and the Beanstalk” segment of Free fun and fantasy).
Hours later, the trio are sitting frozen on the couch. Goofy becomes claustrophobic, imagining the walls closing in around him. Donald becomes enraged at Mickey’s chattering teeth and slams, kicking down the door and trying to force his way out of the cabin. Mickey asks Goofy for help, who is now delirious and envisions Max, Melvin, and Buff talking to him in his own voice. Goofy sees Mickey and Donald as terrifying monsters (Mickey’s ears are a nod to Brain on the run) and rushes to the attic to hide, where he finds a parka.
Mickey and Donald try to dig their way out, but all the tunnels lead back to the cabin one way or another. This causes the two pals to fight and Mickey claims it’s not his fault, showing Donald the brochure which boasts of the location’s “luxury accommodations”.
Goofy returns to the living room, putting on a fashion show with his coat, but Mickey and Donald see him for what he really is: a collection of raccoons, possums, and rats! In their panic, the cabin comes off the ground, slipping through the snow, but also navigating the mountain. The gang tries to escape through the back door, but find an avalanche following them. The cabin passes through the Mineral King panel on the way down.
The cabin ends up on giant skis on its descent and Mickey is able to use ski poles to steer, sending him into the resort’s hot tub in hopes he’ll melt the avalanche, but that only makes him angrier (the avalanche sometimes takes on a human form to change direction).
Mickey leads the cabin on a ski lift, with the avalanche boarding a gondola behind (a style similar to the Disney Skyliner). At the top, the house descends another mountain and the avalanche pours in pursuit. Goofy sees a snowboard hashpipe and regrets not using it, but Mickey tells him it’s a great idea. As he walks towards her, Goofy gears up in a 1990s snowboarding outfit.
The cabin ends up winning a trophy from the Walrus (apparently Mineral King is near the village from the first short). The avalanche is triggered and the cabin spirals out of control, landing in its place right in front of Mickey’s car.
The gang enters, having had enough Mineral King for one trip. Mickey starts the car and the engine backfires, causing another snowdrift to collapse on top of them. We hear Goofy say he just found another coat, which means more raccoons and rats.
The final short takes place on a frozen pond, beginning with a dancing blue and red snowflake creating a heart shape on the ice, reminiscent of the intro to the “Once Upon a Wintertime” segment of melody time. As the camera pulls back to reveal skaters on the ice, the human couple in this short are there for a brief appearance.
Mickey and Minnie skate together in a pair routine, delighting a crowd of onlookers, including a bulldog girl who is Mickey’s biggest fan. He autographs the back of his head. A spectator says “How are they going to top this?”, which motivates Mickey to put on another performance. Minnie is reluctant, telling Mickey her feet hurt, but Mickey insists they do another dance and make it even more magical. As the crowd begs for more, we see Thumper from Bambi stomping on the ice.
Goofy thinks the dance is over, so he begins to ice fish, punch a hole in the ice, sit on a lawn chair, and produce a thermos of hot soup with his hat. As Mickey and Minnie begin their second performance, Goofy loses control of his thermos, which bounces off the ice, causing Mickey and Minnie to crash.
With this mess resolved, Mickey and Minnie’s next obstacle is a zamboni, driven by Chip and Dale, which runs them over. The spinning hairs send the pair flying to the top of a tree where their mangled forms tower over it like a star.
Mickey starts crying and Minnie stops him by saying “Mickey, there’s no crying in ice dancing” (a variation of a Tom Hanks from A league apart, non-Disney reference). Minnie designates the sad spectators to give her the means to continue the show. Just then, Goofy is pulled by his fishing rod under the ice, emerging moments later on the back of a giant green fish. The ice cracks as the giant fish emerges, stranding Mickey and Minnie on a floating piece of ice.
Mickey is ready to give up again, citing his own injured feet as one of his reasons, but when Minnie sees the bulldog girl’s sad face, it breaks her heart. She reminds Mickey that they are not dream killers and they resume their routine. In their head they climb a mountain and dance on the ice with a grand finale to a 90s style love ballad. In their dance on the mountain they slide under Friend Owl from Bambi.
Their dream sequence ends on the pond, frozen again, but it disappears to reveal that they were skating on their piece of ice the whole time. The giant fish splashes beneath them, Goofy sticks its tongue out and blows water out of its blowhole (what?), raising the block of ice Mickey and Minnie are on as the crowd goes wild.
At the end, the snow globe becomes a stage representing images from the three shorts. The end.
The next seasonal special arrives on March 25, Mickey Mouse’s Wonderful Spring.
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).