Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004) – An Underrated Nostalgia Trip

Full disclosure, nostalgia made me watch this old Disneytoons cartoon movie. And mostly that is thanks to a certain video with clips from the movie, showing how chaotic this movie is with its humour, I highly recommend putting on the captions. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUkuYkH796c. It brought me back to watching this movie, both the Finnish Dub and the original English. Growing up abroad there was always a point where I would hear both, not just one. Oh, the beautiful gift of being bilingual.


In 17th century France Mickey, Donald and Goofy are janitors who dream of being Musketeers. Pete, the captain of the Musketeers, appoints them to keep guard on Princess Minnie. But he plots to become King of France, with the help of Clarabella and The Beagle Boys. Naturally, hijinks, songs set to classical music, and humour ensue.

Now, first off, this is a funny movie. Like, Disney making fun of itself kind of funny, while still having terrifying moments. This is a family movie, all ages, not for little kids. Both of these are balanced wonderfully. There is slapstick to all genders, attempted murder by guillotine, Gilbert and Sullivan opera a century too early, and the songs add a lot with their songs that are a parody of Disney tropes, but still endearing. This movie would have failed if the comradely between the trio wasn’t as great as it is in this movie. They are comrades since childhood and this movie just shows how great these three characters are when they bounce off each other.

Full disclosure, Mickey is usually a Disney character I don’t much like. Mostly because everything always goes well for him, he is virtually without any flaws and he has this optimism that can get tiring at times (even as a kid reading comics). Donald Duck is usually the one I root for, since the guy clearly has problems, clear faults in his character that when you see him try and fix it makes him likeable, and also by the virtue of being Finnish which meant he was the star of every comic book there was available. Now, funnily, this is the movie where I actually like Mickey. Sure he is still the same, his only fault is his short size, but he is very likeable because things don’t come easily to him. He makes mistakes, he gets proven wrong sometimes, and that for me makes this movie so much better for me. For once, he needs to be saved a couple of times, instead of being the saviour like he always seems to be.

To the voice acting in this movie is perfect. No complaints from me. Our narrator is Rob Paulsen as a French turtle troubadour. He is wonderful, clearly having fun with the songs! Fun fact! The French accent even continues in the Finnish dub, not sure about what accent he is in other language dubs, but it’s always nice to hear an accent done in a foreign language.

The late Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor are a perfect Mickey and Minnie. Allwine’s Mickey is vulnerable, awkward and shy, and Taylor’s dreamy romance obsessed Minnie is a wonderful companion to it. Indeed, Minnie is almost like a parody of the Disney Princess with her romantic ideals, but still has her silk hiding steel moments when she gets angry. Her first thought of when Daisy says that she can’t marry a commoner is to say: “Our love is…forbidden!” Allowing and Taylor were married until his death in 2009, and hers in 2019. Hearing how sweet they are and their genuinely lovable Mickey and Minnie does give this movie a bit of unintentional tragedy. Go on, this is your permission to cry…

Bill Farmer’s Goofy, who also voiced Pluto, gives a stable performance. But the highlight for me was with his duet with Clarabelle Cow voiced by April Winchell set to ‘Habanera’ from Carmen. For a song that was before meant to embody the passion of love in the title character in a square to be newly set to an attempted murder is GENIUS. There is a tug-of-war in the music that suits the scene perfectly. It’s just wonderful! Also, nice to see that a villain’s second hand (or secretary) has a story and is not above committing murder. Again, family movie, not KIDS. I don’t know how much I can emphasise that.

And now we come to my absolute favourites!!

Tony Anselmo as Donald is wonderful and the animations adds so much to it! To which, the animation is top-notch of the 2000s lot. Anyway, back to Donald. He is a afraid, but clearly is also the only one of the trio with any kind of survival instincts and not a death wish (which is even lampshades in a scene). His animation is one I am always fascinated by, with the small eye movements when he hesitates or is devastated is truly wonderfully drawn. His character growth is predictable, but it is still one I enjoy watching.

Tress MacNellie as Daisy is a delight! Her dry humour is a nice balance to the dreamy Princess Minnie as her Lady-in-waiting. She is practical, but she is not above romance if it makes either her friend or her happy. Her design is one I love, with the blonde hair and purple gown. Daisy is so sarcastic with dry wit in this and has many quotable lines worth a world weary friend with a wine glass in her hand.

Jim Cummings as Pete is having a ball with this villain role, and it shows. He has the bombast, the presence and energy – yet I find many of his best works come in those small spoken side lines before a big gag. They are memorable and with the fourth wall breaks he gives it adds another layer to the story. When he comments on something, he comments on the audience’s thoughts as well.

The Beagle Boys are voiced by Jeff Bennett and Maurice LaMarche are one of my favourites. They have Cockney accents that was very memorable since I heard it as a kid. The shortest one of them has the best gags, in my humble opinion. When he is meant to dress as the Princess he is animated as going full out on the drag with powdering his face with commitment. He is one of those who breaks the fourth wall with the audience, and they give me a good chuckle.

So, there’s the review. If anyone is feeling nostalgic for a movie that is quite underrated and might work now only because of nostalgia (I have no idea, since that is my view) it is still good. The music is good in adapting classical music into memorable songs, the animation is solid, and is just a fun watch even as an adult.

Thank you for reading!

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