Sunday, December 26, 2021

Twice Upon a Christmas: The Ad

Consider this a Saint Stephen's Day celebration: Just as a brief pendant to the Twice Upon a Christmas post, I thought it might be a tiny bit interesting for me to present the ad for the book that ran in Christmas Parade 2 and probably in other issues:

Is this interesting?  Not very!  But for no particular reason, I want to call attention to a few parts in the  copy.  "This book is an adaptation of the direct to DVD feature Mickey's first foray into CGI animation (without Pixar).  So, is that second part ("Disney's first foray...") supposed to be a stand-alone thing?  Like, this is one of its features?  That's a normal way to write copy, but it would be pretty awkward when there are two complete sentences before it.  Bad parallel structure.  Also, I am haunted by that "(without Pixar)."  It's not that it's wrong, exactly, but the sentence would mean the exact same dang thing if it were gone, and it wouldn't read nearly so awkwardly.

But, of course, the big one is the last: "With the cherubic Mickey as narrator; Minnie and Daisy; Donald; the Nephews and Scrooge; and Goofy and Max are five enchanting holiday epics that will make you glow with Christmas spirit!"  MAN, that is one ungainly-ass sentence.  Note that I'm PRETTY sure that that first semi-colon is a semi-colon; it looks very close to a plain ol' colon, even squinting hard at the page of the actual comic.  That would make it even weirder.  Who wrote this, anyway, and WHY am I going on about this nonsense?  Also, "cherubic?"  Is this hapless writer implying that they think narrator-Mickey here is, like, an angel, narrating from Heaven?  Because he super isn't.  But he sure doesn't fit any figurative use of "cherubic" either, so I don't know.

Anyway, all I'm saying is, I am willing to bet that Disney did not get the creatives at Gemstone write their ad copy for them, and if they had, the results would've been way less terrible.

Well, that''s about that.  But I also wanted to take a moment to point out that according to inducks, this story has very rarely been published overseas: in Greece and then, in part, in the Netherlands, and that's it.  So I suppose if we wanted to, we could feel smug, but that's sort of a heavy lift given the generally insipid quality of these stories.  

11 Comments:

Blogger Pan Miluś said...

It is a very pretty cover. If seen it I would asume it's a book (not a comic book but one of those Disney boooks with large full page inlustrations)

December 26, 2021 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

I think Mickey can fairly be described as "cherubic" in the sense of looking generally baby-like and being a paragon of goody-two-shoe-sweetness. Not the six-winged, fire-breathing kind of cherub, evidently, but a Renaissance painting sort of cherub? I can see it.

Weird turn of phrase though.

I'm now imagining similar adjectives for the other characters… "the draconic Scrooge McDuck", who's old and cranky and sleeps on piles of gold?

December 26, 2021 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

"And Co-staring good ol' Falstaffian Goofy"

December 26, 2021 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Hex said...

Ah, man. This post was unintentional clickbait for me! I thought you had finally found a copy of the one-page ad story for Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas (coded XU GEM 102 in inducks). I've always wanted to see what that page look like!

December 27, 2021 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. said...

Wow, I'd love to see that too. How 'bout it, Dave? Got any behind-the-scenes footage lying around?

December 28, 2021 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It’s also not true! Since dinosaurs was Disney’s first CG animated film.

December 28, 2021 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. said...

I hadn't even thought of that, but of course you're right. That's a pretty blatant error. Possibly Disney just hoped everyone would forget about Dinosaur.

December 28, 2021 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Maybe this counts as first direct to DVD CGI thing?

Or first CGI use of Mickey & Co? (a CGI Donald makes a apperance in "Mickey mouse works" short but that was like a cameo)

December 28, 2021 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Mesterius said...

Pan Milus:

"Maybe this counts as first direct to DVD CGI thing?

Or first CGI use of Mickey & Co? (a CGI Donald makes a apperance in "Mickey mouse works" short but that was like a cameo)"

If that was the intent, the text wouldn't have gone out of its way to specify "Disney's first foray into CGI animation (without Pixar)".

Nope; it's pretty clear they just forgot about Dinosaur.

December 30, 2021 at 1:17 AM  
Blogger ramapith said...

Somehow, even I never saw the drawn version of XU GEM 102!

I believe it was drawn to be included in other Disney products as a tie-in (e. g. Disney Adventures) but then never actually used. I'm not sure why we never saw it.

Transcribed from the script, here's how it went:

Panel 1:
Caption: The POWER!
Sound: THROTTLE! THROTTLE! THROTTLE!
Image: Donald from "Donald's Gift," throttling Animatronic Santa

Panel 2
Caption: The GLORY!
Goofy: >Hyuck!<
Image: Goofy standing with undue pride beside his overdecorated house from "Christmas Maximus"

Panel 3
Caption: The DRAMA!
Minnie: Brrrrrrpppp!
Daisy: Brrrrrrpppp!
Image: Minnie and Daisy as in "Belles on Ice," standing in very elegant poses as they razz each other

Panel 4
Caption: The HEARTACHE!
Pluto: Baawwwwww!
Image: Pluto as in "Dog-Gone Christmas," crying exaggerated streams of tears as he thinks of Mickey, while the reindeer trade uncomfortable glances

Panel 5
Caption: The COMIC BOOK!
Mickey: Ya better believe it! Our Twice Upon a Christmas comic book—bustin’ with new Donald, Pluto, Minnie, Goof Troop and Huey, Dewey and Louie adventures!
Scrooge 1: Only $2.95— cheap! Look for it at McDuck-owned comic book stores everywhere...
Scrooge 2: Hmph! Aye! And at other comic book stores too! Stop looking at me like that, nephew!
Image: Mickey, Scrooge, and Donald showing us the comic book, with Mickey excitedly addressing us while Donald glares at Scrooge

* * * * *

So... pretty much in the spirit of the comic's framing sequence, spiked with a dash of my usual tongue-in-cheek ad style.

At this stage, "Christmas Maximus" as a comic story had Goof Troop branding (as mentioned by Mickey); this was our choice at Gemstone, assuming Max's presence mandated it. Notably, Disney then asked us not to do it, pointing out that since his inclusion in House of Mouse, Max could now be in non-Goof-Troop stories.

January 2, 2022 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. said...

That is rad as hell. Thanks for sharing it. A Duck Comics Revue exclusive, maybe!

January 4, 2022 at 6:50 PM  

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