As the father of twin three year olds who are enamored with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series, this DVD seemed like a reasonable gift. The number of repeat viewings at our house has outnumbered those for Mom or Dad's DVDs, so I feel qualified to write a review.
The quality of the episodes shares the same strengths of the series in general. Bright, colorful computer generated graphics are used in conjunction with simple plots. Mickey and his friends are friendly, interesting characters that our little guys have enjoyed since their twos. There are a few bouncy songs, but adults probably won't find them cloying or otherwise Barney-esque.
The main feature obviously focuses on Mickey's train, which is a natural theme for toddlers. It seems to be a holiday-themed episode, given the presence of snow and cameos by two icons of the Christmas season. The main feature runs at twice the length of a typical episode. It is accompanied by an extra, unrelated episode featuring "Willy the Giant".
And speaking of big people, there is a new song from They Might Be Giants -- always a plus!
While the production values match the high quality of the rest of the series, this particular DVD entry is not as inspired as some of the others. Disney may describe this is a full length feature, but in reality it is two episodes strung together featuring Mickey's train. The "bonus" third episode has no connection to the main story, and could have been randomly selected from previously aired episodes.
As far as the value offered by this DVD, this does not measure up to previously-released discs from the series: Disney DVDs are not cheap, and this one does not offer as much bang for the buck. Some of the previous discs have offered four episodes from the series. At least one other disc also presented the "double episode plus one bonus episode" format, but presented a bonus episode that was a brand-new unaired episode, rather than one that regular viewers had probably seen already. The product gives a vibe of having been rushed to be put together for store shelves (virtual or otherwise) in time for Christmas.
Disney excels in marketing, and this episode seems a little more commercial than others. Specifically, the "Choo Choo Express" is also being sold as a toy train set.
All said, my kids probably could care less about anything I've listed as a Con. They enjoyed the episode, and as I mentioned, they have requested multiple replays. My advice: if you want to buy only one or two "Clubhouse" DVDs, check out other entries before this one. Rather, go to the "Big Splash" or "Storybook Surprises" for more episodes per disc (four episodes each) or the "Adventures in Wonderland" (very creative and a more cohesive story).