Walt Disney Animation Collection, Vol. 4: The Tortoise and the Hare
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Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment are now releasing a few of these shorts on DVD for the first time (some have appeared on past Disney DVD releases). With the first three volumes released, the fourth, fifth and sixth volumes will be released on May 12, 2009.
A lot of these short films were created in the 1920-1940's and typically featured characters that were not reoccurring (with the exception of the tortoise and the hare which appeared in a second short). Some were released under the "Silly Symphony" moniker of animated shorts released between 1929-1939 which rarely featured any character dialogue but focused more on the animation accompanied by music and a singing vocal track.
Walt Disney Animation Collection Vol. 4 - The Tortoise and the Hare
The fourth volume of "The Tortoise and the Hare" includes a total of six animated shorts. Included are:
1. The Tortoise and the Hare - (8:40) A Silly Symphony animated short from 1939 featuring the popular tale of the race between the tortoise and the hare.
2. Babes in the Woods - (7:45) A Silly Symphony animated short from 1932 about two children and dwarfs who go against a wicked witch who has captured and turned children to animals.
3.Read more ›
The really odd thing here, marketing-wise, is that the award-winning Paul Bunyan cartoon is easily the best and most well-known short here. I can remember enjoying it as a kid on the Sunday night Wonderful World of Walt Disney show. Now, my daughter loves Paul and Babe the Blue Ox, too. The cartoon has everything: heart, humor, pathos, and an ending that is both sad and happy. Also, the recurring theme song is wonderful.
The dog here is the Windwagon cartoon, which is artistically beautiful, but the characters and plot just doesn't hold interest. It especially suffers here, following the completely absorbing Paul Bunyan. My daughter goes away and plays with her toys when Windwagon comes on. Paul Bunyan should have been the final cartoon on this DVD.
The tortoise and the hare cartoons were both very well-done. My daughter likes the whacky humor involved and enjoys rooting for the tortoise. These cartoons, especially the boxing one, have that zany Warner Brothers feel to them.
And then there are the two cartoons which have a European "Brothers Grimm" aura and seem like they came from the Age of Napoleon: Babes in the Woods and The Goddess of Spring. To my surprise, my daughter really liked these, even though one features a Hansel and Gretel-type creepy old witch, and the other features a scary bass-voiced Devil and his demonic entourage. She likes to be scared a little bit, but these didn't scare her too much. She was really thrilled when the Goddess of Spring was allowed to return to Earth and all the animals were happy again.Read more ›
The title short, the academy award winning "The Tortoise and the Hare" (1934), retells the famous fable in Silly Symphony style, and the jokes practically write themselves,... which might be part of my problem with it. So many animated versions of this fable have been done down through the years that though I am absolutely certain I've never seen this one before at times I felt like I had. (In addition this short is widely believed to have influenced the character of Bugs Bunny.) The humor might feel a bit dated as well; as politically incorrect as I proudly am, even I found myself cringing at some of the jokes at Toby the Tortoise's expense.
The sequel short, "Toby Tortoise Returns" (1936), reunites the two protagonists in of all things a boxing match, which makes it a lot more original than the previous though a whole lot less logical. (Why boxing?) Once again Toby triumphs over Max because one of Max's many efforts to cheat backfires.
The Silly Symphony short, "Babes in the Woods" (1932), completely reworks the (extremely downbeat) traditional tale into a variation on Hansel and Gretel, working in a lot of gags about aerial combat and adding a happy ending.
The Silly Symphony short, "The Goddess of Spring" (1934), leaves out a number of plot points from the Persephone myth, resulting in IMHO the weakest short on the DVD.
The academy award nominated short, "Paul Bunyan" (1958), is IMHO the other reason for buying this DVD, a delightful and fun version of the most politically incorrect tall tale hero of all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reminds me of when the Disney channel actually showed this stuff. My kids love this!!Published 18 days ago by Shelly
Volume 4 of Disney's 2009 Animation Collection contains the Oscar-winning story of The Tortoise and The Hare, AND its follow-up short (Toby Tortoise Returns, in a boxing match),... Read morePublished 2 months ago by ToonXpert87
I truly loved watching the Tortoise once again beat the old overconfident Hare, and thanks to the shiper I can see it over and over again.Published 15 months ago by Big Al in Sunny Florida
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