Walt Disney Treasures - On the Front Lines
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Many of the wartime entertainment shorts are largely propaganda. Donald's nightmare of working on a Nazi assembly line in "Der Fuehrer's Face" is still hilarious slapstick. The grimmer "Education for Death" and "Chicken Little" have aged less gracefully. Disney's oddest wartime project was Victory Through Air Power (1943), a live action/animation feature based on Major Alex de Seversky's controversial book that called for the adoption of long-range bombers. By the time it was finished, air power was a reality.
Front Lines also includes several health films made for the Office of Inter-American Affairs, and bond-buying shorts for Canada that reuse animation from Snow White and "Three Little Pigs." This collection of genuine rarities is a must-have for anyone interested in the history of animation, the Disney Studio, or America during WWII. (Rated G, suitable for ages 10 and older: violence, ethnic stereotypes, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
Top Customer Reviews
VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER - This film was basically propaganda with some entertainment and some powerful animation. Mainly championed Major Seversky's 1942 book of the same title with the theory that long-range air power could defeat the WWII enemies. The scene of an American eagle attacking the Japanese octopus is very powerful, moving animation.
DONALD GETS DRAFTED-always enjoyed the idea of Donald reporting to the draft board in his sailor suit.
THE ARMY MASCOT-Pluto schemes to take over the job of a mascot goat, with hilarious results.
THE VANISHING PRIVATE-Donald goes crazy with invisible paint, leading to war with his sergeant Pete, with a perfect, funny ending.
SKY TROOPER-Donald wants to be a pilot, and his sergeant Pete gives him more than Donald bargained for.
DER FUEHRER'S FACE-the famous and infamous cartoon in which Donald dreams he is in Naziland where he is forced to work in a munitions plant.
EDUCATION FOR DEATH-very strong propaganda about Germany's totalitarian state which turns an innocent young boy into a robotic soldier.
PRIVATE PLUTO-Pluto has a war with the chipmunks in guarding the area.
FALL OUT - FALL IN-Donald experiences some of the trials of Army life, such as super-long hikes.
REASON AND EMOTION-entertainment and propaganda used in a story about reason and emotion working together for the war effort, enjoyable animation.
VICTORY VEHICLES-Goofy shows off alternate transportation due to the wartime rubber and gasoline shortage, settling on the pogo stick.Read more ›
Propaganda and Entertainment Shorts:
This is the first of three sections into which the shorts of disc one are divided. Each section is kicked off with a nice intro by film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, whom we can thank for this wonderful Disney Treasures DVD series. Leonard puts each group of films into proper historical context for the viewers, hands out viewer warnings when necessary, and often gives nice details about individual films. Leonard also provides an introduction to both discs in each Disney Treasures 2-disc collection.
"Donald Gets Drafted" (1942) - In our first short, one of the funniest in this group, Donald gets a first hand lesson in what it's really like to join the army. The short begins with Donald, draft card in hand and dreams of flying military aircrafts in his head, getting jazzed up on the idea of being a soldier from the alluring advertisements on the sidewalk. Many feature 1940's style pinup girls fawning over the new recruits, and who could resist that?Read more ›
Commentaries are as common on DVDs as raisnettes in movie theaters, but wisely, they are usually an option to turn on or off at the viewer's pleasure. Not so here. Maltin's bit is part of each chapter. Yes, you can FF over it, but why should I need to?
Plus, some of these shorts are just plain FUNNY. "Commando Duck" may have some unflattering portrayals of Japanese soldiers, but the slapstick comedy is some of Donald Duck's best. "Der Fuehrer's Face" is a masterpiece, and a lot of the Donald shorts in this collection were written (or co-written) by the legendary Donald Duck comic book artist Carl Barks, adding another tidbit of historical significance to this collection.
Perhaps the centerpiece of this collection comes on disc two, with the full-length "Victory Through Air Power," in which Walt Disney and a Russian expatriate explain that the only way to win World War II was to build up America's Air Force, a message that did not go unheeded by Churchhill and Roosevelt. People don't even know about this film, but it's one of the most important movies ever made.
This set is entertaining and fascinating from a cultural standpoint, and on top of that, Leonard Maltin's commentaries are probably the best he's done yet for a "Treasures" collection. No animation fan can go without this set.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Would love to buy this video immediately, but--as is often the case with these "limited release" items from The Mouse Company, the outrageously-inflated price makes it out... Read morePublished 6 months ago by P. Cwick
Contains several great Disney Cartoons produced during WW2 and suppressed afterwards as being too dark, or too violent to fit the Disney image. Read morePublished 7 months ago by David A Wesely
I bought this set quite a few years ago. My son still loves it! I am confused at this price tho. Is it because they don't sell them anymore?Published 8 months ago by brandi
This is some great treasures and is one of the most fantastic treasures ever released not to be interfering with Donald Duck volume four or silly symphonies. Read morePublished 12 months ago by John Harrison
Alot of versatile entertainment with much education all rolled into one package. Was well worth the purchase.Published 15 months ago by mark robertson
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