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Lee David Glover RSS Feed (Plymouth, Devon United Kingdom)

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Felix the Cat
Felix the Cat
DVD ~ Felix the Cat
Offered by Clyde Parks
Price: $12.00
19 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fine budget Felix DVD., June 21, 2005
This review is from: Felix the Cat (DVD)
This DVD mostly contains the Felix cartoons in his middle years (1924-25). This is probably a good choice, as recent DVDs tend to focus on either his earlier or later years. One highlight is the classic "Felix In Hollywood", where Felix aims to have a career in the movies. There are also a host of movie stars appearing in this cartoon (albeit in animated form), including Douglas Fairbanks, Ben Turpin, and Charlie Chaplin (he's impossible not to miss).

The quality of the silent shorts are acceptable considering their age, as these are probably the best-looking PD versions available. Despite the print damage, it is still watchable. What I don't like about these silents is the added music. With the exception of "Felix Finds Out", all cartoons have stock jazzy musical scores. These may sound authentic and fit into the era of these cartoons, but they just don't fit into the action, leaving some of the gags in "mid-air".

The DVD also contains two of the three colour Felix cartoons produced by the Van Beuren studio. It's not the Felix we know and love, but it is nice to see them included. However, the picture quality of these cartoons is poor. There are better looking prints available, with full original titles. It seems that Delta didn't look further into the PD archives enough.

The DVD presentation isn't one of the best, but when you consider the rare silents included in this DVD and the price, the complaints does sound rather petty. It is a worthwhile purchase.


The Complete Adventures Of Cubby Bear
The Complete Adventures Of Cubby Bear
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, all the Cubby cartoons on one excellent DVD!, March 1, 2005
Around the early 1930's, nearly every studio tried to catch up with Disney, even to the extent of making Mickey Mouse-type characters. One example is Van Beuren's Cubby The Bear. Created by animator Mannie Davis as a repacement for Tom & Jerry (not the famous cat-&-mouse, but a Mutt & Jeff-type duo), he made his debut in "Opening Night" in 1933. The character design wasn't uniform throughout the cartoon, and he didn't have much of a personality (neither did Mickey Mouse), but the cartoon featured great, bizzare gags, and a wonderful Gene Rodemich music score. Overall, a good debut, and most of the cartoons afterwards are very entertaining too (highlights include "Love Labor's Won", "Barking Dogs", "Croon Crazy", and "How's Crops?"). There were also three Cubby cartoons made by Harman-Ising after they left Warner Bros (Van Beuren only released two). Although enjoyable, Cubby was redrawn to look like Bosko, and some gags and animation were taken from earlier H-I Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons ("The Gay Gaucho" does borrow quite heavily from "Lady, Play Your Mandolin"). Unfortunately, the Cubby cartoons ended towards the end of 1934, when ex-Disney employee Burt Gillet took over as head director.

This is a first DVD title from Thunderbean Animation, and this is a vert strong debut. The cartoons have been restored using "Wetgate" technology, and look even better than the ones you can normally find on other PD videos and DVDs. In fact, the quality of some of the cartoons are on a par with the restored B&W Mickey Mouse cartoons featured on the Disney Treasures DVD. The only extra on this DVD is an unreleased cartoon, "Mischievious Mice" (made by Harman-Ising in 1933-34, but was released as a television cartoon later in the 1940's).

Overall, a fantastic DVD from Thunderbean (they subsequently made more brilliant classic animation DVDs), and an essential DVD for any animation buff!


Cartoons That Time Forgot: From the Van Beuren Studio
Cartoons That Time Forgot: From the Van Beuren Studio
DVD ~ Cartoons That Time Forgot
Price: $21.55
12 used & new from $5.16

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another essential collection of rare 1930's cartoons., February 2, 2003
The Van Beuren studio made some very interesting cartoons during 1929-1936.
This collection includes several black-and-white Aesop's Fables cartoons, which, although unsuccessful at the time, they are real gems. The B/W cartoons are a combination of bizarre, surreal gags with basic animation. Some good cartoons in this category includes "In a Cartoon Studio", a spoof on the making of a cartoon, and "Candy Town", where two cats eats all the candy contained inside the moon, only to be chased by a bottle of castor oil and a spoon! Strange, but brilliant!
Also, the DVD includes the original Tom & Jerry (no, not the cat & mouse, but a tall, thin man and a short, fat guy). Although the characters themselves are bland, the cartoon themselves still shows off the odd sense of humour that is typical of the studio. One example is in the cartoon "Piano Tooners", where Tom plays a bad note on the piano, only for Jerry to "catch" the note, and then flushes it down an off-screen toilet! Another Tom & Jerry cartoon is "Wot a Night" (their first cartoon), which is a spooky but very weird cartoon.
However, the B/W cartoons were not successful, and so Van Beuren assigned Burt Gillett (who directed Walt Disney's "Three Little Pigs") to create a new colour cartoon series called "Rainbow Parade". Gillett tried to make these cartoons as good as his previous boss, but that's why these cartoons are generally not as good as they should be (although they are not terrible), because he tried to imitate Disney rather than innovate. Characters like Molly Moo Cow and Toonerville Trolley were not good choices, and neither was the return of Felix the Cat, as he was turned into a goody two-shoes kind of a character. Oddly enough, the Felix cartoons were some of the best efforts of the series. Perhaps the best cartoon was "The Sunshine Makers", where the happy elves tries to bring happiness to a bunch of gloomy elves by bombarding them with sunshine milk. The series ended in 1936 when the Van Beuren studios closed down, due to its distributors RKO switching to Walt Disney for their cartoons!
There are 21 cartoons in total, and all are of good picture and sound quality considering they are public domain cartoons. Most of the Rainbow Parade cartoons have their original titles restored, with only a few B/W cartoons retaining their original titles.
Overall, this is good collection of rare cartoons, and is still an essential purchase for classic animation lovers. Personally, they should have included a few more B/W cartoons, but I'm more than happy with this DVD!


Uncensored Bosko #2
Uncensored Bosko #2
DVD ~ Uncensored Bosko
8 used & new from $67.95

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great collection of Looney Tunes's first star!, January 30, 2003
This review is from: Uncensored Bosko #2 (DVD)
Image Entertainment/Bosko Video has given us another fantastic collection of Warner Brothers's near-forgotten first Looney Tunes star. Bosko was a Mickey Mouse-type character with a girlfriend called Honey and a dog called Bruno. Of course, Harman and Ising (Bosko's creators) tried to imitate Disney in their cartoons and it shows, but they are still enjoyable even to this day, with plenty of good music from composer Frank Marsales.
This collection includes the never-released "Bosko and Honey". It comes with its original WB opening and end titles, so has the cartoon "The Booze Hangs High". The rest of the cartoons on this DVD have the Sunset/Guild Films opening and ending titles.
Bosko Video still uses the same Public Domain prints, with dirt and grain aplenty on the pictures, but they are using slighty better prints, with "The Booze Hangs High" shown in a clean print! Still, the quality of both volumes is so much better than most Public Domain video companies.
With no prospect of WB releasing a full set of pristine Bosko cartoons on DVD, this is still an essential buy for any Looney Tunes fan or for lovers of classic animation.


Cartoons That Time Forgot: The UB Iwerks Collection, Vol. 1
Cartoons That Time Forgot: The UB Iwerks Collection, Vol. 1
DVD ~ Sara Berner
10 used & new from $14.54

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of very rare Ub Iwerks cartoons!, January 28, 2003
This is a collection of cartoons from the Ub Iwerks studio, created in 1930 soon after Iwerks left Disney, only for it to close in 1936, a couple of years after the loss of his MGM contract.
Iwerks's first cartoon creation was Flip the Frog. Flip was basically a Mickey Mouse-type character, a happy, dancing character with little personality. It came as no suprise when Flip was scrapped a few years later, but his cartoons are not really that bad, because all of his cartoons had musical scores written by the great Carl Stalling (who later enjoyed huge success with "Looney Tunes"), which helps to make the Flip cartoons quite enjoyable.
Iwerks next venture was Willie Whopper, a boy who would tell tall tales, such as how he can fly a plane, or saving his girlfriend from outlaws. He wasn't very successful either, and the series was perhaps the weakest of Iwerks's cartoons.
The last Iwerks cartoon series was the underrated "ComiColor" series. These cartoons were based on nursery rhymes and childern tales, with a lot of musical and dancing numbers, which seems to suggest that Iwerks was creating something a bit different rather than creating a carbon copy of Walt Disney's "Silly Symphonies", in which some studios tried to imitate. These were made in two-colour Cinecolor (as Walt Disney had the exclusive rights to use the 3-colour Technicolor process at the time), and were released independently due to MGM refusal to distribute them. The ComiColor series was not very successful too, which resulted in the closure of Iwerks's studio.
This DVD contains a whopping 32 cartoons on this DVD, from Iwerk's first cartoon "Fiddlesticks" (Flip the Frog in 2-colour Technicolor)to his last ComiColor cartoon "Happy Days".
The quality of these cartoons are generally better than any other Public Domain home video, with the ComiColor cartoons retaining their original titles. Some of the Flip the Frog cartoons have their original titles recreated, and the cartoons themselves are of near-pristine quality. Sadly, the Willie Whopper cartoons have seen better days, with most of his cartoons having a noisy picture and sound quality.
However, 32 ultra-rare cartoons in one DVD represents good value for money, and should not be ignored by fans of classic animation.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 31, 2008 1:36 AM PDT


The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus
The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus
DVD ~ Graham Chapman
Offered by N P Sales
Price: $225.00
40 used & new from $34.89

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will sit on the comfy chair and watch these DVDs..., July 27, 2002
The greatest comedy sketch show of all time, the complete Monty Python collection consists of all 45 episodes made, broken down into four series. The first three series are all classics, and although the 4th series was shorter, without John Cleese, and seems less inspired, is still much more funnier than any other sketch show.
All of the classic sketches are there: The Lumberjack Song, The Upperclass Twit of the Year Show, Nudge Nudge, The Spanish Inquistion etc., and of course the Parrot Sketch. Of all the overlooked sketches, my favourite is the Dirty Fork sketch. How the team come up with a sketch where a filthy piece of cutlery can bring such emotion, heartbreak, metal anguish, and suicide is nothing short of genius!
It is true to say that a couple of edits (and at least one sketch missing) have been made, but were made for censorship reasons and should not really detract you from enjoying this collection. I would have liked all of the episodes to be complete, but these edits were done on the less memorable sketches, so they don't bother me greatly.
The picture transfer is excellent considering the age of the programmes and the fact that the episodes were converted from PAL to NTSC. Sound is mono only, but it is clear. In fact, the whole quality is better than my ageing VHS collection!
Despite the editing, I am certainally pleased to be able to have the whole series on DVD. In the UK, we have to make do with a DVD of the best bits of Series 1, so these DVD's faults pale by comparison!


The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus
The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus
DVD ~ Graham Chapman
Offered by N P Sales
Price: $225.00
40 used & new from $34.89

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will sit on the comfy chair and watch these DVDs..., July 27, 2002
The greatest comedy sketch show of all time, the complete Monty Python collection consists of all 45 episodes made, broken down into four series. The first three series are all classics, and although the 4th series was shorter, without John Cleese, and seems less inspired, is still much more funnier than any other sketch show.
It is true to say that a couple of edits (and at least one sketch missing) have been made, but were made for censorship reasons and should not really detract you from enjoying this collection. I would have liked all of the episodes to be complete, but these edits were done on the less memorable sketches, so they don't bother me greatly.
The picture transfer is excellent considering the age of the programmes and the fact that the episodes were converted from PAL to NTSC. Sound is mono only, but it is clear. In fact, the whole quality is better than my ageing VHS collection!
Despite the editing, I am certainally pleased to be able to have the whole series on DVD. In the UK, we have to make do with a DVD of the best bits of Series 1, so the A&E DVD's faults pale by comparison!


Uncensored Bosko #1
Uncensored Bosko #1
DVD ~ Bosko
8 used & new from $34.95

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first Looney Tunes star who refuses to be forgotten!, July 26, 2002
This review is from: Uncensored Bosko #1 (DVD)
The very first Warner Brothers cartoon star has finally arrived, straight to DVD. This makes this the first "Looney Tunes" DVD, although unofficially. Although we are still waiting for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to get their own DVDs, at least we can see how it all started.
The DVD starts with a unique find: the pilot film that was made to showcase Bosko as an all-talking cartoon star and to attract distribution from movie studios. It is a short live action/animated film, co-starring Bosko's co-creator Rudolph Ising. The audio quality is VERY primitive (it was made in 1929, 2 years after talking pictures were born!), with Bosko sounding different to his latter Mickey Mouse-type voice!
The first official cartoon, Sinkin' In The Bathtub, is also included. The cartoon has a lack of a story, but is very musical (so it should be, as sound was a novelty back then!) and very Disney-esque! This was to be the trend for the forthcoming Bosko cartoons, although all of the cartoons are enjoyable.
The DVD only ranks four stars in my opinion, as the cartoons are from the public domain, with lots of grain and print damage (although they are still watchable), with the beginning and end titles being replaced to hide the Warner Brothers logo (Warner did sell them off in the 1950's, but regained them in the late 1960's). To be fair, Bosko Video is providing a service to fans of classic american animation, and the chances of Warner Brothers releasing a DVD of pristine Bosko cartoons are virtually non-existant. This is the best we are ever going to get, and it's still an essential purchase for animation addicts everywhere!


Felix the Cat (1919-1930 Collection)
Felix the Cat (1919-1930 Collection)
Offered by carmelbeachbooks
Price: $11.50
15 used & new from $5.90

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An evolution of Felix in his silent days., July 23, 2002
This DVD is an ideal companion to the excellent "Presenting Felix the Cat" DVD. Although it contains only 7 episodes, it does span from his debut to the end of his silent days.
The first 3 cartoons (Feline Follies, Felix Saves The Day, Felix in Hollywood are available on Felix's other DVD, but they are of a far stunning picture quality with better music.
The other cartoons are presented with added 1920's music and sound effects (when they were re-released), some of which are a bit crude (especially Felix's constant meowing in Futuritzy), but does serve up an idea of how desperate the cartoon studio was to bring Felix into the sound era after losing their lucrative distribution contract in the late 1920's.
All of the cartoons are well chosen, especially my favourite, Felix Woos Whoopee, in which a drunk Felix is constantly haunted by his booze-fuelled hallunications!
Also included is 1940/1950's colour fottage of Otto Messmer at work designing billboard animations.
This DVD is a must for the true animation fan, but will also serve as an ideal introduction to the early days of the timeless feline!


Presenting Felix the Cat: The Otto Messmer Classics 1919 - 24
Presenting Felix the Cat: The Otto Messmer Classics 1919 - 24
DVD ~ Felix the Cat
11 used & new from $14.96

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Felix - the earliest cartoon superstar!, March 30, 2002
This DVD is a must for any animation or silent movie fan, as this contains the earliest surviving Felix cartoons.
Felix was the first cartoon superstar, and seeing this DVD it's not suprising. Felix at that time had what other silent cartoon characters lacks - PERSONALITY. He was a survivor, always solving his problems through wit, he also helped out others but takes revenge on others who wronged him. He also talked to the audience, enabling us to be involved in his adventures. He seems real, he was a silent movie actor, creating enjoyment in the same level as Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, and Mr. Bean. How sad it was that he didn't survive the sound era (initially), to be replaced by a mouse that can talk but had minimum personality!
All of his cartoons are outstanding, although Felix is not in his well-known form, as he looks more like a dog than a cat! However, Otto Messmer's unique talent of storytelling and animation makes each of the Felix cartoons a true gem.
Even though it's on DVD, don't expect pristine prints. Bearing in mind these cartoons are over 80 years old, some of the cartoons have some degree of decomposition, although all are watchable. Mind you, the first Felix cartoon, FELINE FOLLIES, is in a remarkably good condition! At least the cartoons are on near-indestructable DVD, providing a lifetime of enjoyment of this little piece of cartoon history.


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