9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Heavy, Tear-Jerking Nostalgia For the Disney Fanatic,
This review is from: Walt Disney Treasures - Disneyland USA (DVD)
This set wasn't created for the typical Disney fan, it was created for folks like me: Disney ADDICTS. We fanatics tend to be more demanding, but I always pride myself in being able to appreciate the good points, while still realizing the flaws, in all Disney products. I've managed to get my hands on all the Disney Treasures sets so far, and so far they've all been wonderful, but this review is about the unnecessarily weakest one, Disneyland, U.S.A.
There are 4 feature programs and 2 extras in this set. Disc 1 contains The Disneyland Story and Dateline Disneyland, both black and white. The Disneyland Story is the 1st ever episode of the Disneyland TV series. This milestone from 1954 begins with Walt Disney telling us of his plans to build the Disneyland Park, then switches to a discussion about the TV series and how it will tell stories from the various areas of the theme park, such as Davy Crockett's story from Frontierland. The 2nd half of this feature is a tribute to Mickey Mouse (by way of cartoon clips), as Walt expresses that he wants everyone to remember that, "It all started with a mouse." The 2nd feature on Disc One, Dateline: Disneyland, is the live ABC Broadcast of Disneyland's opening day in 1955, hosted by Art Linkletter, Ronald Reagan, and Bob Cummings. This features the hosts in the various "Lands" of the park, explaining the themes and rides of each of them. We are treated to celebs like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. riding rides, and live performances by the likes of Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen. We also see Walt's own, live dedication ceremonies of the Park and its various lands. It can really bring a tear to the eye of a true fan.
Disc 2 contains two more features, Disneyland After Dark and Disneyland 10th Anniversary, both in color, and this time from the 1960s. Some time has passed, and now the park is an established American treasure! Disneyland After Dark is a collection of live performances from musical celebrities of the time, such as Annette Funicello and Bobby Rydell in Tomorrowland, the Osmond Quartet at the Plaza Gardens, and the highlight for me, Louis Armstrong aboard the Mark Twain! We also are treated to hula dancers and a fire dance in Adventureland. In Disneyland 10th Anniversary, we see some of Walt's last work on the park as he gives Miss Disneyland Tencentennial (some sort of Disneyland 10th Anniversary Beauty Pageant Winner) a tour of the Imagineering Department to fill her in on future park plans before she goes on tour. Here we get to see Disney attractions in early production stages, such as a 1/8th inch to a foot scale model of It's A Small World and miniature versions of some elements of the Haunted Mansion. Walt also explains audio-animatronics, showing the work being done for Pirates of the Caribbean, and treating us to a sample of the Enchanted Tiki Room show. We also see various clips of early park production and a parade down Main Street. Also on the 2nd disc are the extras; a gallery of some of the Disneyland ride poster art over the years, and a short Leonard Maltin featurette on Disneyland.
The set comes in a lovely snap case with a small litho, and is in a very nice tin box with serial number. If you are a nut for Disneyland and Disney history in general, this set is for you. Be warned though, if it's a tour of the park you are looking for, you won't find it here. Many of us were disappointed that the actual film, "Disneyland, U.S.A.," was not in this set. Strange, considering the title. That short film actually IS a tour of the park, and hopefully will find its way to DVD SOMEDAY. My other complaints? Well, the DVD set is missing scenes involving the original Mousketeers, as well as certain Tiki Room sequences. All I can say is I HATE it when I buy a DVD and find out it's been edited, but especially when it's classic Disney, as was the case with Melody Time and Make Mine Music! That's just unacceptable, especially in these Deluxe sets! Also, the "do not try this at home" warnings added onto the fire-dance and fire-walk sequences were totally unnecessary and annoying. Lastly, there was the problem of simply not enough stuff. C'mon, there is a ton of material they could have included! I would have been satisfied if they had at least included Disneyland, USA. They also could have included some of the Birthday specials of the past years, like that Disneyland Birthday that had Tony Danza, Charles Fleischer, Ernest, etc... That would have been nice! But, despite these complaints, I do love the set, I just hope this is not the only time we'll ever see this material on DVD, because we definitely require unedited releases, not to mention releases of the other episodes of the Disneyland TV show, from day one to today; from Swamp Fox to Fluppy Dogs, from The Scarecrow to Mickey's 60th Birthday. Not to mention all the other stuff on the parks, like Disneyland, U.S.A., Gala Day At Disneyland, and Disneyland Showtime. Let's hope we see another Disneyland set for these shows, and some sets for my favorite place, Walt Disney World! But unless you are incredibly easily disappointed, I encourage any fans of Disney history, or Disney park history, to pick up this set and check out the other Disney Treasures collections! Even with its disappointments, this set is still a hit!
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Initial post: Nov 11, 2009 8:48:01 PM PST
Mario Pecora says:
I have Disneyland Showime on dvd,Mars&Beyond,Christmas At Disneyland 1976,Sandy Duncan At Disneyland 1974,NBC Salutes 25th annniversary of Wonderful World of Disney 1978 with commercials,Mickey Mouse 5oth Birthday,&60th Birthday,&More.Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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