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Cartoons That Time Forgot - The Ub Iwerks Collection, Vol. 2

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Volume 2 of a celebration of the pioneering solo cartoon work of Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney's foremost animator/collaborator in the formative early years. The first fully animated color cartoon version of "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" (1934)...the legendary Flip the Frog in the slapstick masterpiece "The New Car" (1931)...the original cartoon adaptation of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "The Headless Horseman" (1934)...the little-known animation star Willie Whopper in the surrealistic sci-fi classic "Stratos Fear" (1933)...and a famous "lost" film, a full-color cartoonization of "Don Quixote" (1934). These are just a few of the 58 cartoons captured on these two DVDs (available separately) of rediscovered masterworks from the very beginnings of the Golden Age of American Animation.

Amazon.com

Ub Iwerks was one of the greatest animators of the silent and early sound eras: he animated "Steamboat Willie" and other early Disney shorts virtually by himself. But the films he produced at his own studio after breaking with Walt Disney in 1930 lack the vitality of his earlier work. During the '30s, the animators with Disney, the Fleischers, Warner Bros., and MGM developed a new style of cartoon humor that centered on characters with strong, recognizable personalities. Iwerks's first recurring character, Flip the Frog, who appears in more than half the cartoons in this collection, never developed into a wholesome good guy or a sarcastic antihero. He remained an observer, rather than someone who initiated the action, as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny did. The rambling plots further weaken these films. Flip stumbles into a haunted house in "Spooks" (1932), but the artists can't decide if they're trying to be funny or scary, and the film falls between two chairs. The garish colors and bizarre designs in "Balloon Land" (1935) have a camp appeal, but the inflatable hero and heroine and the spiny villain simply aren't very interesting. Iwerks's cartoons unfortunately remain less than the sum of their parts, but this disc (in unison with Vol. 1) offers an interesting historical perspective on the development of popular animation. --Charles Solomon

Special Features

  • Volume 2 of a celebration of the pioneering solo cartoon work of Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney's foremost animator/collaborator in the formative early years. The first fully animated color cartoon version of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp (1934)...the legendary Flip the Frog in the slapstick masterpiece The New Car (1931)...the original cartoon adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Headless Horseman (1934)...the little-known animation star Willie Whopper in the surrealistic sci-fi classic Stratos Fear (1933)...and a famous lost film, a full-color cartoonization of Don Quixote (1934). These are just a few of the 58 cartoons captured on these two DVDs (available separately) of rediscovered masterworks from the very beginnings of the Golden Age of American Animation
  • Extensive liner notes essay on Ub Iwerks

Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Bletcher
  • Directors: Ub Iwerks
  • Writers: Ben Hardaway, George Manuell, Otto Englander, Washington Irving
  • Producers: Ub Iwerks, Pat Powers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 1999
  • Run Time: 190 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305472424
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,519 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cartoons That Time Forgot - The Ub Iwerks Collection, Vol. 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
26 cartoons fill up this volume for 190 minutes worth of cartoon nostalgia. Some of the humor isn't "politically correct", and some of it is a bit ribald, but the cartoons are for the most part entertaining. All but five of the cartoons star the character of "Flip the Frog", a character best taken in small doses (in watching all the cartoons at once, the humor wears a bit thin.) All the Flip cartoons are in black and white, as is one of the Willie Whopper cartoons. The remaining four cartoons are in color, three of which stand alone. The fourth was apparently released at different times under "Famous Fairytales" (as on this disc) and "Willie Whopper" labels.Read more ›
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If you are someone like myself who thinks that the greatest cartoons are from the 30's and 40's, then this dvd is for you. If you love cartoons from this era, then you'll understand what makes this dvd so special---the great animation, jazzy background music, vintage sound effects, voice characterizations, rich black and white, or color. It's all here. The thing that's great about these old cartoons is the fact that there is movement--constantly. I can't even believe some people my age (i'm 32) condemn these cartoons as being 'old' and would prefer the limited animation techniques of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons we grew up with on Saturday morning television. The Flip the Frog cartoons are the biggest surprise and are reminiscent of early Fleischer Betty Boop or Popeye cartoons in their overall tone. The dvd transfer is generally excellent, although there are some cartoons which use older prints as a source. However, they do not detract from enjoying this disc . Since there is a limited audience for this kind of stuff, grab this dvd before it is out of print.
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Many of the other commentators of Volume 1 and Volume 2 have very nicely described the contents of these two collections. I'd like to just say that I found these cartoons to be very essential for anyone interested in the history of animation.

Flip the Frog comes across as another Mickey Mouse, Willie Whopper is somewhat interesting, while the Comicolor series is somewhat similar to Silly Symphonies. I'm not surprised at this since Ub worked at Disney, and is responsible for the early animation of Mickey Mouse and several Silly Symphonies.

I found the liner notes helpful in explaining the social context of these cartoons. Many are poking fun at the Hollywood stars of the day (Disney and Warner also have several of their own similar cartoons), others have relevant commentary about various conditions in our country at the time, and others are just interesting trips into the supernatural. Keep in mind that all these things have been pursued by Disney, Warner Brothers, etc., so there is nothing unusual here. There are plenty of sight gags and the usual exaggerations that early cartoons are especially known for.

Also, I think it would be fair to say that the characters and stories as a whole tend not to progressively develop over the short life of Ub's studio. If you treat all the cartoons simply as individual accomplishments, then it's not a big deal, but as a whole they don't really change much. This isn't necessarily a problem, just an observation.

It's kind of interesting to me that I always felt I was almost watching Disney cartoons, but at the same time there are definitely other edgier influences at work here. The fact that Ub's staff of animators largely came from the Fleischer studio, and included Betty Boop's creator, made the difference.
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After watching a ton of Disney Treasure sets, this second collection of Ub Iwerks early cartoons may not be of the same quality as his efforts with Disney, but they are certainly worth the time of any animation history buff. At a bargain price, this set features 26 cartoons and for the most part they look very good, with most of the wear being at the beginning of each short during titles and the first 30 seconds or so of the shorts. Have they been remastered? .....probably not, but besides a little wear here and there, they are presented uncut and look pretty clear and not washed out. The only exception is to Hell's Fire which has a caption before the cartoon starts that states :these are the last remaining fragments of the cartoon that have survived". This cartoon runs well over 5 minutes, so I can't imagine too much is missing....at least they included what has survived and they don't try to pass it off as a complete short.

Like the first set, this one volume two still has the basic menu with my only gripe, the menu could have used a little work to make it a little more user friendly. You can play all the cartoons or look at the scene selection for individual titles, but once you start the cartoon from any point, it will play all from that point. Meaning you have to stop after each cartoon and go to the menu if you want to skip around and see selected shorts. It's not a huge deal, but it could have been easily fixed with a few adjustments.

Is it worth buying, absolutely! it has 26 rare shorts that may never look any better or be released again. At a tad under $10.00(or cheaper if you look around), you get a nice collection of cartoons from a man who was a pioneer in animation. The shorts are not the best he produced, but I enjoyed these cartoons very much.
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