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Max Fleischer's Color Classics: Somewhere in Dreamland

4.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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(Jul 30, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

This comprehensive collection of Max Fleischer cartoon masterpieces presents over 30 rarely seen technicolor animated shorts, produced during the golden age of animation. Fleischer created the illusion of depth by animating his characters over three-dimensional, live action background.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mae Questel, Gus Wickie
  • Directors: Dave Fleischer
  • Producers: Max Fleischer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 30, 2002
  • Run Time: 270 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000687E3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,914 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Max Fleischer's Color Classics: Somewhere in Dreamland" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Osborn on October 6, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This collection represents a quest to track down every one of the 36 Fleischer Studios `Color Classics' cartoon series. There are 35 of them on these two disks. One of the `Color Classics', "Time For Love" has only survived in a single black and white print found in Europe (this was seven years ago and a color version has since turned up). The only `Color Classics' cartoon not included is "Tears Of An Onion" which is explained as not being here because "it is under copyright and therefore not in `public domain'" This explains a lot because obviously Jerry Beck and company are on a budget. Despite the poor condition of some of the prints included here, there are two processes that I know of that are used to transfer film to video and/or digital; one is a frame-by-frame reader that takes the image directly off of the film for maximum clarity and color but it is a tedious process and is costly. Look at the excellent Disney collection of `Silly Symphonies' if you want to see how it should be done. The second process which seems to be used by all other DVD/VHS collections of cartoons I've seen, including this one, is projecting the film onto a reader screen that will inevitably shave a little off the top, bottom and sides of the image and loses some image and color integrity. The result is one we cartoon affectionados are becoming used to in VHS and DVD collections, kinda dark and kinda fuzzy and it makes you wish you could have been there at the theater at the time. But for now this is all we're going to get. I've watched this one several times now anyway though.

DISK ONE
1. Poor Cinderella (starring Betty Boop) **
2. Little Dutch Mill **
3. An Elephant Never Forgets **
4. Song of the Birds
5. Dancing On the Moon 1935 **
6.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Republic Entertainment should be indicted for cultural crimes since they refuse to release first-generation prints of Max and Dave Fleischer's "Color Classics" series. As a result of this neglect, VCI and Kit Parker Films have compiled "Somewhere in Dreamland" - a fine collection of public-domain Fleischer cartoons from 1934 to 1941. Most of the "Color Classics" are represented in this two-DVD set, with the print quality ranging from excellent to poor. The series contains several Fleischer gems, including Betty Boop's "Poor Cinderella" (1934), "The Kids in the Shoe" (1935), "The Cobweb Hotel" (1936), "All's Fair at the Fair" (1938) and "Ants in the Plants" (1940). Though influenced by the success of Disney's "Silly Symphonies," the Fleischer spirit is evident in many "Color Classics," particularly the lesser-known entries such as "Chicken Ala King" (1936), "A Car-Tune Portrait" (1936) and "Hold It!" (1937). The DVD set also features two Oscar-nominated shorts, "Educated Fish" (1937) and "Hunky and Spunky" (1938), which are enjoyable but do not represent the Fleischers' best work. Until Republic gets its act together, "Somewhere in Dreamland" will remain the definitive "Color Classics" collection and is highly recommended to aficionados of vintage animation.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Somewhere in Dreamland" is a 2-disk set featuring over 30 Technicolor animated shorts by Max Fleischer. The DVD mainly collects the "Color Classics" series, which were produced to showcase the Fleischer's "Stero-optical Process," whereby the animators placed cells over three-dimensional backgrounds to create the illusion of depth.
The cartoons have undergone both digital picture and sound restoration, and the disk is packed with bonus features. Included are commentary by animation historian Jerry Beck, production artwork still frame gallery, a documentary about the Fleischer studio including excerpts from additional Color Classics cartoons. Also, a separate Mono audio track is available, preserving the sound as originally presented.
Highlights of the set include "Greedy Humpty Dumpty," "The Cobweb Hotel," "Ants In The Plants," "Dancing On The Moon," "Hold It," "An Elephant Never Forgets," and "Small Fry" and "The Fresh Vegetable Mystery." Betty Boop appears in "Poor Cinderella" and Grampy shows up for "Christmas Comes But Once a Year." Also included are two Academy Award Cartoon Short Subject nominees - "Educated Fish" (1937) and "Hunky and Spunky" (1938). Of course, "Somewhere in Dreamland" is also included.
The Fleischer studios have not been treated well by DVD. Let's hope "Somewhere in Dreamland" is the start of a new trend.
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Format: DVD
This 2 disc DVD set features all but one of the "Color Classics" that were released by Paramount Pictures in the 30s and 40s. These cartoons were originally shown in theaters between features. In the 50s through the 70s, these cartoons were shown on TV. In the 80s and 90s, with the cartoons in the public domain, they were put on VHS and sold cheaply by various companies. Now they are available on DVD.
As all of these cartoons are in the public domain, and these prints are made from the best available copies, these prints have faded, scratches and in some cases poor soundtracks. However being the only DVD release of all but one of the "Color Classics" makes this a well worthwhile buy.
The DVD has audio commentary for some cartoons, one with a commentary by Betty Boop herself. There is also an artwork gallery showing some original conceptual sketches for certain cartoons. Some prints of cartoons have been digitally enhanced, and some of these prints are the best quality that I have seen thus far, or at least until the original studio makes prints from the original negatives.
It's a worthwhile buy to relieve your childhood.
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