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Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Living Color
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A collection of twenty-six animated shorts in color starring everyone's favorite, Mickey Mouse, released between 1935 and 1938. Introduction by Leonard Maltin.
Cartoons: The Band Concert, Mickey's Garden, Mickey's Fire Brigade, Pluto's Judgement Day, On Ice, Mickey's Polo Team, Orphan's Picnic, Mickey's Grand Opera, Thru the Mirror, Mickey's Rival, Moving Day, Alpine Climbers, Mickey's Circus, Mickey's Elephant, The Worm Turns, Magician Mickey, Moose Hunters, Mickey's Amateurs, Hawaiian Holiday, Clock Cleaners, Lonesome Ghosts, Boat Builders, Mickey's Trailer, The Whalers, Mickey's Parrot, Brave Little Tailor.
During the mid-'30s, Mickey Mouse's fans ranged from the more than one million children who were members of the Mickey Mouse Club to Franklin Roosevelt, Mary Pickford, and the Nizam of Hyderabad; theater marquees announced "A Mickey Mouse Cartoon" with the feature titles. These wonderful shorts, many of which have never been released to the home market, remind viewers just how charming Mickey was before his popularity and role as a corporate symbol restricted his behavior. In these cartoons Mickey's personality was boyish, appealing, and slightly mischievous. The superb animation emphasizes that impish appeal. When Mickey dances with a deck of cards in "Thru the Mirror," he displays a stylish grace Fred Astaire might envy; in "Brave Little Tailor," his expressions and body language reveal his thoughts as he outwits Willie the Giant. It's virtually impossible to watch him without smiling. These shorts overflow with color and motion, and their lavish visuals pack an increased impact in an era of minimal television animation. Only Walt Disney would spend the money to animate a full deck of cards, a band flying through the air in a tornado, or a clutch of semitransparent ghosts, and only his animators could make those characters live on the screen. The prints have been lovingly restored without pumping up the color too much: the nuances of the delicate watercolor backgrounds still come through. Parents, Disney buffs, and animation fans will want this superb collection in their home libraries. Unrated: suitable for all ages. --Charles Solomon
- Aspect Ratio : 1.33:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medG G (General Audience)
- Product Dimensions : 8 x 6 x 1 inches; 11.2 Ounces
- Media Format : Animated, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
- Release date : December 4, 2001
- Actors : Colvig, Pinto, Disney, Walt, Nash, Clarence
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Studio : Walt Disney Video
- ASIN : B00005KARD
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: #85,889 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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This collection includes 26 of the 29 Mickey Mouse cartoons released between 1935 and 1938; the only three that are missing are in black and white and can be found on those collections. The positives are that all these cartoons are enjoyable shorts, and each one unique; the only other thing that could possibly be considered bad is the fact that in spite of being labeled as "Mickey Mouse cartoons," a majority of them show how Donald, Goofy and Pluto rose to cartoon stardom as the spotlight on Mickey faded slowly but surely.
Only three cartoons on this collection ("Thru The Mirror," "Mickey's Rival" and "Brave Little Tailor") do not feature any of those three characters for support; in fact, their design fits right in with some of Mickey's earliest cartoons, but with much improved animation and art. These three are perhaps the best examples on this collection of what color did for animation and how it helped usher in the golden era, especially when compared with the relatively crude art and animation of cartoons from just a few short years before.
On the other hand, the rest of these cartoons not only gave Mickey some chance to shine, but also helped develop Pluto, Donald and Goofy from simple comic relief into full-fledged characters. For the most part, Mickey played the supporting role in these cartoons while the biggest action was given to the others. Donald would become the most popular, as a majority of these cartoons give him a large share of the spotlight. His comical stupidity, short temper, and overall charm are what helps him steal the show in "The Band Concert," "Mickey's Circus," "Mickey's Grand Opera," "Mickey's Polo Team," "Alpine Climbers" and "Orphan's Picnic." While it is unfortunate that these draw the focus away from Mickey, to see his character develop into the icon it became is truly a delight. His overall rudeness made for a highly unsympathetic character, which is what made him so great to have around in these cartoons.
Goofy also appears in "The Band Concert," "Mickey's Grand Opera" and "Mickey's Polo Team," albeit with far less of a role than that of Donald. But his clumsy nature and instantly recognizable laugh back up Donald in "On Ice," "Mickey's Fire Brigade," "Moving Day," "Hawaiian Holiday," "Moose Hunters," "Magician Mickey," "Mickey's Amateurs," "Clock Cleaners," "Lonesome Ghosts," "Boat Builders," "Mickey's Trailer," and "The Whalers." This combination of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy would come to be known simply as "The Gang," and these are among my personal favorite cartoons of all time; however, it is hard to simply call them Mickey Cartoons. The best example of this would be "The Whalers," which ultimately comes off to me as a Donald and Goofy cartoon with stock footage of Mickey. The fact that these two also seemed to have the inability to catch a break even if equipped with a net also helped make these cartoons great. It was eventually obvious to moviegoers that they would screw up anything they tried to do completely, but these cartoons consistently found new ways for them to do it.
Pluto gets a chance to develop his own character in "Mickey's Garden," "Pluto's Judgment Day," "Mickey's Elephant," "The Worm Turns" and "Mickey's Parrot," and goes from simply being "Mickey's Pal, Pluto" to a character all his own; an assertive, yet foolish and rather cowardly dog who always manages to get himself into simple predicaments. He also had good comic support in "On Ice," "Mickey's Grand Opera," "Alpine Climbers" and "Hawaiian Holiday." For the first few years he was around, Pluto played second fiddle to Mickey. But much like Donald, he developed a real personality through these shorts, and that adds to the enjoyment of them. Seeing Pluto realize the error of his ways for harassing innocent cats, freeze his tail solid while trying to ice skate, go tit-for-tat with a chattery parrot, or get drunk with a Saint Bernard in the mountain (as examples) is quite amusing.
What is notable also is the fact that Minnie does not have much of a role in these shorts, as so many ideas had already been used up with her in the black and white era. She has a major role in "Mickey's Rival," but just as Mickey's roles in "On Ice" and "Hawaiian Holiday" are limited, so are her own. And she only has brief appearances in "Brave Little Tailor" and "Boat Builders."
Cartoons that particularly stand out:
"The Band Concert" - Perhaps one of the greatest disaster movies ever made.
"Mickey's Garden" - Who knows, maybe this one influenced the hallucination fad of the hippie era.
"Pluto's Judgment Day" - One of Disney's downright darkest cartoons.
"Mickey's Fire Brigade" - The second cartoon to use "The Gang," and they do EVERYTHING imaginable with the fire.
"Thru The Mirror" - The last cartoon in which nobody supported him except the background, and one of the absolute finest.
"Mickey's Circus" - Perhaps the birth of what I refer to as "The Donald Moments."
"Mickey's Grand Opera" - Great satire on how you can't understand what they're saying half the time in opera.
"Mickey's Polo Team" - Hollywood caricatures abound for one of the wackiest cartoons on this collection, in spite of next to no role for Mickey.
"Alpine Climbers" - Drunken Pluto. Enough said.
"Moving Day" - Goofy and the piano, Donald and the plunger... enough said.
"Mickey's Rival" - Much like "Thru The Mirror," it could go into the black and white era but looks and sounds leaps and bounds ahead of that stuff.
"Moose Hunters" - The best screwup that "the gang" ever perform.
"The Worm Turns" - Mickey in the lab... an unusual twist on things. Who knows, maybe the inventors of steroids watched this for inspiration.
"Magician Mickey" - Personal favorite in the collection. Mickey and Goofy only get one line apiece, but it's all that they need!
"Mickey's Amateurs" - This time, Donald and Goofy ultimately screw themselves up as individuals, for a nice twist.
"Clock Cleaners" - In spite of this being the one that edits the sound, this is perhaps the best example of Donald and Goofy's stupidity.
"Lonesome Ghosts - The one time "The Gang" manages to win. And in rather unusual fashion.
"Mickey's Parrot" - A walking, talking roast chicken barking like a dog... enough said.
"Boat Builders" - Another classic gang fail.
"Brave Little Tailor" - The final classic Mickey-Minnie love story.
Maybe I went a bit crazy on the highlights... but what can I say, these are all such great cartoons! And even if the other 7 were not listed as highlights, they are fine cartoons as well... if you can shell out the extra bucks, buy this for sure! I can't recommend it enough.
Oddly enough these are the cartoons which marked Mickey's DOWNFALL in animation history. The story artists couldn't think up ideas for mikey mouse. He was hard to write for. He was so happy go lucky. Nothing ever went wrong for Mickey. Goffy was fun because he messed things up, and Donald was great because of his temper. But mickey was too nice to do anything with. As you watch these, you'll notice that many mickey mouse cartoons have segments more devoted towards Donald and Goofy. But every now and then Mickey SHINES with such beloved classics as "through the looking glass" and "the band concert."
These classics are great to have for a collection, yourself, or for your kids. Each one is a treasure and are enjoyable to watch.
The animation is top notch, just like you would expect from Disney. The "plots" of these cartoons are kind of weak, but hey, they are between five and ten minutes long. I guess I was expecting more of a story from them than the collection of gags that were strung together. Oh well, they were entertaining anyway.
The audio on these DVDs is pretty good. It does sound a bit shrill compared to today's cinematic releases, but it is definitely high quality. The video looks good, but not great. There is a noticeable amount of compression artifacts throughout. Surprisingly, it looks like the quality of the film is very good, or it was somehow restored, but the compression artifacts were a distraction.
I really like this new trend in limited releases with a stamped number on the DVD. I am a sucker for a gimmick. This set is well worth purchasing, and with Disney stuff you ought to buy it while you can because it probably won't be available forever!