Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two
DVD | Box Set
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The celebration of Mickey's color capers continues in this second volume of shorts -- from "Society Dog Show" in 1939 to his last short, "The Simple Things," in 1953 -- and feature film appearances, giving you a decidedly colorful history of the most famous mouse in the world. This outstanding review of Mickey's color career spotlights some very special features, including his groundbreaking performance in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." You'll also get an inside look at Mickey's recent career through the eyes of his most recent animators, Mark Henn and Andreas Deja, and voice actors Wayne Allwine (Mickey) and Russi Taylor (Minnie). Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come.
By 1939, when the earliest films in this collection were made, Mickey Mouse was the most famous cartoon character in the world. The unsuccessful hunter in "The Pointer" (1939) and the irrepressible magician in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (1940) rank among his finest performances. In both films, he sparkles with vitality. But as Mickey grew more popular, more restrictions were placed on what he could do, and the character grew dull. Those restrictions become obvious when the viewer compares these films with the shorts on Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color. In "Mickey's Birthday Party" (1942), he clowns and stumbles through a comic dance routine, but it feels like he's working for the laughs. In 1936, when a more impish Mickey danced with a deck of cards in "Thru the Mirror," the fun came from the stylish grace of his movements: That Mickey didn't need to mug for the camera. In the later films, Mickey serves as a genial straight man, with Pluto and other side characters supplying the comedy.
A new generation of animators faced the same problems and restrictions when they tried to revive the character in "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1983) and "The Prince and the Pauper" (1990). The extras include some deleted animation from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and the five opening sequences from the "Mickey Mouse Club" (1955), the last time Walt Disney provided the character's voice. (Rated G, suitable for all ages: minor cartoon violence, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
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One of the most interesting things about watching a collection like this is you get to see how each artist would draw the character to look the same, but were very different at the same time. This first disc includes 18 shorts, The Sorcerer's Apprentice sequences from Fantasia, deleted animation from TSP and the entire Mickey and the Beanstalk segment from Fun and Fancy Free. There are two Easter Eggs to find one of Walt voicing Mickey and Walt Disney's Standard Parade of 1939. While collector's may have some of these pieces from Fantasia and Fun and Fancy Free, it would for a Mickey Mouse collection to feel complete without them.
Like past volumes the shorts can be viewed either in Alphabetical or chronological order, but this time they added a 'Play All" option(YAY!!!) I guess the studios does listen sometimes?
Disc two starts with two of Disney's best feature-ette length shorts(approx. 26 min) which were the studio's return to the big screen with the iconic mouse. Mickey's Christmas Carol the classic holiday cartoon is presented for the first time(at the time) in it's full length and correct widescreen aspect ratio. The second is the beautifully animated The Prince and The Pauper. which is simply gorgeous to look at. Disney always had the edge when it came to making their cartoons have that special luster. This short looks fantastic, a testament to what Walt was always striving for, to be the best and to always make the next project better. Although this wasn't always the case after he died, the studio has come back in recent years.
The next short is from 1995 and is a return to the 7 or 8 minute shorts. Runaway Brain is an excellent homage to gothic horror and one I think is sure to become a classic. The second disc has some great extras including Mickey's Cartoon Comeback, The Voice Behind Mickey Mouse,Mouse Mania, The Making of The Christmas Carol, Mickey Meets the Maestro, all five color intros to The Mickey Mouse Club and some excerpts for The Implausible Impossible and The Tricks of The Trade Disneyland TV show. There are two stills galleries, one for publicity and memorabilia and the other for story and background on four of the shorts included on this set. This is an impressive set and should not be passed up for thinking it's just too much Mickey Mouse.
As Disney fans, we have always known Walt to have voiced Mickey early on, but to actually see him standing their, recording his voice on camera is something else entirely.
I find this to be an amazing collection of Disney's most loveable Mouse and a real treat for any inthuseist! Once you start it is hard to stop, better than Pringles!!!
Aside from this being a great trip through the years of Mickey Mouse in color, I was after this specific DVD for a hidden gem of it's own. Back in the mid 90's Disney released a silly and fun loving movie called, "A Goofy Movie". As Disney has done with select movies, they released a short before the film, only in theaters. THe name of this short is, "Runaway Brain". This is icnoic for several reasons and something any true Disney fan should not be without!
Why you ask...well let me explain. First of all, it takes us back to a rivalry that gets almost forgottn from the early years of Mickey Mouse, which is Pete, aka "Julius". Secondly, if you are into horror/Halloween, this is perfect as it visits the darker side without losing it's Disney soul. :)
The basis is Mickey wants to do something special for Minnie for a certain holiday but has no money...what to do? Well, check the classifieds and see what happens. Don't worry, I won't spoil it for you!
The ABSOLUTE most important thing here goes far beyond storyline, Mickey Mouse or any of the happenings in this. THis picture was a triumph in itself for one reason...Disney was years and years ahead of its time and showed what the future would soon hold...computer animation. No, it isn't a Pixar picture, but seemlessly laced traditional animation with computer animation to emerse the watcher and give things a new twist.
There is also an omage to two of Disney's greatest animators...all I can say is it's in a name, I'll let you discover which character it is and who exactly they are, as it is worth learning to those who care enough to.
I will conclude with this, If you love Disney and Mickey Mouse, A MUST HAVE!!!!!!!!!
I have to say, though, that despite still being sealed in the original Disney plastic, disc 1 (the one with most all the cartoons on it) in the box we got won't play in any DVD player nor computer in the house, except one. It's not dirty nor scratched, it just won't play. It gets 'stuck' just a few moments into the first cartoon. The one player will play through those rough spots with a bit of hesitation/jerkiness, but the disc is useless in absolutely everything else. I've contacted the seller, but haven't heard from them after the initial email exchange. I'm still pursuing the matter.
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