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Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies (1929-1938)

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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(Dec 19, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the beginning, Walt Disney's SILLY SYMPHONIES series was a mecca for innovation and unabashed creativity. This second volume of the revolutionary series boasts some of Disney's rarest cartoons, including over a dozen never before released on DVD or video. Among the many animation treasures celebrated here are the never-before-released HELL'S BELLS and the original unedited MOTHER GOOSE GOES HOLLWYOOD, plus the Academy Award(R)-winning THREE ORPHAN KITTENS (Best Cartoon, 1935). Enriching the collection even further are several optional commentaries by some of the world's foremost animation and film music experts, who also take part in a lively conversation about the series that let Walt Disney push the envelope of animation art to unimaginable flights of fantasy. Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come.

The second set of Silly Symphonies completes the series of music-themed cartoons Walt Disney began in 1929 with "The Skeleton Dance." Disney used these films to train his artists and to experiment with new techniques and visual styles. Viewers who watch the Symphonies in chronological order can see the artists' work improving at an astonishing pace. When a ring of imps dances around a fire in "Hell's Bells" (1929) the flat-looking flames move stiffly, like paper cut-outs; five years later in "The Goddess of Spring" (1934), the flames ripples and crackle, and their changing hues produce multi-colored shadows on the cavern walls. The imps in the earlier film are rubbery golliwogs who just bounce and stretch to the music; in the later film, the rounder, more dimensional devilkins perform a complicated jazz dance. "Goddess of Spring" and "Broken Toys" (1935) also represent the artists' first efforts to animate a believable female character, as they prepared for the challenges of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Many of these films were consigned to the vaults for years because of their racial imagery. In the Oscar-nominated "Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" (1938), a gaggle of Hollywood celebrities cavort to familiar nursery rhymes, but the caricatures of Stepin Fetchit and Cab Calloway are no more unflattering or mean-spirited than the ones of Katharine Hepburn, W.C. Fields, and Clark Gable. The outrageous "Cannibal Capers" (1930) and a few other shorts may embarrass viewers today, but as host Leonard Maltin observes, ignoring these film falsifies the past of animation and the United States. This important and entertaining collection will delight anyone interested in the history of the Disney Studio, animation or American popular culture. (Rated G, suitable for ages 5 and older: cartoon violence, tobacco use, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon

Special Features

  • "Silly Symphonies Rediscovered" featurette
  • "Animators at Play" featurette
  • Art galleries
  • Commentary on select shorts
  • Packaged in a collectible tin
  • 8-page booklet with notes
  • Color photo card
  • Certificate of authenticity

Product Details

  • Actors: Al Bernie, Thelma Boardman, Ann Lee, Dave Weber, Dave Barry
  • Directors: Burt Gillett, David Hand, Rudolf Ising, Vernon Stallings, Walt Disney
  • Writers: Dick Rickard, Jonathan Caldwell
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    General Audience
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 316 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ICM5R6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,857 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies (1929-1938)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
NEW INFORMATION: A recent reviewer asked about whether or not to return the discs from this DVD set to the Disney Company for the corrected discs.

I personally decided to return my original discs for the corrected ones for several reasons. ONE - the title cards (which list the title of the cartoons) had been recreated for this DVD release but "someone" in the production process didn't do their job and didn't attach these recreations to the cartoons. For me, this is a relatively minor reason to get replacement discs. TWO - The 1934 cartoon "The Goddess Of Spring" in this DVD release is a poorer quality copy. This cartoon was digitally restored and was included as an extra on the last Snow White DVD release. I have this cartoon in the nicer quality on that Snow White DVD so this is still a relativey minor reason to get the replacement discs. THREE - The 1933 cartoon "The Night Before Christmas" is included incomplete on this release. A short scene of black stereotyped toys in a parade are left out of the cartoon. I want the full uncensored cartoon so this is the MAJOR reason I returned my discs for the corrected discs. These newer discs are supposed to have all the above problems corrected.

Those reasons should give you, the customer, the information on whether you want to exchange your original discs for the replacement discs. As the other reviewer stated - you can call 1-800-723-4763 in the U.S. or 1-888-877-2843 in Canada. Tell the Disney customer service representative that you are interested in exchanging your More Silly Symphonies discs for the corrected discs.

By the way, I got the set when it was first released in December 2006 and I love the quality of the cartoons.
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Hi, I just found this information on the Walt Disney Treasures website.


In an effort to present the classic cartoons contained on MORE SILLY SYMPHONIES as originally intended, Walt Disney Studio recently recreated the original title cards that were to appear at the start of each film. Due to a production error, these restored cards were inadvertently not included on this new DVD collection. We sincerely apologize for this mistake, and are currently working to rectify the issue. Please check back for an update as to when the replacement discs will be ready. We anticipate them sometime in early March.

If you have purchased MORE SILLY SYMPHONIES and would like to have them replaced with the corrected DVDs, call 1-800-723-4763 (U.S.)/1-888-877-2843 (Canada). Please note, you will receive replacement discs, not replacement packaging. Please hold on to your current packaging.

I just bought this DVD because I really like classic cartoons, but I'm not a collector so I don't really understand what was the mistake and if I should exchange them.

1 Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DISNEY DVD RELEASE THIS YEAR! Many of these cartoons are appearing on home video for the first time ever in any format & language!

First let me say that this is a FIVE STAR ***** collection of cartoons that have been talked about by other reviewers here, so let me talk about the DVD presentation & film transfers.

DISC 1 only:
Again Disney has decided to save money and not digitally restore the nitrate deterioration on the original negatives. The picture flicker & blotches can be tolerated as these are around 86 years old or more.

Strangely, some cartoons have hairs & dirt on the sides of the picture frame & sometimes stuck in the center of the picture through out the entire cartoon. These could have been digitally removed.

Most of the B&W cartoons are window-boxed with different aspect ratios, some are taller than they are wider. I am confused by this, I have only run across this on silent films that have had soundtracks added on re-releases.

Most of the B&W cartoons have the re-issue title cards with Mickey Mouse's face introducing the cartoon. Leonard Maltin explains how the original title cards were lost on most of these when they were re-released, but then he talks about restoring the original look of the title cards. Maybe nobody told him they weren't going to do it.

One other strange problem is with the menu. The "Play All" feature plays the shorts in a different order that the "Chronological Order" and the "Alphabetical Order". The "Play All" plays the shorts in the order listed in the insert, which gives different release years for some shorts than on the "Chrolonogical Order" listing.
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To be honest I haven't yet watched this DVD, but I am very excited to recieve it because some of my favorite shorts are here. The problem is, I had to go to to see an actual list of the actual contents of the DVDs. If you're interested, here they are:

Hell's Bells (1929)

Springtime (1929)

Arctic Antics (1930)

Autumn (1930)

Playfull Pan (1930)

Summer (1930)

The Cat's Out (1931)

The Clock Store (1931)

The Fox Hunt (1931)

The Spider and the Fly (1931)

The Bears and Bees (1930)

The Bird Store (1932)

Bugs In Love (1932)

Frolicking Fish (1932)

Monkey Melodies (1932)

Night (1932)

Winter (1932)

Cannibal Capers (1930)

Cannibal Capers (with. Origianl Ending)

El Terrible Toreador (1929)

The Merry Dwarfs (1929)

Midnight In a Toy Shop (1930)

Birds In the Spring (1933)

The Night Before Christmas (1933)

Old King Cole (1933)

The Pied Piper (1933)

The Goddess of Spring (1934)

Cock O' the Walk (1935)

Three Blind Mouseketeers (1936)

Little Hiawatha (1937)

Merbabies (1938)

Moth and the Flame (1938)

King Neptune (1932)

Santa's Workshop (1932)

The China Shop (1934)

Broken Toys (1935)

Three Orphan Kittens (1935)

More Kittens (1936)

Mother Goose Goes Hollywood (1938)

Disney can be so coniving in the way they withold their greatest treasures to increase the demand-- to the point where some children grow up never having seen Pinocchio. When they do finally release something, they ought to let you know what is it that's being released.
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