Written by: William Cottrell, Joe Grant & Bob Kuwahara
Directed by: Burt Gillett, David Hand, Dick Huemer, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts & Ben Sharpsteen
Starring the Voices of: Walt Disney, Pinto Colvig, Clarence Nash, Marcellite Garner
Hosted by: Leonard Maltin
- All Mickey Mouse cartoons in color from 1935-1938:
- 1935: The Band Concert, Mickey’s Garden, On Ice, Pluto’s Judgment Day, Mickey’s Fire Brigade
- 1936: Thru the Mirror, Mickey’s Circus, Mickey’s Elephant, Mickey’s Grand Opera, Mickey’s Polo Team, Alpine Climbers, Moving Day, Mickey’s Rival, Orphan’s Picnic
- 1937: Hawaiian Holiday, Moose Hunters, The Worm Turns, Magician Mickey, Mickey’s Amateurs, Clock Cleaners, Lonesome Ghosts
- 1938: Mickey’s Parrot, Boat Builders, The Whalers, Mickey’s Trailer, Brave Little Tailor
- Introduction by Maltin
- “Parade of Award Nominees”
- Pencil Tests for On Ice, Pluto’s Judgment Day, Mickey’s Fire Brigade
- Featurette hosted by Maltin
- Still gallery
- Eight-page booklet
- Comes in limited edition tin
Released by: Walt Disney Video
Anamorphic: N/A; the shorts appear in their original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Own it.
[ad#longpost]Long before Disney the company turned into the soulsucking massive corporate machine that it is today, cranking out sequels and raping its legacy like there’s no tomorrow, it was in the business of creating quality animation. That’s right: not pre-packaged, ready-to-market, tailored-for-Burger King films–but quality animation. What a concept. And during those years, they created a number of wonderful animated short films, the likes of which we have to rely on Pixar to create these days. Since Disney Channel can’t be bothered to show these things anymore, thank all the gods that Disney listened to film guru Leonard Maltin when he assured them it would be a good idea to release these puppies onto DVD with all the trimmings.
As a result, here you have twenty-six animated shorts, the entirety of the Mickey Mouse color ones that Disney released between 1935 and 1938. They are of varying quality, storywise, although none of them are unwatchable. Far from it. In fact, a number of them are flat out classics. From Pluto‘s wild and surreal journey to hell in Pluto’s Judgment Day to the Carrollian adventure of Mickey in Thru the Mirror to the madcap and destructive antics of the Disney character trifecta (Mickey, Donald and Goofy–voiced by Disney, Nash and Colvig respectively) in both Moving Day and Clock Cleaners. And of course, the standpoint has got to be Brave Little Tailor. How anybody couldn’t love that short is beyond me. To add value, every single last short looks pristine and gorgeous. The restoration they’ve done on these things is amazing.
The shorts themselves would be worth the price of admission. However, incredible herculean amounts of kudos to Maltin. He hosts this thing, introduces the segments and provides the featurette. He does so with glee, because apparently he’s an absolute fiend for Diz. That being the case, you know he relished the chance to raid the Diz archives. Speaking of the archives, he introduces the “Parade of Award Nominees” short, which Disney created for the Oscars–and which featured Mickey for the first time in color. This short, along with the pencil tests for the tree of the shorts from 1935, haven’t been seen by the general populace before. In fact, the pencil tests would never have survived if director Sharpsteen hadn’t stored them in his garage. Wild.
Apart from the great content, the packaging must be discussed as well. Normally, you know me, I could care less what type of thing the disc comes in–just so long as what’s on the disc is good. Well, when you have limited edition tins stamped with the number of your individual copy…well, then you’ve gained my attention.
Like I said, even with the just the shorts on the playbill, this sucker is a surefire purchase. But Maltin’s insights and the few bonuses Disney has provided has only underscored what a winner this thing is.