Walt Disney Treasures / The Hardy Boys : 4 of 5
I wasn't sure how much I would really get into this particular Walt Disney Treasures DVD set, but once I got started, I couldn't stop watching it! The original black & white Mickey Mouse Club ran this serial for four weeks in 1956, and each episode is almost exactly eleven and a half minutes. Disney took one the original Hardy Boys books and transformed it a bit into The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure, and the result is incredibly enjoyable and fun (as well as addictive!). After a wonderful creepy theme song about pirates and doubloons, Frank and Joe (amazing child actors Tim Considine and Tommy Kirk) take the screen to solve their case involving stolen gold, a spooky mansion, and even railroad danger! The show is really well-made, with incredibly convincing neighborhood sets all built inside the studio, and the writing is fun, too (my favorite line is when Joe says, "I'd do anything to be a detective - even arithmetic!"). In addition to the complete serial, the entire Mickey Mouse Club episode that introduced the segment is included, along with some interesting info about the Hardy Boys books (which were actually written by a syndicate of different writers using the same pen name, which I never knew). Finally, there's a nice interview with the actors today, who are still energetic and full of memories, which is nice to see. I always feel nostalgic after watching a great series like this, even though I wasn't alive to experience those times - I think that just demonstrates that Disney quality is timeless!