Walt Disney Treasures / More Silly Symphonies : 5 of 5
I've finally finished watching all of the Walt Disney Treasures DVD sets from 2006! I saved More Silly Symphonies for last, since these cartoon shorts were my favorites from the first wave of DVDs, way back in 2001. The first DVD of this new set contains all black & white cartoons, beginning in 1929 with Hell's Bells (which is a pretty unexpected name for a Disney short!). All of these follow the original Silly Symphony idea, showcasing how animation can be synchronized to music, each with some kind of theme (there's a cartoon for each of the four seasons, for example). Lots of new techniques were pioneered in these shorts, and it's fascinating to see early effects such as glowing light, used in the streetlights in The Clock Store. The second DVD has the rest of the series in beautiful color, including classics such as The Goddess of Spring (which was training ground for Snow White). I really enjoyed the Christmas shorts, the hilarious antics of the Three Blind Mousketeers, and the clever operation scene in Broken Toys. Both discs have a From the Vault section for cartoons that include some kind of politically incorrect scene, but seeing these shorts intact is a must (even if you have to listen to Leonard Maltin's warning). I was especially impressed with the bonus documentary and wealth of commentary tracks, which really made this set feel like a Warner Bros. Golden Collection (in fact, many of the same animation historians are here!). The Silly Symphonies were a landmark series, far beyond the quality of other cartoons of their era, and watching these amazing classics is sheer entertainment for any Disney fan!