Walt Disney Treasures / The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit : 3 of 5
I've been looking forward to this Walt Disney Treasures set for quite a while, since just like every Disney fan, I've always been curious about Oswald, the character that was stolen from Walt Disney and caused the creation of Mickey Mouse. There are only 13 existing Oswald cartoons, but even that number is incredible when you consider their age from the 1920s, along with the fact that they were terribly preserved since Disney didn't own them (some of the shorts could only be found on old 16MM home movie versions!). Oswald is a funny character, acting with broad pantomime in these silent shorts, along with his cat girlfriend and his villian Putrid Pete (what a coincidence that Mickey's villain is Peg-Leg Pete!). The best short by far is Oh What a Knight, which has a hilarious sword fight where Oswald keeps running off to steal a few kisses from his girl. There's an all new documentary that covers how Oswald became a success and how he was stolen, including some nice Bob Iger interview footage explaining how he made a trade to get the character back (such an incredible move for a new CEO that really won me over). Unfortunately, the second DVD isn't as exciting, since none of the material was new to me. Since the incredible Ub Iwerks was the sole animator on many Oswald and Mickey cartoons, they included early Alice and Mickey shorts for comparison, all of which have been released already. The rest of the disc has the beautiful documentary The Hand Behind the Mouse, but this was shot in 1999 and I had already seen it, although it's still nice to have in my collection now. But even with the weak second disc, this set is still a must for Disney fans, and it was a pleasure to finally meet Oswald!