4.12.2009

Walt Disney Treasures / The Chronological Donald Vol 4 : 5 of 5

I've been finishing my Christmas DVD sets one by one, and the latest is another fantastic volume of the Walt Disney Treasures series. Disney continued to make Donald Duck theatrical shorts for years after they stopped making Mickey, Goofy and everyone else, so it's no wonder that it took eight DVDs (across four sets) to include them all! This set covers the 50s, when almost every Donald cartoon featured Chip & Dale, Huey, Duey & Louie, or some other regular character to give Donald a hard time. I really enjoyed Up a Tree, which may be the cutest Chip & Dale have ever been, as well was Donald Applecore, which I always remember watching in a pizza parlor theater, for some reason. It's fun to read the credits and see great names that went on to work on Disneyland, such as background painter Yale Gracey (famous for the Haunted Mansion) and effects animator Blaine Gibson (sculptor of animatronic faces as well the Parters statue), and I like exploring animation history with special cartoons in Cinemascope and 3D (but presented in 2D on the DVD). My favorite part of this set is the long educational cartoons, including the incredible Donald in Mathmagic Land, which I loved seeing in school and fascinated me even more today (and Paul Frees' awesome narration is icing on the cake). The bonus features include a great fantasy pitch session for a Donald cartoon that was shelved after the storyboard stage, a collection of semi-OK modern Donald TV cartoons (too many for my taste, actually), plus a few commentary tracks (which are good, although Leonard Maltin should have let Jerry Beck get some more words in!). It's been a fantastic experience to watch every Donald Duck theatrical short over in this series over the years, and this set is definitely a Disney collection essential!

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