Walt Disney Treasures: Zorro / Season One: 5 of 5
Believe it or not, I'm still enjoying my Christmas DVDs from last year, since the latest Walt Disney Treasures releases were quite extensive six-DVD sets! I've always thought Disney's classic Zorro television series from 1957 was great (when I could catch it on the Disney Channel before they changed their programming format), but I never had the opportunity to see every single episode until watching this set. Now I'm even more impressed with this show, which Walt made sure was shot like a feature film with no expense spared, using authentic detailed costumes, immaculate sets, and even beautiful matte paintings to simulate old California under Spanish rule. Guy Williams (also famous for Lost in Space) was an absolutely amazing actor, playing the part of Diego/Zorro with wit and flair (and also doing the best Spanish accent of the cast). The story is really quite interesting, and I kept thinking to myself how much Zorro is like Batman, since he's kind of a rich goof-off by day, he's assisted by his butler, and he even has a kind of Batcave (secret rooms and caverns of his hacienda)! The first season includes several villains who stick around for several episodes before they are defeated so the next one can take over, mostly corrupt government officers and even a diabolical dictator known as the Eagle who wants to take over all of California! The Eagle has a huge network of bad guys at his disposal, who send secret messages via eagle feathers with coded notches cut into them, which was a brilliant plot device. The show has a good dose of humor via the lovable Sergeant Garcia, the mute but smart butler Bernado, and the inclusion of a few songs sprinkled throughout. The actions are really impressive, with exciting and realist fencing (seriously fast and energetic) as well as horseback chases on Zorro's black steed Tornado. The entire DVD set, which also includes a nice documentary and a few episodes of Walt Disney Presents with bonus Zorro stories, is nearly 19 hours of entertainment (which explains why it took me so long to watch)! I can definitely say I'm an official Zorro fan now, and I'm looking forward to getting started on the second season (after a break, of course)!