Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Disney Animation Collection 4 Tortoise The Hare|
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Animation
DISNEY ANIMATION COLLE V4: TORTOISE&HARE
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The animation needs some restoration, but still a decent set
Alexander M. Walker | Chicago, IL USA | 05/17/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 4 of the Disney Classic Short Films collection has an odd problem in that the title cartoon, while undeniably classic, pales in comparison to the rest of the cartoons in the set. For adult Disney collectors the older make-up of the films on this disc won't be a problem, but for the kids it's hard to say whether or not they'll be all that enthralled with many or any of the cartoons in the fourth volume.
The Tortoise and the Hare (1935)
Kids have been told the tale of The Tortoise and the Hare for decades. The best part of this cartoon (used briefly in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is the way the tortoise moves; as his shell moves along a perfectly straight line, his arms and feed move in a smooth motion that just looks really neat. The Tortoise and the Hare as a story has aged unbelievably well but the cartoon's quality has seen an unquestionable dip. Disney's rendition of the story goes through the formula well enough, but it's the subdued colors and poorly kept film stock that drag this title cartoon down. Seeing the picture's colors flicker and waver around the edges really takes away from the experience.
The Goddess of Spring (1934)
Disney offers us a mythological tale of sorts in The Goddess of Spring. Narrated by song, the Goddess is abducted by the lord of the underworld who makes her his bride. Seeing her sadness, the hellish lord agrees to let her go to the surface for spring. And that, my children, is why we have some seasons that aren't spring. Because spring spends half the year in hell. It's an odd message to give kids, though it's undoubtedly based on some culture's seasonal story. Again, Disney has let the age of the cartoon affect the quality - but even so it was already one of the lesser cartoons on the disc.
Babes in the Woods (1932)
Elements written by the Brothers Grimm
Taking some elements from Hansel and Gretel (and a few other Brothers Grimm tales), Babes in the Woods is a quick little romp with faeries, gnomes and woodland creatures coming to the rescue of a box and girl imperiled by a nasty witch. After the initial escape from her house, a full aerial battle ensues - it's actually kind of cool, even if the witch is oddly arrow-proof. Colorful and lively, the cartoon has such a flurry of activity that it might just keep the tykes entertained.
Toby Tortoise Returns (1936)
Directed by Wilfred Jackson, Written by Ward Kimball
The sequel outdoes the original, even if I'm still somewhat confused about the moral on this one. In a race of endurance (as in the original) the tortoise and hare pairing makes all sorts of sense. But when you shift to boxing, something is definitely lost in translation. Anyways, the rabbit finds himself up against the Rocky Marciano of turtles - if Rocky could suck his arms and head into his chest. While initially playing around with the "can't hit me I'm a turtle" sequence, eventually the cartoon becomes an onslaught of colors in a firework animation that actually impresses when you consider how nice it looks in a 1936 cartoon.
The Saga of Windwagon Smith (1961)
Directed by Charles A. Nichols, Written by Lance Nolley & Charles A. Nichols
By far my favorite cartoon in this volume, a man sails the American frontier in a Conestoga wagon with a sail and rudder. Windwagon Smith was a pioneer unlike any other; as an ex-sailor he found himself bored with the movement of live on the great rolling plains. Outfitting his wagon with traditional sailing apparatus he takes a town on a fantastic voyage into the undulating seas of grain. The concept and execution of this cartoon are top notch. Taking full advantage of the very limited and blocky animation available, The Saga of Windwagon Smith surpasses all expectations. Rex Allen narrates and plays the voice of Windwagon Smith.
Paul Bunyan (1958)
Directed by Les Clark, Written by Lance Nolley & Ted Berman
As a close second in quality to The Saga of Windwagon Smith, the legend of one of America's tall tale folk heroes gets a proper retelling. Tracing the life of our nation's most famous lumberjack from infancy to adulthood, we see him clear American wilderness of pesky trees in favor of westward expansion. Considering the current highlight put on conservationism, the Paul Bunyan story might feel recklessly out of place now, but as an animated piece of American culture Paul Bunyan is beautiful. Its animation and music are brilliant and will be enjoyed by all generations."