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Walt Disney Treasures - On the Front Lines
Walt Disney Treasures - On the Front Lines
Actors: Cliff Edwards, Clarence Nash, Fred Shields, The Sportsmen Quartet, Florence Gill
Directors: Ben Sharpsteen, Bill Justice, Bill Roberts, Clyde Geronimi, Ford Beebe
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War, Animation
G     2004     3hr 30min

On December 8, 1941, the Disney Studio was taken over by the military as part of the war effort. Making the most of the talent that hadn't shipped out yet, Walt Disney spent the next four years creating and producing train...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Cliff Edwards, Clarence Nash, Fred Shields, The Sportsmen Quartet, Florence Gill
Directors: Ben Sharpsteen, Bill Justice, Bill Roberts, Clyde Geronimi, Ford Beebe
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War, Animation
Sub-Genres: Classics, Animation, Drama, Animation, Comedy, Classics, Military & War, Animation
Format: DVD - Color - Animated,Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/18/2004
Original Release Date: 01/07/1943
Theatrical Release Date: 01/07/1943
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 3hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 44
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Jerry Edwards | Vancouver, WA United States | 10/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The years that the probable contents were released, as well as some info on the various works.FILMS1943
VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER - This film was basically propaganda with some entertainment and some powerful animation. Mainly championed Major Seversky's 1942 book of the same title with the theory that long-range air power could defeat the WWII enemies. The scene of an American eagle attacking the Japanese octopus is very powerful, moving animation.ENTERTAINMENT/PROPAGANDA SHORTS1942
DONALD GETS DRAFTED-always enjoyed the idea of Donald reporting to the draft board in his sailor suit.
THE ARMY MASCOT-Pluto schemes to take over the job of a mascot goat, with hilarious results.
THE VANISHING PRIVATE-Donald goes crazy with invisible paint, leading to war with his sergeant Pete, with a perfect, funny ending.
SKY TROOPER-Donald wants to be a pilot, and his sergeant Pete gives him more than Donald bargained for.1943
DER FUEHRER'S FACE-the famous and infamous cartoon in which Donald dreams he is in Naziland where he is forced to work in a munitions plant.
EDUCATION FOR DEATH-very strong propaganda about Germany's totalitarian state which turns an innocent young boy into a robotic soldier.
PRIVATE PLUTO-Pluto has a war with the chipmunks in guarding the area.
FALL OUT - FALL IN-Donald experiences some of the trials of Army life, such as super-long hikes.
REASON AND EMOTION-entertainment and propaganda used in a story about reason and emotion working together for the war effort, enjoyable animation.
VICTORY VEHICLES-Goofy shows off alternate transportation due to the wartime rubber and gasoline shortage, settling on the pogo stick.
THE OLD ARMY GAME-Sergeant Pete catches Donald sneaking back into base after a late night on the town, leads to a merry chase.
HOME DEFENSE-Donald's nephews conflict with Donald after he sleeps during his duty of watching for enemy attack.
CHICKEN LITTLE-The classic "the sky is falling" story, originally planned to have more wartime references.1944
HOW TO BE A SAILOR-Goofy's story of the history of sailors, ending with him using himself as a torpedo to sink Japanese ships.
COMMANDO DUCK-Donald is sent on a suicide mission to wipe out an entire Japanese air base, with hilarious results.EDUCATIONAL SHORTS* = Created for Canada to sell their war bonds.** = CIAA films (Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs) created to combat the German Nazy influence that was widespread in Latin American in the early 1940s.1941
THE THRIFTY PIG * - animation from Three Little Pigs cartoon adapted, with the Big Bad Wolf wearing a Nazi hat and armband.
THE SEVEN WISE DWARFS * - animation from Snow White adapted to show dwarfs buying war bonds.1942
DONALD'S DECISION * - uses animation from 1938 Donald Duck cartoons "Donald's Better Self" and "Self Control" to convince Donald to buy war bonds.
ALL TOGETHER * - uses animation from several sources, including The Band Concert (1935) and Mickey's Amateurs (1937) to show several Disney characters in a parade to sell war bonds.
THE NEW SPIRIT - Donald is encouraged to pay his income tax to help the war effort.
FOOD WILL WIN THE WAR - Stresses the importance of farmers to the war effort. Includes the Three Little Pigs leading a long line of pigs.
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRING LINE - Minnie & Pluto star in an effort to show how important it was for housewives to save kitchen fats and greases for the war effort.1943
THE GRAIN THAT BUILT A HEMISPHERE ** - Tells the history of corn and its importance to the world.
THE SPIRIT OF '43 - Donald Duck resists Nazi propaganda and pays his taxes to support the war effort.
WHE WINGED SCOURGE ** - The Seven Dwarfs point out ways to defeat the malaria-carrying mosquito.
DEFENSE AGAINST INVASION ** - Shows the human body's ability to fight off germs through vaccination.1945
CLEANLINESS BRINGS HEALTH ** - The difference between the Clean Family that is happy and healthy and the Careless Family that is unhappy and unhealthy.
WHAT IS DISEASE ** - Shows what causes disease and how to protect against disease.1946
PLANNING FOR GOOD EATING ** - Careless Charlie is used to teach a family about good dietary habits.TRAINING FILMS1942
FOUR METHODS OF FLUSH RIVETING - basic animation for education purposes
STOP THAT TANK (BOYS ANTI-TANK RIFLE) - a great deal of live action but fun, enjoyable animation of Hitler being blown to Hell by the rifle1942-1945?
TRAINING FILM MONTAGE - A selection of scenes from various training films, I assume.There are a few war-related entertainment shorts not listed here - one or more might be added to this collection instead of what is listed above.1943
DONALD'S TIRE TROUBLE - most likely short. Donald has continual trouble with flat tires due to the wartime shortage of rubber.
PLUTO AND THE ARMADILLO - small connection to the wartime. Short releated to the Latin Armerica trip and the Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros films developed from that trip.1944
THE PELICAN AND THE SNIPE - same info as for Pluto and the Armadillo. 1945
DOG WATCH - Pluto is a watchdog for a Navy ship.The war years were a demanding time for the Disney Company. Most of their meager resources were devoted to the war effort. But this era contained a great deal of creative effort that might not have existed if not for the war.I have seen most of these war works, and I consider them fascinating and among the best of all of Disney's work. I much look forward to owning them on DVD."
This is what the Disney Treasures Collection was made for!
Monty Moonlight | TX | 01/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the early 1940s, when the United States joined a second World War against the forces of evil, it was important that all Americans did their part. Walt Disney was no exception, and he and his artists took on the task fearlessly! This significant entry into the Walt Disney Treasures Collection limited-edition DVD line compiles the Disney Studios' war-themed animated shorts from that era along with the feature film "Victory Through Air Power," which is accompanied by some great interviews, galleries, and training film samples and clips. Much of this brilliant material has gone unseen since the 1940s, making this set a "Must Have" for Disney and WWII buffs all over! Here's a run through of what you'll find in this Disney dream-come-true!

Disc 1

Propaganda and Entertainment Shorts:
This is the first of three sections into which the shorts of disc one are divided. Each section is kicked off with a nice intro by film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, whom we can thank for this wonderful Disney Treasures DVD series. Leonard puts each group of films into proper historical context for the viewers, hands out viewer warnings when necessary, and often gives nice details about individual films. Leonard also provides an introduction to both discs in each Disney Treasures 2-disc collection.
"Donald Gets Drafted" (1942) - In our first short, one of the funniest in this group, Donald gets a first hand lesson in what it's really like to join the army. The short begins with Donald, draft card in hand and dreams of flying military aircrafts in his head, getting jazzed up on the idea of being a soldier from the alluring advertisements on the sidewalk. Many feature 1940's style pinup girls fawning over the new recruits, and who could resist that? If women like Priscilla Lane were around today and doing military ads, I'd join-up right now! Or, at least, I'd be tempted. As Donald enters the recruiting office, he is immediately put through a hilarious physical examination and uniform fitting, and the Duck is in! He gets a nasty wakeup call, however, when he meets his new drill sergeant, Pete!
"The Army Mascot" (1942) - Pluto is sniffing around outside an army camp when he notices how extraordinarily well fed two mascot dogs are! Pluto immediately disguises himself as the third mascot, Gunther Goat, in hopes of receiving a juicy steak of his own. To Pluto's dismay, he instead receives a pile of empty tin cans for dinner. What's worse, Gunther catches Pluto in the act and quickly retaliates. Pluto makes another attempt at winning a mascot position by outdoing Gunther in tobacco chewing. While this plan works to a fault, Gunther again takes action.
" The Vanishing Private" (1942) - Private Donald doesn't seem to get the point of camouflage painting, but after a scolding from Sergeant Pete, he becomes a little TOO good at it. Donald's snooping around in an experimentation lab leads him to a can of invisibility paint, and soon, Pete is looking "not all there" himself.
"Sky Trooper" (1942) - Donald is stuck in the kitchen peeling potatoes as he dreams of being in the clouds. Sergeant Pete notices the duck's obsession and comes up with an idea. He agrees to let Donald fly after one more pile of potatoes is peeled, and soon he is giving the Duck equilibrium tests and preparing him for the skies. What he isn't telling Donald is that once the Duck gets in the air, he'll be coming down under a parachute.
"Private Pluto" (1943) - In their first cartoon appearance, Chip 'n' Dale are storing their nuts in a military cannon and using the barrel to crack their nuts. Following orders to guard the big gun, Pluto the Pup takes them on!
"Fall Out; Fall In" (1943) - Donald Duck is marching at the back of a line of soldiers on a long hike to a campsite, suffering from fatigue and hunger, and being tormented by all kinds of weather. When the troop finally arrives, Donald must get his tent up before he can eat and go to bed. Naturally, his efforts are futile.
"Victory Vehicles" (1943) - This classic Goofy short makes light of the gas and rubber shortages of WWII in a highly entertaining way. With an intro portraying the transportation troubles that have come about, we move on to a cavalcade of ideas from the public (all reenacted by the Goof) for ways to get around the problem. Various incarnations of Goofy travel up and down the streets of America in a variety of absurd inventions, but the final solution to the transportation question appears to be a mere child's toy: the pogo stick! This short features a funny original song that will likely get stuck in your head for a while!
"The Old Army Game" (1943) - Sergeant Pete discovers Donald and some other soldiers have snuck out one night, and he's there waiting when the Duck returns. Donald pulls some clever tricks, but eventually, Pete catches up with him. A mid-chase encounter with a saw leads Don to think he's been cut in half. The short is a little dark, as it's one of those that uses attempted suicide humor (these old cartoons did that sometimes), when a despairing Donald puts a gun to his head and a sobbing Pete asks him to do it in the bushes so he won't have to watch. Of course, they realize he's in one piece before then end.
"Home Defense" (1943) - Donald is manning a listening station, while Huey, Dewey, and Louie standby as the gun crew. The boys get their kicks by playing pranks on their poor uncle, but will they be ready for a real attack?
"How to be a Sailor" (1944) - A typically hilarious Goofy "How to" short, this cartoon gives us a history of seafaring, Goofy style, all the way up to today, and includes some standard Goofy "How to" info in the lesson as well.
"Commando Duck" (1944) - This highly entertaining morale booster gets a lot of its humor from Japanese stereotypes depicting the enemy, as Donald is dropped from a plane on a mission to destroy an enemy base. The brave duck succeeds only after a series of dangers and mishaps which involve some very Indiana Jones-ish action scenes! This was a first time viewing for me, as best I could remember, and I think it's one of my faves in the set (though I have many).

Educational Shorts:
The 14 shorts in this group, as Maltin tells us in the intro, were created to inform and encourage the public to be healthy, pay their taxes on time, and buy war bonds. Recycled animation and classic characters were sometimes used in these surprisingly entertaining shorts made not only for us, but for Canada and the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs as well.
"Thrifty Pig" (1941) - This short features mostly recycled footage from the original "The Three Little Pigs," though you won't miss the Big Bad Wolf dressed as a Nazi officer this time around! This twist on the classic tale features a house made not of regular bricks, but of war bonds! Like many of these shorts, this one ends with a straightforward message. In this case, the message is to buy Canadian war bonds.
"Seven Wise Dwarfs" (1941) - In this second short delivering the same message and also ending with a dramatic "Keep Your Money Fighting!" finale, footage of the Seven Dwarfs from "Snow White" is reused with an edited version of the song "Heigh Ho." This time, the song goes off on a verse about winning the war with "five for four." The dwarfs turn in their jewels for war bonds in the small bit of new footage blended in with the rest. At only 3 minutes and 46 seconds, this is an example of how short these "message sending" cartoons can sometimes be. Enjoyable nonetheless!
"Food Will Win the War" (1942) - One of the most interesting and unusual shorts in the set, "Food Will Win the War" is an informative piece supervised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There's no story here. Instead, the short begins by showing us the destruction the Axis powers are causing overseas, and how the hope for victimized nations lies in our abundant food supplies in the United States. Depicting American farmers as heroes, the bulk of the short is used to show the audience just how much food we produce here in America. This is done with humorous analogies and art depicting giant corn cobs and fruit pies, a sweater made of spaghetti that could be worn by the planet Earth, and other such bizarre concepts to illustrate our vast agricultural production.
"Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Firing Line" (1942) - This fascinating 3 and a half minute short brings us Minnie Mouse cooking breakfast at her stove and offering Pluto a gravy of hot bacon grease for his dog biscuits. Just then, a voice on the radio cuts in to inform "housewives of America" to stop throwing out their used kitchen fats! The speaker teaches Minnie and a reluctant Pluto about how such used greases can be made into ammunition for the boys on the front lines (cue photo of Mickey in his uniform on the wall). As in the previous short, we are treated to an in depth look at how kitchen fats can win the war for us. The film rounds out with a demonstration by Minnie and Pluto about how to turn in their bacon grease to the local "meat dealer" in exchange for cash (or, in Pluto's case, sausages). This short also ranks as one of my favorites, not only because it's so interesting, but also because it really makes you feel like you're in 1942 when you watch it!
"Donald's Decision" (1942) - This cartoon made for Canada uses previous Donald Duck footage, mostly from "Donald's Better Self," to encourage people to become regular war savers. Donald's devilish half encourages him to spend his money, while his angel urges him to save it. Considering that it is reused footage of a cartoon that was shown frequently on the Disney Channel throughout the years, it is not the most interesting selection on the disc; however, little touches here and there do make it worth a watch.
"All Together" (1942) - This last short made for the National Film Board of Canada is really just a parade of Disney favorites running just under 3 minutes in length. It shows us Mickey, Goofy, Donald, his nephews, Pluto, the seven dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Geppetto marching down a street, playing music, and carrying signs to promote war bonds. Though there's nothing more to it than that, it's amazing what a delight it is just to see these classic characters onscreen together!
"The New Spirit" (1942) - The voice on the radio saves the day again in this classic short, encouraging Donald Duck to pay his income tax on time and instructing him on how to do it. The film takes Donald through the simplified form for folks who made less than 3,000 dollars this year (yikes), and it's really quite fun to watch, odd as that may seem. There's just something about seeing Donald Duck doing these very human things, like filling out his income tax form, that is too enjoyable. Amazingly, the commissioners of the film didn't want Donald to be used in it to represent the "every man." Walt had to insist on it!
"The Spirit of `43" (1943) - Apparently, Walt's idea was a hit. The following year, another short was made to encourage paying taxes on time. In this short, Donald is encouraged to spend his money by one side of his personality, and to save it for his taxes by the other (represented by a Scottish duck). The spendthrift half is eventually revealed to be a Nazi agent, and Donald promptly agrees to save for tax day. Like many of these shorts, this one ends with a "Taxes to sink the Axis" montage. Very enjoyable stuff, if only to wax nostalgic on patriotic WWII propaganda.
"The Winged Scourge" (1943) - Public Enemy Number One: Anopheles the Malaria Mosquito! This short will scare you straight about leaving any standing water around your home! After a disturbing intro to the world of mosquitoes carrying malaria, the announcer calls for 6 or 7 audience members to help fight the fiendish foe. The seven dwarfs pop up from their seats, and we are soon treated to all new footage of the fantastic seven spraying their cottage with bug poison, draining standing water, cutting weeds, treating water containing "wigglers" with oil and chemicals, placing screens and netting over barrels and beds, and using a good, old-fashioned fly swatter. I'm not sure how good for the environment all that stuff is, but I suppose it's okay if it kills mosquitoes... This short is highly entertaining due to its unusual drama and scare tactics, but also due to its all-new footage of the seven dwarfs!
"Defense Against Invasion" (1943) - This short offers something different, in that there's a good amount of live-action footage to it. The short begins with a group of little boys (and their dog) waiting to be vaccinated in a doctor's office. An aptly named child, Tubby, goes in first. When the doctor and nurse notice how nervous he is, the short becomes a very clever lesson on blood and invasion by disease, depicting both as armies within the human body. These sequences within the bloodstream are the animated half of the show. It's all very entertaining and informative, despite the very bland casting, and everyone is proud to have their vaccinations in the end.
"The Grain That Built a Hemisphere" (1943) - This short is all about corn; the history and uses of it. If you love corn (and I do), it's pretty interesting. Actually, this short, along with the previous one and the 3 that follow, would be right at home in one of the "Future World" pavilions at EPCOT Center. Especially in the old days, when the place wasn't afraid to house fun education instead of thrill rides.
"Cleanliness Brings Health" (1945) - This film, pitting a clean family against a "careless," dirty one, uses fun animation to illustrate the benefits of clean living and the hardships that come from "going in the cornfield." These "careless" vs. clean shorts are quite entertaining in their disgusting education style.
"What Is Disease? (The Unseen Enemy)" (1945) - An average man is used as an example of how disease can attack him without warning through microbes in the water, air, and everywhere!
"Planning for Good Eating" (1945) - Careless Charlie and his rundown family need to eat more than just beans and cornbread. This short teaches Charlie, and the audience, that the way to a healthy life is eating three types of food: meat for muscles, breads and roots for energy, and vegetables for strong bones and teeth. Later, milk is also mentioned as the "perfect" food. By the end, Charlie's farm has been altered to accommodate animals and vegetables as well as beans and corn. Now, he's known as "Careful" Charlie.

From the Vault:
Leonard Maltin introduces each of the following 4 shorts individually, as they are the most interesting and controversial of anything in this 2-disc set. I'm told you can't fast forward or skip the intros, though I haven't tried. These four shorts make no apologies for showing the cruelty and inhumanity of the nazis and their beliefs in masterfully done animation.
"Der Fuehrer's Face" (1942) - It's no surprise that this short has been locked away for so long. Dream or not, it does depict Donald Duck as a downtrodden citizen of Nazi Germany, wearing a swastika on his arm and declaring "Heil Hitler!" nearly every other second to avoid being shot. He spends most of his time on an assembly line screwing the tops onto shells. It is, of course, a nightmare, and our beloved duck wakes up in the good old U.S. of A., incredibly thankful for it. This cartoon is unforgettable, as are all these "From the Vault" selections, and there is a great deal of Chaplin inspiration found within it. Of course, that was true of much of Disney's old cartoons. This short also features an original song by the same name that become a huge hit at the time!
"Education for Death" (1943) - This has to be the most memorable, the most poignant of anything you'll find in this collection. This is the story of one of "Hitler's children." In the beginning, the film asks, "What Makes a nazi?" The rest of the cartoon short is the answer to that question. It starts off with a couple proving their Aryan heritage to the German government through documentation so that they will be allowed to keep and name their new baby, Hans. Little Hans becomes sick as a child, and his mother fears the government will come to take him away. Such children were never heard from again. Luckily, Hans gets better, and is off to school, where he learns the twisted nazi fairytales that make Hitler a hero and democracy a villain, and where Hans learns that he must be cruel to survive. Time marches on, and as it does, Hans is brainwashed to see, hear, and think only what the fuehrer tells him to. Books are burned, churches are destroyed, the cross replaced with the sword and the Bible replaced with Mein Kampf. Hans becomes a good nazi soldier, (his marching image quickly replaced by a cross in a graveyard), having completed his education for death. This is probably the darkest, most disturbing thing you will ever see from Disney. Of course, it is meant to be so.
"Reason and Emotion" (1943) - Within the mind of a child sits the primitive, thrill-seeking characterization of "Emotion." Appearing a bit later is "Reason," the nerdy, level-headed one. The two argue for decision making control throughout the child's life, though when he has grown into a man, it is Reason that sits in the driver's seat...most of the time. Within a woman's mind goes on the same struggle. This short proceeds to show us how gossip and rumors, particularly those about what is going on overseas, can have a negative affect on the individual who allows emotion to dominate his brain. This entertaining and imaginative short is fantastically enjoyable WWII propaganda.
"Chicken Little" (1943) - No, this isn't the big CGI film that came to theaters last year. This is the original classic one might have imagined was a Silly Symphony in the past. It was, in fact, a wartime parable about how Hitler uses psychology to control the masses. However, unlike most of the other cartoons in this set, we don't get any Hitler caricatures this time around. Aside from the suspicious quotes Foxy Loxy reads from his psychology book, everything appears to be a straight up animal fable. Foxy tricks Chicken Little into thinking that the sky is falling, and he eventually has the whole farm believing it. Foxy gets Chicken Little to lead all the chickens, ducks, turkeys, and whatever else into a nearby cave, where we see just how happy an ending you get when the wicked fox is given total control. Here's a hint - It's not happy. It's pretty funny though!

Disc 2

This Disney Treasures DVD set is special for many reasons, but one of those is that it combines several classic Disney shorts with a full-length feature film. Previous Disney Treasures sets containing shorts have contained the shorts ONLY. Here, you have the pleasure of getting several short cartoons AND a main feature together!
"Victory Through Air Power" (1943) - As Maltin states in the intro, this is the most unusual film Walt Disney ever made. "Victory Through Air Power" is less of a "traditional" movie and more of a documentary of sorts. It begins with a dedication to Billy Mitchell, an Army general who was ignored and ridiculed by the nation for his advice to look into aerial assaults after the events of WWI. This is followed with a fun and informative animated history of the airplane, starting with the Wright brothers' legendary first flight near Kitty Hawk, and coming all the way up to today. The animation here is playful, funny, and typical Disney. After this part of the film, we are introduced to Major Alexander de Seversky, a Russian born veteran pilot and aviation expert who had become an American citizen and U.S. Army officer and wrote the book "Victory Through Air Power," which inspired Walt Disney to make this very film. From here on out, the film goes back and forth between Seversky's live-action hosting and much more realistic animated sequences under his narration, as Seversky explains the power and potential of present day aircraft and how Mitchell's dream of major aerial assaults would be the deciding factor of who would win WWII. This is the whole purpose of the film, to convince the viewer that we must focus on aerial attacks, taking out the source of the enemy's power by heavy bombing from above. The film is high on military tactics and little else, so it is not for everyone. Once the history of aviation sequence is over, I could only recommend the rest to the Disney fanatic (such as myself) or the military or aviation buff, but for those interested, it is sure to be a rewarding viewing experience. The finale features an American eagle taking out a villainous octopus that holds several nations in its arms. Once the octopus is defeated, the eagle flies off to perch atop a flagpole where an American flag waves triumphantly. It's a very movie piece of animation.
Disc 2 includes 2 training films as well, plus a training film montage and all the bonuses of the set.
"Four Methods of Flush Riveting" - This is a training film on just what it says, four methods of flush riveting. It is dull after a very short time. It is what it is. It was interesting to see, though, as a novelty from the Disney studios.
"Stop That Tank" - This training film made for Canada is a bit different. It incorporates humorous Disney animation, such as one of those hilarious Hitler caricatures, in a training film about how to use and clean an anti-tank rifle. There's not a LOT of animation, but what it has is great. We even get to see Hitler go to Hell. The quality of this short is pretty bad compared to those on disc one, but it's still very watchable. Far more interesting than the "Flush Riveting" short.
"Training Film Montage" - Leonard Maltin narrates this montage of scenes from the over 200 training films Disney made for the army. It contains some interesting animation, including a lovely pinup girl that must have been drawn by Fred Moore. While I can appreciate Maltin not bombarding us with a lot more training films like the "Riveting" film, you tend to wonder just how much fine animation you are missing out on (or how many animated pinup girls).

The Bonus features, which are all on Disc 2, are excellent. We receive a trailer for "Victory Through Air Power," plus some soundless behind the scenes footage. There are several excellent galleries for both "Victory Through Air Power" AND the shorts we saw on disc one. Several images come with narration from Leonard Maltin. Really treats were the galleries not directly related to the films. For example, there are galleries of insignias Disney created for the war effort, military posters, Joe Grant's sketchbook, Dispatches from Disney's (a very short-lived Disney publication), and my personal fave, the gallery on Disney's abandoned "Gremlins" project with author Roald Dahl. The feature film for "Gremlins" (the Dahl Gremlins, that is) never happened, though some Disney Gremlin merchandise is still out there, like the much prized children's book. Also, the Gus Gremlin character from the line-up did go on to minor Disney comic book fame (something not mentioned on the DVD). An interesting note from Maltin is that Dahl's time spend with Walt Disney at the studio was reportedly his inspiration for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Lastly, we also get 3 interviews among the bonus features: "A Conversation with John Hench," "A Conversation with Joe Grant," and "A Conversation with Roy Disney." The two Disney artists give great insight into what it was like in and out of the studio during wartime, while Roy gives his boyhood memories of the same. Very enjoyable stuff!

"Walt Disney Treasures - On the Front Lines" comes in the usual attractive tin case with a camouflage, paper I.D. band. Within is the snapcase, which holds the two discs, as well as the bonuses of a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, a booklet, and the traditional collector's card, this one featuring poster art for Donald Duck's "Fall In; Fall Out." This is simply an outstanding collectible DVD. This sort of release is the reason DVD exists! It's a masterpiece! Sure, the audience for these films is probably not as wide as for.. say...Bambi or Cinderella, but the work is no less spectacular. If you are a Disney fanatic, you simply MUST pick this up!"
Excellent collection, but be warned.
Garry K. Mason | Bethesda, Maryland United States | 05/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I've been waiting eagerly for this collection, and for the most part, it didn't disappoint. But be warned--some of the most famous of these wartime shorts, such as "The Fuhrer's Face" and "Chicken Little" have an annoying Leonard Martin intro tacked onto them, and you can't skip through them. I say annoying because Maltin insists on giving away story points and illustrating his simplistic remarks with clips from the cartoons you are about to see! It ruins the experience of seeing these cartoons as "new"--particularly relevent in this case because these films were designed to elicit a strong emotional response from an audience. Don't miss this collection, it's a real rarity, but unless you're the type who turns immediately to the last page of a whodunit, or who always uses cheat codes on video games, mute Maltin's comments and close your eyes when he comes on--at least, for the first time you watch these."
Leonard Maltin, we should not have known thee
LarryA | LI,NY | 03/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A very good and interesting mix of Disney's WW2 vinettes undelibley marred by the corny introductions of film critic Leonard Maltin.
Commentaries are as common on DVDs as raisnettes in movie theaters, but wisely, they are usually an option to turn on or off at the viewer's pleasure. Not so here. Maltin's bit is part of each chapter. Yes, you can FF over it, but why should I need to?"