Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Walt Disney Treasures - Disney Rarities - Celebrated Shorts 1920s - 1960s|
Actors: Sterling Holloway, Mel Blanc, J. Pat O'Malley, Barbara Jo Allen, Verna Felton
Directors: Les Clark, Bill Justice, Charles A. Nichols, Clyde Geronimi, Dick Rickard
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
This fascinating volume features some of Walt's most unique animated triumphs. Included are several of Walt's "The Alice Comedies," a pioneering series of early short films that combined live-action and animation. These ... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Disney Specials Are Very Special, INDEED!!!
Jerry Edwards | Vancouver, WA United States | 08/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Exact information on the contents of this DVD set has not yet been released. The shorts "Lambert, the Sheepish Lion", "Ben and Me", and "Freewayphobia 1 & 2" are only EXPECTED to be on the set - but not official yet.
This set has been described in various websites as mainly containing Disney's "one-shot" cartoons. Disney called these one-shots "Specials", which generally replaced the earlier Silly Symphony cartoons. Generally, these cartoons did not star the regular Disney cartoon characters, such as Mickey, Donald, Goofy, etc.
The original silent Alice Comedies cartoons never interested me personally. I never found them that entertaining. However, they are interesting historically in seeing what Walt's animators did before Mickey Mouse. The Alice shorts on this DVD will probably be taken from the selection that was shown on the Disney Channel a few years ago.
The following are the Specials shorts from the 1930s through the 1960s. There have been several wonderful Specials from the 1970s to the present, but hopefully they will see DVD release in future Treasures sets.
Ferdinand The Bull - A huge, but peaceful, bull only wants to sit quietly under his tree and sniff the flowers. He is carted away to the bull ring when he is mistaken for a ferocious bull. He disappoints the crowd when he just sits and smells a flower bouquet and refuses to fight. Ferdinand is returned home, where he happily returns to his peaceful life. A marvelous cartoon with excellent animation, based on a wonderful children's book.
Education For Death - This wartime short was a propaganda short about the making of a German child into a Nazi soldier. Since this short was on the On The Front Lines DVD set, I would be surprised to see it on this Disney Rarities DVD set.
Reason And Emotion - This wartime short was a propaganda short about letting reason keep emotions under control and dealing with wartime rumors. This short was also on the On The Front Lines DVD set, so I would be surprised to see it on this Disney Rarities DVD set.
Chicken Little - Foxey Loxey convinces Chicken Little and the rest of the farmyard poulty that the sky is falling. Everyone rushes to the "safety" of the fox's cave, where they are definitely not safe. Although this short was on the On The Front Lines DVD set, it is an entertaining short and may be on the Disney Rarities DVD set.
The Pelican and the Snipe - Sterling Holloway (voice of numerous Disney characters, especially Winnie The Pooh) narrates how Vidi, the snipe, spends his nights keeping his "sleep-flying" friend Monte, the pelican, safe from harm where they live - on top of a lighthouse near Montevideo, Uruguay.
The Brave Engineer - Casey Jones is determined to get his train to the station on time, in spite of numerous midadventures - including a flood, train robbers, and a head-on collision with another train.
Morris, The Midget Moose - Morris is laughed at and scorned by the whole moose herd because he is so small, although he has a full-sized set of antlers. He meets another outcast moose, Balsam, who is huge but has a puny set of antlers. The two team up together to become the leaders of the herd.
Lambert, The Sheepish Lion - A stork (voiced by Sterling Holloway) delivers a lion cub to a flock of sheep by mistake. Lambert is bullied by the other lambs because he's different and mild, but grows up to realize his power as a lion and defends the flock from a wolf. Nominated for an Academy Award.
Susie, The Little Blue Coupe - Susie is bought by a man who takes good care of her. But, years later, her owner trades her in due to needed expensive repairs. Her life as a used car is miserable, with an uncaring owner and a series of unhappy experiences. She is wrecked and abandoned in a junkyard. An eager teenaged boy buys her and converts her into a hot rod - she is "like new" again and is happy with her new owner.
The Little House - The little house begins life happily in the country but "progress" soon surrounds it with the big city buildings. A caring family has it moved back into the country and the little house is happy once more. Based on a popular children's book.
Adventures In Music: Melody (also known as just "Melody") - Professor Owl teaches his class about music melody.
Football Now and Then - A boy and his grandfather argue about which football team would win - while watching a team from the early days of football play a modern team on television.
Ben and Me - Amos, a poor little church mouse, comes to live with Ben Franklin. With the help of Amos' suggestions, Ben invents the Franklin Stove and bifocals, discovers electricity, and inspires the opening words of the Declaration of Independence. I have always loved this short - it is VERY SPECIAL INDEED!!! Narrated by Sterling Holloway, it was nominated for an Oscar.
Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom - Professor Owl illustrates the development of musical instruments from caveman days to modern times. This short won the Academy Award for Best Cartoon. It was the first cartoon filmed in CinemaScope.
Pigs Is Pigs - Flannery is a train station master, who goes strictly by the book. When he disagrees with a customer about whether guinea pigs are pets or livestock (like real pigs), he telegrams the main office and awaits their decision on the dispute. In the meantime, the guinea pigs are reproducing so quickly that the station is overrun with guinea pigs. This is one of my favorites of all cartoons, not just Disney cartoons. It is hilariously funny and very inventive. The story is told in a very creative rhyming sing-song fashion. It was nominated for an Academy Award. It was based on a 1905 book by Ellis Parker Butler.
Casey Bats Again - Casey is dismayed that he has only daughters, since he wants sons to follow in his footsteps as baseball players. Eventually, his nine daughters grow up to become a female baseball team, which wins the championship despite his interference.
Social Lion - A lion, feared by all in the wilds of Africa, learns that no one fears him after he is captured and then escapes in the big city. No one recognizes that he is a lion until a saleman dresses him up as a human. Then everyone sees that he is a lion and are terrified. The lion ends up in the zoo, scaring all the zoo visitors. This is a very funny, silly cartoon.
Hooked Bear - Humphrey the Bear clashes with Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore when Humphrey tries to fish like the humans and the ranger tells him to fish like a bear. Humphrey continually fails in his efforts to fish until the fishing season ends and Humphrey has to run for his life when hunting season begins. There are numerous funny scenes in this cartoon. I have always loved the cartoons that Humphrey appeared in. Except for one other cartoon, most of the cartoons count as Donald Duck cartoons and should appear in the later Chronological Donald Duck Treasures set when it gets to the years 1953 through 1955.
Jack and Old Mac - This experimental cartoon tells two different stories, with two jazz sequences and limited animation. The nursery rhyme "This Is The House That Jack Built" has the characters animated as the shape of the names - for example: the dog is made by the letters d, o, g. Old MacDonald plays the piano while the farmyard animals, playing different instruments, jive to a jam session in an updated vrsion of Old MacDonald Had A Band, instead of "A Farm". I love this short for its uniqueness and weirdness. The short is fun and fascinating to me.
In The Bag - After the tourists have left trash everywhere in the park as the visiting season eands, Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore creates a fake game to trick the park bears to clean up the mess. Poor Humphrey the Bear is stuck with cleaning the entire mess and continually has bad luck trying to get rid of the trash. The cartoon contains a very catchy "In The Bag" song, part of which goes "pick up the paper, put it in the bag, bump, bump" with the bears bumping each others bottoms as they dance. This is a very funny cartoon that also succeeds in making you sorry for Humphrey because he is unfairly stuck with trying to clean up all the trash.
A Cowboy Needs A Horse - A little boy dreams of such western adventures as battling Indians, capturing a bandit, and rescuing a fair damsel. The song "A Cowboy Needs A Horse" is a very catchy tune.
The Story Of Anyburg, U.S.A. - Automobiles are put on trial for breaking traffic laws, but are declared "not guilty" - since it is the people who drive them who must admit their guilt and promise to drive safely.
The Truth About Mother Goose - The historical background behind the stories is told of three popular nursery rhymes - Little Jack Horner; Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; and London Bridge. A very entertaining short with ingenious gags, nice background art, and a catchy jazz score. Nominated for an Academy Award.
Paul Bunyan - The folk tale of the gigantic Paul Bunyan is told from when he was a baby to adult times. I enjoy the drama and the humor in the short, with animation in a simple, clear style.
Eyes In Outer Space - The future of satellites' ability to forecast and control the weather is explored. While mainly educational in nature, there is some nice animation and a fun section about how "folk sayings" predicted the weather. Various reference books differ on whether this is considered a "Special" short, so it may not be included in this DVD set.
Noah's Ark - The biblical story of Noah and his ark is told, with the use stop-motion animation. This short used variety store items (pipe cleaners, thimbles, thread spools, etc.) to build the humans and animals - resulting in a very unusual look to the characters. It was nomiated for an Academy Award.
Goliath II - Goliath II is a child elephant who is only 5 inches tall, to the shame of his father Goliath, a giant among elephants. Goliath II deals with several problems due to his size and the herd continually has to save him and avoid stepping on him. He finally becomes a hero to the herd by battling and defeating a mouse. This is one of my favorite cartoons. At about twice the length of a regular cartoon, this short has the time for both drama and humor - giving you time to care for Goliath II and his troubles. It was nominated for an Academy Award.
The Saga Of Windwagon Smith - Captain Smith has rigged a Conestoga prairie wagon with sails and tiller like a ship and sails into a small western town and falls in love with the mayor's daughter Molly. The townspeople see this new type of wagon as a way to get rich hauling large volumes of freight by building a huge, super windwagon - only to see a tornado carry the wagon off with the captain and Molly aboard. An interesting cartoon with some funny scenes.
A Symposium On Popular Songs - Ludwig Von Drake lectures all about popular music, introducing several songs illustrated with stop-motion animation using paper cut-outs and household items. It was nominated for an Academy Award and has several fun and interesting scenes.
Scrooge McDuck and Money - Scrooge lectures his nephews on the history of money, and how to budget and invest wisely.
While mainly an educational cartoon, it is very entertaining. The short combines live-action with animation.
It's Tough To Be A Bird - The birds' never-ending fight for survival is humorously told, especially the struggle between birds and man. This is one of my favorites of the Specials shorts. It includes a hilarious song by Ruth Buzzi "When The Buzzards Return To Hinckley Ridge". It also includes some cutting-edge very non-Disney type humor in modern avant-garde animation styles. It won the Academy Award as Best Short Subject.
That covers the Specials, which have been said to be the contents on this DVD set. The two Goofy Freewayphobia shorts might also be included, although they are not technically Specials. The classic 1959 educational Donald Duck short on mathematics "Donald In Mathmagic Land" has also been strongly rumored to be included in this DVD set.
If all (or most) of the above is indeed included in this Disney Rarities DVD set, it will be a very special DVD collection and among the best DVD bargains of all time. I personally anticipate having this DVD set more than the other three Treasures sets being released at the same time."
Holy cow, did they ever cheap-out on this one!
Groupzero | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's not exactly a state secret that the "Disney Treasures" DVDs have been big money-makers for the company. So how do you squeeze a little extra cash out of a cash cow? Why, start throwing animated shorts onto DVD without remastering them, that's how!
Yep, the bulk of these cartoons are presented in vintage 20-year-old transfers. The images are soft and low-res, colors are frequently washed-out (I defy you to find the color tan anywhere in "Paul Bunyan"), and Cinemascope films such as "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom" are presented in non-anamorphic widescreen. If you have a 16X9 TV, prepare yourself for a joyless experience.
The shorts themselves are largely second-tier Disney, with a few bona fide masterpieces such as "Ferdinand the Bull." Others show that when the Disney artists tackled a new field (such as UPA-style limited animation in "A Cowboy Needs a Horse," or dimensional animation in "Noah's Ark," with its fanciful found-object animals) they could do it better than just about anybody else. Kids may become a tad restless at times, but animation fans and Disney completists will be in heaven.
Bottom line: If Disney's going to call these shorts "Treasures" they should treat them as such."
The Truth About What Is On Disney Rarities
Monty Moonlight | 08/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The cartooons on Disney Rarities are Alice's Wonderland (1923),
Alice Gets in Dutch (1924), Alice's Wild West Show (1924),
Alice in the Jungle (1925), Alice's Egg Plant (1925),
Alice's Mysterious Mystery (1926), Alice the Whaler (1927),
Ferdinand the Bull (1938), Chicken Little (1943),
The Pelican and the Snipe (1944), The Brave Engineer (1950),
Morris, the Midget Moose (1950),
Lambert, the Sheepish Lion (1952), The Little House (1952),
Melody (1952), Ben and Me (1953),
Toot, Whistle, Plunk & Boom (1953), Pigs Is Pigs (1954),
Social Lion (1954), A Cowboy Needs a Horse (1956),
Hooked Bear (1956), In the Bag (1956), Jack and Old Mac (1956), The Story of Anyburg, U.S.A. (1957),
The Truth about Mother Goose (1957), Paul Bunyan (1958),
Noah's Ark (1959), Goliath II (1960),
The Saga of Windwagon Smith (1961) and
A Symposium on Popular Songs (1962). The bonus feature are Alice's Cartoon World - Leonard Maltin talks with Virginia Davis about the Alice shorts, From Kansas City to Hollywood - a timeline of Walt's silent era, A Feather in His Collar short from 1946, Audio commentary by composer Richard Sherman on A Symposium on Popular Songs and some galleries.
A Fantastic Collection for the Disney Enthusiast!
Monty Moonlight | TX | 12/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Among the four Disney Treasures DVD sets that came out this year for Wave 5 of the popular collection, Disney Rarities, Chronological Donald Volume Two, Legendary Heroes, and Spin and Marty, I do believe this is the set I was most anticipating. "Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts" collects some of the most loved one-shot Disney shorts right alongside some of the most unseen! Starting all the way back with Walt's early Alice films and carrying all the way through to 1962's "A Symposium On Popular Songs," the mixed bag that is this 2-disc collection provides treat after treat of beautiful animation, charming stories and songs, and fond childhood memories! Here's what you get in this gorgeous DVD set!
Alice's Wonderland (1923): The first of Walt's silent Alice Comedies that combined live-action and animation, this charming short stars the adorable little Virginia Davis and costars a young Mr. Disney himself! In it, Walt gives Alice a tour of a magical animation studio which leads to an animated dream sequence for Alice that night.
Alice's Wild West Show (1924): Probably the best of the Alice comedies I've seen, and Virginia's favorite, the live-action sequences of this are very reminiscent of the early "Little Rascals" films, and, of course, there are animated sequences as well. Alice and her friends are putting on a wild west show, but when bullies chase her costars away, Alice resorts to telling tales of her adventures with Indians and baddies.
Alice Gets In Dutch (1924): Little Alice gets the dunce cap in school one day for playing with a balloon, and when she falls asleep on her stool, she has to deal with a cartoon teacher and her living schoolbooks!
Alice's Egg Plant (1925): Sadly, Virginia Davis is replaced by Anne Shirley in this short. Also, the charming live-action sequences give way to total animation, aside from the inclusion of live-action Alice, of course. In this story, there's trouble on Alice's egg farm when a fowl Russian bird incites a strike. Luckily, Alice and her cat Julius concoct a plan!
Alice In the Jungle (1925): Virginia is back one more time for this tale of animal hi-jinks and lion fighting adventure.
Alice's Mysterious Mystery (1926): Margie Gay plays Alice in this short where she and Julius go up against an early version of Pete who is an evil dogcatcher turning his captive mutts into sausage! Yes, this is a disturbing cartoon!
Alice the Whaler (1927): Lois Hardwick plays a slightly older Alice, who sails the seas with her animal friends in a cartoon that features a potato peeling mouse in sequences seemingly identical to those in the following year's "Steamboat Willie!"
Ferdinand the Bull (1938): This cartoon is our sudden jump to color and sound (not including the music that accompanied the preceding Alice shorts). This is the Oscar winning tale of Ferdinand, a pacifist bull that just loves to sit and smell flowers, mistakenly chosen to fight in a bull ring when a bee sting makes him appear ferocious and wild! This is one of those classics you'll likely remember from your youth, and it also features caricatures of Walt and his animators.
Chicken Little (1943): No, this isn't Disney's new, computer-animated feature, this is a classic short about not believing everything you hear and read, with a twisted but very funny ending! I believe this is one of the several Academy Award nominees in this collection!
The Pelican and the Snipe (1944): And, here's another, I believe. One of the many shorts Disney did with Sterling Holloway (the original voice of Winnie the Pooh) as narrator, this is the cute wartime tale of a sleep-flying Pelican and his loyal and protective, sleep-deprived friend living together on a lighthouse in Uruguay. This was originally planned as part of "The Three Amigos" but was instead released on its own.
The Brave Engineer (1950): Here's one of my many favorites, the rousing, musical tale of Casey Jones, the brave engineer! The singing narration from Jerry Colonna and crew make this a fun-filled American adventure!
Morris, the Midget Moose (1950): Disney's Bootle Beetle characters kick-off this classic short as an elder tells two younger bugs the story of two misfit moose...meese...mooses.... whatever. One is very small, despite having full size antlers. The other is huge, but his antlers are tiny. Together, they are a powerful force!
Lambert the Sheepish Lion (1952): A favorite for Disney fans all over, this is the classic story of a lion cub mistakenly delivered to an expectant mother sheep. He is mocked and shunned by his peers, not unlike Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but when he's all grown up, he's the only one who can keep the mean ol' wolf away!
The Little House (1952): This heartwarming classic, based on the children's book, is very similar to the oddly absent from this set "Susie, the Little Blue Coupe." It's the tale of a little house who grows old, lonely, and depressed while the world around her changes, but in the end gets cheered up by new owners, a new locale, and a new coat of paint.
Adventures In Music: Melody (1953): Originally released in 3-D (a first for an American animated film), but just as enjoyable in 2-D, this is the first of the Professor Owl shorts where he teaches his class full of young birds all about the world of music. Very enjoyable animation.
Football Now and Then (1953): Here's a fun animated short, even if you are like me and not really interested in football! Grandpa and grandson watch a televised football match pitting a modern football time with one from yesteryear!
Adventures In Music: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953): The other Oscar Winner in the bunch, here we learn the history of musical instruments in Professor Owl's class! A true classic!
Ben and Me (1953): A personal fave that is more of a featurette than a short, sure to be a hit with American history buffs that don't take it TOO seriously. This is the tale of Amos, a mouse voiced by Sterling Holloway, who is the real brains behind the legacy of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin!
Pigs Is Pigs (1954): Disc 2 kicks off with an extremely enjoyable, highly fun musical romp about Flannery, a railroad station clerk whose strict adherence to the rules lands him in deep trouble when a shipment of lovestruck guinea pigs arrives.
Social Lion (1954): A lion captured on safari in Africa gets loose in the big city, but hardly anyone notices him! Very cute and funny, light social commentary short!
Hooked Bear (1956): One of the two widescreen cartoons in this set, this Humphrey the Bear short is as funny as anything the Looney Tunes ever did! In it, Humphrey does his best to outwit the fish, the tourists, and Ranger Woodlore in his attempts to load up some fish of his own!
Jack and Old Mac (1956): This imaginatively animated musical offering creatively illustrates jazzy renditions of "The House That Jack Built" and "Old MacDonald." Nicely entertaining.
In the Bag (1956): The other Humphrey the Bear widescreen cartoon in this set, this hilarious short has Ranger Woodlore scheming to use the park bears to clean up after the tourists. When the reward becomes a delicious dinner, Humphrey tries and tries but can't seem to keep his section clean! This butt-bumping extravaganza even features a cameo by Smokey the Bear!
A Cowboy Needs a Horse (1956): This captivating, musical dream shows a little boy's sleeping fantasy of being a real cowboy, battling bandits and Indians, and saving the damsel in distress. Always wanted this one in my collection!
The Story of Anyburg, USA (1957): In a humorous and twisted tale of injustice and frivolous lawsuits, this short tells the tale of a town that places the blame for automobile accidents on the automobiles themselves!
The Truth About Mother Goose (1957): This memorable old fave is one of the gems of this set! Telling the grim, true tales behind the nursery rhymes "Little Jack Horner," "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary," and "London Bridge Is Falling Down," this highly entertaining short is pretty dark for a Disney cartoon!
Paul Bunyan (1958): The bigger-than-life tale of Paul Bunyan the giant lumberjack is told here from his infancy to his retirement in a wonderful old Disney favorite!
Noah's Ark (1959): Stop-motion animation and household items are used for a change in this tale from the pages of Genesis in the Bible. Noah builds a great Ark to carry two of every animal, along with his family, through a flood that covered the entire globe in ancient times. This reasonably loyal and jazzy cartoon is great fun, though maybe it runs a tad long when it gets into some unnecessary Hippo romance subject matter. Still, very good little short!
Goliath II (1960): This Oscar nominated classic is the funny story of a tiny elephant the size of a mouse born to the biggest elephant in the herd! Little Goliath is nothing but trouble until he wins the others' respect by being the only one who can take on their greatest fear!
The Saga of Windwagon Smith (1961): Some may disagree, but I find this to be another of the best shorts in the set! Windwagon Smith is the tall tale of a sea captain with dreams of sailing over the American plains in a covered wagon that is part sailing ship! It's a very fun and imaginative tale!
A Symposium On Popular Songs (1962): And, finally, my favorite cartoon on this set, simply because who doesn't love Ludwig Von Drake, especially coupled with tons of Sherman Bros. music! Also pretty much a featurette at 19 minutes and 44 seconds in length, "A Symposium On Popular Songs" is hosted by the oddball relative of Donald Duck who takes us through the history of popular music in America, until 1962 at least. He does this for the most part by playing timely songs that he wrote himself, running with visuals of stop-motion cut-out animation same as was used for the opening of the original "Parent Trap." For Ludwig fans, this cartoon is really the highlight of the discs! Paul Frees is hilarious!
As an obsessive Disney fan, I am likely to tell you that ALL the Disney Treasures sets are a must have, and keep `em coming! I certainly have them all! But, even for the collector who doesn't get every tin box that Disney puts out, "Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts" is a must! Sure, there are some shorts that are oddly absent. Some of them are available on other Disney releases though. Many seem likely to appear in an educational shorts set in the future, hopefully. I'm dying for "Scrooge McDuck and Money," "Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons," the "What Should I Do" series, "Harold and His Amazing Green Plants," and Jiminy Cricket's shorts, among others. I also am desperate for a good, unedited release of "Small One," Sport Goofy in "Soccermania," and "Fluppy Dogs," to name a few. And, to be honest, even if they can get a bit redundant, I'd like to get as many of the over 50 Alice shorts (that have not been lost) as possible. Nevertheless, this set is a REAL treasure! Extras include a wonderful interview with the original Alice, Virginia Davis, enthusiastic intros by Leonard Maltin that some find annoying but I have no problem with (there is only one per disc this time, and we really should regard this man as a hero, anyway), the VERY short advertisement cartoon "A Feather In His Collar," starring Pluto, a lovely timeline featurette showing us Walt's history up to the introduction of Mickey Mouse, a fascinating audio commentary for "A Symposium on Popular Song" with Richard Sherman and Leonard Maltin, and, of course, a few selective art galleries. Yes, there is talk on the disc of an excerpt from a Disneyland episode detailing the making of the "Parent Trap" opening credits, however, it seems none of us have been able to locate that in the set except as snippets during Maltin's intros. The set comes in the expected snapcase within lovely tin box, though they are continuing with not printing anything on the back of the tin and not including the paper band, and within is the standard, handy booklet, the numbered certificate of authenticity, and a nice collectible card featuring Paul Bunyan promo art. It all makes for a glorious package for the Disney fanatic. Can't wait for wave 6!