"The listing says that the DVD is in color. But the movies definitely aren't, and never were. The transfers were OK by me, but I'm no expert. It looked clean. While I've seen these movies since I was a kid, and always loved them, I was surprised to see who some of the secondary actors turned out to be. In the first movie there's Tony Curtis. In the third one, there's David Janssen and Leonard Nimoy. This was a formulaic series of films, but they had their hearts in the right place. Francis is an always entertaining guardian angel with a little bit of attitude. And Chill Wills managed to get several octaves in on almost every line, which brought a hee-haw effect to his speech. It's... endearing. Donald O'Connor is definitely believable as Pete. He's a hoot. Maybe someday that character will actually get it, and won't need Francis to take care of him any more. Interestingly, on the "Singin' in the Rain" 50th anniversary DVD, Donald O'Connor says that the reason that he's not in the big finale production number is that the studio sent him off to make another Francis movie (West Point, I think). Because I cherish Francis so, that's just fine by me. Also, the first 3 films actually have continuity, mentioning things from previous adventures. That's kind of nice. Perhaps they'll release the rest of them on DVD, and I can tell you why Mickey Rooney just couldn't quite make it work. No offense to Mickey, of course. It's just that Donald O'Connor is the one and only real pal to my favorite mule. Long Live Francis!!!"
A wonderfully fun collection...beautifully packaged
Yarby | Medina, OH United States | 07/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've forgotten Francis, Mr. Ed's distant cousin, it's time to reintroduce yourself. Francis (a.k.a., Chill Wills) and Donald O'Connor, are great, light hearted adventures that all ages can enjoy. Universal has in the past, put out some pretty shoddy products. But this time, I have to hand them credit. The transfers are great! About my only complaint would be lack of any extras or trailers.Hopefully, a volume 2 is in the works....with the widescreen movies in the series in proper aspect ratio.All in all, this set is highly recommended!"
Great whole family fun!
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 09/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved the Francis Movies - the before Mr. Ed of the movies. Francis was a wise-cracking, know it all mule, with the voice of the great Chill Wills. Donald O'Connell was Francis' sidekick and they had simply FUN adventures. Most are seldom, if ever seen in the last couple of decades, so this will be a great trip for those who remember them and a chance for children and grandchildren to discover them.
Volume 1 - is for full-length movies
1. Francis the Talking Mule 2. Francis goes to the Races 3. Francis goes to West Point (with William Reynolds and small part by Leonard Nemoy) 4. Francis Cover the Big Town
They are Black and White - for those unfamiliar with the Francis movies, though later ones were in colour.
So pop the popcorn, kick back and let the whole family have a wee giggle at Wills and O'Connell's antics."
I hope to kiss a DUCK, I loved these movies!
Mrs. N | 02/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderfully clean humor. Sometimes I put these movies on just for company. They make me laugh every time. I remember francis as a kid and remember liking him (I'm 35) but couldn't remember the details as to why. I'm delighted that I've rediscovered the joy of Francis. I love that he ends up talking to whomever Peter needs him to talk to. No frustrating episodes here. Every one is satisfying and fun. I've decided to buy every Francis movie I can find and enjoy them thoroughly. My five year old daughter and I both love them and can laugh at them together. Francis' tone and attitude are universally hilarious. Highly recommended in this world of questionable children's entertainment. Buy with confidence and enjoy!"
A great starter kit for fans of Francis, or newbies
Staci L. Wilson | USA | 12/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the first movie of the series, we meet Peter Stirling (Donald O'Connor), a former bank clerk turned soldier who finds himself cast in role of reluctant hero when he strikes up a friendship with Francis, an Army mule who can talk (voiced by Chill Wills, and played by a female named Molly). Ala Cyrano de Bergerac, Francis helps Peter to win the girl of his dreams, a shapely nurse named Patricia (Maureen Gelder). Unfortunately, the stubborn mule thinks mum's the word whenever Peter tries to tell others of the critter's gift of gab: This sends Peter to the psych ward more than once, where he becomes an expert basket-weaver. Several sequels kicked the Francis franchise into high gear, making for a memorably fun series of silly and cute family films. This DVD contains three of the movies, and they're probably the best (though I do have a spot spot for ghost movies, so I even like "Francis in the Haunted House"!).