Great For Cartoon Buffs
Heybub1 | Northern NJ - USA | 12/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Because this DVD title kept popping up in my "recommended" list I decided to take a chance and purchased it without really knowing anything about it except that the cartoons were - as the cover states - "from the 1930's, 40's & 50's". The menu set-up, which I like, allows you to watch all the cartoons continuously without interruption or (what I chose) brings you back to the menu each time a cartoon ends. What's also nice is that the year the cartoon was made is listed along with the title which really puts things in perspective when watching them. The first cartoon, "Jack Frost", kind of sets the stage for what you'll be seeing: and that is almost all the characters (animal or human) have the big round saucer eyes and everybody's head bobs up and down - even when they're standing still (Think 'Steamboat Wille'). While "Jack Frost" and some of the others aren't even Christmas themed (more like WINTER themed) they do hold a certain charm. And at a running time of 6 to 10 minutes for each cartoon, you can watch a few and then go back later and watch a few more when you have time. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few Max Fleischer cartoons included which are easily the best of the bunch. One, titled "I'll See You In My Dreams", about a dirt-poor brother & sister who dream of a better life (a common theme with a majority of the cartoons) is beautifully done and comes the closest to being a tearjerker. Another, about an orphanage and an inventor who comes to the rescue playing Santa Claus, has an almost breathtaking scene toward the end when "Santa" makes a Christmas tree out of umbrellas and everybody dances around. (This cartoon seemed very familiar and then I realized it's a longer version of the cartoon shown on Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special.) There's also a Fleischer version of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" which I was disappointed to see included only because I spent extra money last month purchasing the Special Edition of "A Christmas Carol" (1951 version starring Alastair Sim) specifically because it included that cartoon as a bonus. Oh well, so now I have it twice. The entire disc is just about 90 minutes and while they ARE cartoons, I'm not sure if they will have much of an appeal to children. There are a lot of VERY depressing & scary scenes. The first cartoon alone - which focuses on a bear cub - includes: the mama bear spanking the cub; a sinister looking & sounding Old Man Winter chasing the cub through the forest and trapping him in a log; the cub, while seeking shelter, getting physically kicked out of other animals' houses. Would a 5 or 6 year old raised on Rugrats cartoons find some of those scenes a little scary or disturbing? Probably. Teenagers, on the other hand, will most likely find all the cartoons on this DVD boring which leaves adults, like myself, the only people who can really appreciate all these titles. While the cartoons, themselves, are not the best ever and some are obviously not digitally re-mastered (yellow tint on about 1/4 - mono audio on all of them) with a pretty affordable price it will make a nice edition to a Christmas DVD collection."
A fun collection of public domain Christmas classic cartoons
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 11/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""A Cute Cavalcade of Classic Christmas Cartoons" is exactly what the title says it is, a nostalgic look at some of the cute Christmas cartoons made in the 30's and 40's. There are eleven cartoons in all, with many being depression-influenced, showing sad-eyed orphans and poor kids lusting for Christmas treats, only to have Santa deliver. The real standouts of the collection are the Fleischer Bros. cartoons, and Ub Iwerk's spooky "Jack Frost." The Russian cartoon Nobozodhee is a real oddball in this collection, but interesting.Definitely for lovers of old cartoons only, or very young children who don't mind the different styles and slightly odd characters.The DVD is of poor quality, which is expected for such ancient cartoons. Restoration takes money, and this collection of public domain prints is just to get them out there. Nothing fancy, but nice to have in any format.The eleven cartoons are:The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives (Hugh Harman/Rudolf Ising, 1933)
Christmas Night (Oscar E. Soglow/Jim Tyler, 1933)
Jack Frost (Ub Iwerks, 1934)
Christmas Comes But Once a Year (Dave Fleischer, 1936)
Somewhere in Dreamland (Dave Fleischer, 1936)
Santa's Surprise (Seymour Kneitel, 1947)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Max Fleischer, 1948)
Hector's Hectic Life (Bill Tytla, 1948)
Snow Foolin' (Izzy Sparber, 1949)
Gift Wrapped" (Warner Bros. 1952)
The Candlemaker (John Halas/Joy Batchelor, 1957)
Nobozodhee (Russian, 1959)"
VERY POOR TRANSFER
thome50 | 12/30/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The cartoons in this DVD are for the large part relatively unknown. They are generally enjoyable (although not entirely "politically correct" with some "Sambo" references to blacks, but such were the times). This DVD would have rated higher if it were not for the extremely poor transfer. It appears that these cartoons were transferred from a video source (not the original film). Focus is very soft, with some cartoons being so poorly defined that it's hard to make out details. There is noticeable frame jitter in several, and 2 of the cartoons actually have momentary frame jumping, like when you're watching a film projector and the film becomes misaligned so you have the picture split with the bottom half of one frame on the top, and the top half of the next frame on the bottom! Absolutely unbelievable. It's like pressing a CD from an old record that skips when you could have used the studio tapes. Ordinarilly, DVD's are mastered by digitizing each frame, one frame at a time. They obviously didn't take the time or expense to do that, and it shows.The sound is no better. It is extremely harsh, and you'll have to turn down the treble on your system to be able to comfortably watch this DVD. There is also some occasional warble on the sound, too.I find it hard to believe that this was the best they could do."
Holiday Classics on DVD!
thome50 | Paso Robles, CA United States | 11/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a classic holiday collection that is worthy of any persons DVD library. It is right about this time of year that I start checking around the various DVD sites for DVDs just like this. I was lucky enough to find this one a year ago and love it. Just as it says from the description, it has 11 cartoons from the 30's, 40's and 50's. I'm not sure why these cartoons put me in the Christmas spirit more than any others, but they do. It takes you back to a simpler time before Christmas so such a commercialized event. (This being said by a person who was born in 1980.) I can remember these cartoons when I used to watch them on those $3 videos my parents would buy for me at the grocery store. As others have mentioned, the transfer looks like it may have come from these same cheap VHS tapes. Still, I don't buy this for the video and audio quality, or lack there of. Buy it for the storys themselves. This DVD doesn't get 5 out of 5 stars for two reasons. First off, the quality is somewhat lacking. This has to be put in perspective because this DVD is not going to break any kind of sales records. It has it's market and it is great that any company would put them out on DVD. The second reason is that there is another DVD that came out about 1998 that has even more cartoons on it. Cartoon Crazys Christmas is the name and contains 6 of the same cartoons as Cute Cavalcade does, with 7 more. The menu's on Cartoon Crazys Christmas were much better and it actually had some extra features. They have a history of each of the cartoons on the disc which is great. Even IMDB didn't have as much information as this DVD did. They also have Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic and Stereo sound modes which are much better than the Dolby Digital Mono that Cute Cavalcade does. I know this makes Cute Cavalcade seem like less than 4 out of 5 stars in comparison, but good luck finding Cartoon Crazy's. I know I have a copy and have since tried to get another as a gift and have had no luck."