Here's what's on these discs
Julie Neal | Sanibel Island, Fla. | 08/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yea! The Walt Disney Treasures are back after all! This one contains all 30 Donald Duck cartoons from 1947 through 1950. Here's the list:
* Straight Shooters
* Sleepy Time Donald
* Clown Of The Jungle
* Donald's Dilemma
* Crazy With The Heat
* Bootle Beetle
* Wide Open Spaces
* Chip An' Dale
* Drip Dippy Donald
* Daddy Duck
* Donald's Dream Voice
* The Trial Of Donald Duck
* Inferior Decorator
* Soup's On
* Three For Breakfast
* Tea For Two Hundred
* Donald's Happy Birthday
* Sea Salts
* Winter Storage
* Honey Harvester
* All In A Nutshell
* The Greener Yard
* Slide, Donald, Slide
* Toy Tinkers
* Lion Around
* Crazy Over Daisy
* Trailer Horn
* Hook, Lion And Sinker
* Bee At The Beach
* Out On A Limb
Bonus features include a retrospective of Donald's movie cameos and an interview with Ruben Procopio, a Disney character sculptor. Like the other Treasures box sets, these tins are individually numbered and come with both a certificate of authenticity and a collectible lithograph, this time a reproduction of the poster art for 1948's "Inferior Decorator." Also like before, the discs are hosted by movie critic and historian Leonard Maltin."
The Treasures get a new lease on life!
Paul J. Mular | San Carlos, CA USA | 10/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"***Update on restoration***
The shorts appear to be restored with brilliant colors, looking much better than the Chronological Donald Volume 2 presentation. I have not run across any that look as bad as "No Sail" in volume 2. However, I do not think they are as painstakingly restored as volume 1 was. There is still some occasional flicker in the picture, maybe the restorers wanted to keep a little 'old film' look to the picture.
Last January 2007, Disney Home Video announced that the Disney Treasures line was cancelled, leaving Donald Duck only half released. A massive write-in campaign started up, and the Disney Home Video division listened. By April the official announcement of the renewal was made. We were told the release would be reduced to just 3 sets, but this is much better than none!
It is good to know that Disney listened to their fans and Donald is back for his 3rd (of 4) Disney Treasures DVD sets. Let's just hope Disney continues the series for one more year to complete the Donald Duck releases, and maybe finish the Alice Comedies series!
The full support of the Disney Fans is needed to keep this series going.
As for these Donald cartoons, some of these are the best Donald cartoons to be made! By the late 1940's Donald had surpassed Mickey as the Disney star of short cartoons. Goofy had fallen into a formula rut of instructional film spoofs, but Donald stayed fresh and inovative. Chip & Dale will be there to add to Donald's frustration!"
Long Live the King: Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronologica
Joseph Torcivia | Westbury, NY USA | 12/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald Volume 3 (1947-1950)
(Released December 11, 2007) DVD Review by Joe Torcivia
Thanks to this set, I have a new "hero" from the age of classic theatrical animation - and an unlikely one, at that... Director Jack King!
I won't pretend to be an expert on King's career, but I DO know that he was with Disney in 1929, then directed some very early Warner Bros. Cartoons for Leon Schlesinger (Buddy, Porky Pig, and others) and ended up at Disney after that. What little I've read about King's efforts, over the years, paints him as an uninspired director - and it is probably as unfair to judge him strictly on his early WB output as it would be to judge the great Friz Freleng on his similar early, almost primitive achievements.
But, credible persons as varied as Donald Duck comic book legend / Disney animation writer Carl Barks and Disney Treasures' "Official Host" film historian Leonard Maltin seem to share this opinion of King. Among Barks' remarks in Thomas Andre's 2006 book "Carl Barks and the Disney Comic Book", page 56, were: "Old fashioned" and "Played it safe." Maltin, on a previous Disney Treasures set, The Chronological Donald Volume 2 (1942-1946), describes King, as "An old hand [who] may not have been the most inspired director at the studio..."
However, looking over the animated shorts on this particular set, Jack King is THE "King" of this collection. Of the 30 shorts included here, 23 are by revered Duck director Jack Hannah, and 6 are by King, with one remaining "Donald and Goofy" short directed by Bob Carlson. The entirety of Disc Two's 14 shorts is Hannah's.
The odd thing is, despite the criticism of his former writer, Carl Barks, and others; King's Donald Duck shorts are the most varied, the most entertaining... and, ironically, the most "Barks-like" of the collection! To be sure, Jack Hannah's cartoons are well-crafted and very entertaining as well, but Hannah took a great series and steered it into repetitive formula and (...at least when compared to King's efforts in this grouping) mediocrity.
Jack Hannah apparently "fell in love" with pitting Donald against cute little opponents - and did so far too often. This is certainly the case within the window of this collection. Bootle Beetle, Spike the Bee... and, in what is strictly my own personal opinion, the near-ruination of the series by Chip and Dale... who the aforementioned Leonard Maltin says were pitted against Donald over 20 times! ...Yes, he said "...over 20 times!"
Admittedly, each such Donald Duck short, if taken individually and on its own merit, is cute, funny, and entertaining... but, when you consider the impact on the series as a whole to continually "work this angle" to the exclusion of all other things that could involve and engage a character like Donald Duck, the series, alas, became the poorer for it. All but three of the 14 shorts on Disc Two feature Bootle, Spike, or the rapidly chattering chipmunks. To my mind, that is far too much repetition at the expense of the varied richness that could have been Don's world in animation, as it was in comic books!
But, while Hannah's Duck suffered `Munk Madness, Bee-trayal, and (dare I say it) Beetle-Mania, Jack King's Donald came as close as the animated Duck had ever come to the splendor of his comics world.
In chronological order King has Donald do the "perilous sleepwalking bit", with Daisy going through ducky-heck to protect him. Sure, Max Fleischer did it better with Olive Oyl in the POPEYE classic "A Dream Walking", but this was good fun too!
Donald becomes a world class crooner, to Daisy's consternation.
Exhausted Don attempts to sleep in the "great outdoors", with a superb twist ending!
Still sleepy from King's previous cartoon, we witness Donald go to extraordinary lengths to silence an incomprehensibly loud leaky faucet. Leading to what appears to be King's last two Donald cartoons before the Duck completely succumbs to the sensibilities of Jack Hannah... and they are simply two of the BEST!
The classic "Donald's Dream Voice" is probably the most innovative Donald cartoon of them all, playing on (...and with) Don's defining attribute - his VOICE! This is the "voice pills" cartoon that nearly everyone has seen sometime or other, and it succeeds wonderfully (...even though we wonder why Donald doesn't simply buy a "lifetime supply" of the wonder drug - perhaps it was outlawed by the FDA, or something!).
King's final outing is "The Trial of Donald Duck". In my opinion, the best and most "Barksian" of any Donald short I've ever seen - and I've not seen them all, mind you. Donald is brought before a judge, sued by a crooked restaurateur. The story is told in flashback form, with BOTH Don and his accuser acting in ways that are less than "on the up-and-up", but Don ends up as more of the victim than the perpetrator in the end. Don loses the case, but prevails in another good twist ending. With some minor editing, this could easily have been a "ten-pager" in WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES!
After making this cartoon, King appears to have retired, as best as I can piece events together from Internet snippets, leaving this Duck fan to wonder what might have been.
Lest this look like a valentine letter to Jack King, I must point out that Jack Hannah had his share of superb moments beyond Bootles and Bees - not to mention `munks! There are a few fun-fests with Huey, Dewey, and Louie (...though, not nearly enough) an ant-invasion cartoon that you'll never see on TV or anywhere else, two great appearances by a rascally mountain lion... and then there's "Clown of the Jungle".
"Clown of the Jungle" just may be the zaniest, outright funniest Donald Duck cartoon ever!!! Imagine if the more sedate, though still quite volatile, post-war Donald met the early forties wild and out of control version of Woody Woodpecker, or the Do-Do Bird from Bob Clampett's "Porky in Wackyland"... and that just barely describes what goes on here. You'll have to see it for yourself! It doesn't even look like a Disney cartoon, but more like the product of another studio entirely!
Despite the appalling lack of ANY sort of voice acting credit for Clarence "Ducky" Nash in any of the cartoons - though other credits abound by this time, Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald Volume 3 (1947-1950) is a great collection, and is highly recommended by your humble reviewer... aw, even the Chip and Dale cartoons are "kinda good"!
Classic in the true sense
Martin Rawlins | Centurion, South Africa | 03/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the classic Disney animation, Donald Duck remains the most entertaining character. No other captures the fundamental self centered human nature quite like he does. The fact that my children in the modern age of animation (Shrek and the like), thoroughly enjoy his cartoons as I did and my father before me, really proves them to be true classics. If it weren't for Leonard Maltin's irritating politically correct explanations, I would have given the product a 5-star rating, as these could have been done in a written note on the DVD inner cover. They are most frustrating when the DVD is viewed often."