Funny Factory with Huey, Dewey & Louie Vol. 4 features some classic Disney cartoons starring Donald Duck's trio of troublemaking nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie who make all sorts of mischief for the cantankerous Donald. In all, there are eight cartoons on this disc, clocking in at just under an hour.
Some highlights include:
Donald's Nephews: Donald receives a postcard from his sister, Dumbella, informing him that his "angel" nephews are coming for a visit. They systematically proceed to turn Donald's house upside down, playing croquet in the living room on their tricycles, tossing a baseball and breaking things, until Donald tries out some advice from a childcare book, which only ups the level of hysteria.
Soup's On: Song of the South fans will enjoy the fact that this episode opens with Donald singing "Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah." Donald is cooking up a nice meal for the boys, who show up to dinner looking filthy, and from the time Donald sends them to clean up, it is clear that it will not be a peaceful evening.
Don's Fountain of Youth: Donald takes the boys on a road trip to Florida. When the car breaks down and he draws water from a spring once thought by explorer Ponce De Leon to be the fountain of youth, he pretends to the boys that he has turned into a baby.
Lucky Number: In this cartoon, Huey, Dewey, and Louie are old enough to drive, and they try to trick Donald out of his winning lottery ticket, of which he is unaware.
This disc, despite the dearth of special features and a relatively short run-time of 57 minutes, is still worthy of your consideration, especially for longtime Disney fans and parents who want to introduce their children to the early beginnings of the Disney franchise without having to fork over the money for more extensive (and expensive) releases. Huey, Dewey, and Louie were charming additions to the Disney cast of characters when they made their debut, and these short features highlight their appeal.
I was disappointed that the best Huey, Dewey, and Louie cartoon ever was excluded from this release. It featured a run-in with Witch Hazel who, after observing Donald's stinginess with the Halloween candy as well as the mean-spirited tricks he plays on his nephews, whips up a hilarious spell to help the boys out. It appeared on the original VHS release of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, back in the dark ages, when a VHS tape cost over $80!! Yes, I meant to say $80. VCRs cost about $800, if I remember correctly, and this memory stands out to me because my mother actually bought The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, threatening me with grave punishment if the tape or the VCR were to become damaged in any way. I made it to adulthood, which means all is still intact. Now I scare myself by sounding exactly like my mother when I threaten my own child about taking care of our DVD equipment, even though it is much cheaper to replace than the old top-loading VCRs!
Overall, this particular disc is great fun, even though some of the shorts have already been released as part of other Disney DVD collections. Check first to make sure they're not already a part of your DVD library.
Presented in fullscreen (1.33:1), the digitally mastered picture is absolutely beautiful, as is the case for most Disney releases. Also, considering the age of some of these cartoons, where one might expect it to be flawed in many ways, the picture is gorgeous. There is some white and black dust on some of the shorts, but it is minimal, and it does not take away from the overall brilliant presentation. The bright colors are especially vibrant. The entire experience will remind you of the days when movie theaters used to play cartoons before the main feature, which is great nostalgia.
This disc contains both English and French language tracks recorded in Dolby Digital Mono, as well as English subtitles. The sound quality is excellent, even on the on-screen menu.
No extras to be had here, but the cartoons can be watched either consecutively or selected individually from the on-screen menu.
This disc is a solid investment. Mickey Mouse was always too goody-goody for me. Give me Donald's attitude and inability to control his temper anyday. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are mere catalysts to show just how angry Donald can get. The result is pure fun, regardless of your age.