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Classic Cartoon Favorites - Holiday Celebration With Mickey & Pals

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // Unrated // September 27, 2005
List Price: $14.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted October 11, 2005 | E-mail the Author
When we talk about "Classic Disney Animation," we're usually referring to something like Cinderella or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but let's face it: few animated characters are as "classic" as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. With this in mind, the folks at Disney DVD decided to pack some of the gang's greatest cartoons into a series of low-price, high-quality releases.

Classic Cartoon Favorites - Holiday Celebration With Mickey & Pals features seven classic shorts from the Disney vaults, three of which were made available on earlier (and more expensive) DVD collections and four that are making their digital debut. Which means that the hardcore Disney fans who paid a hefty fee for their Disney Treasures collections will probably have to drop 10 bucks on this DVD -- if only to get the quartet of cartoons they're currently missing.

But for the fans and parents who didn't have the extra pocket money with which to purchase the (admittedly quite excellent) "Treasures" collections, this new wave of single-disc Disney releases should prove quite a treat. #8 Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals hits the shelves alongside #9 Classic Holiday Stories, and they're the most recent additions to the "Classic Cartoon Favorites" line of single-disc releases. The other titles are: #1 Starring Mickey, #2 Starring Donald, #3 Starring Goofy, #4 Starring Chip 'n Dale, #5 Extreme Sports Fun, #6 Extreme Music Fun, and #7 Extreme Adventure Fun, all of which will cost you between 11 and 15 bucks and offer several classic cartoons with some of our most beloved Disney pals.

Included in Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals are the following cartoons: (The * denotes which ones are making their debut on DVD.)

Mickey's Good Deed (1932, no director credited) - In an effort to help a poor family, Mickey sells his beloved dog, Pluto, to a rich family. But Pluto's new home comes with a royally spoiled brat... (7:32)

Peculiar Penguins (1934, no director credited) - A sweet and slickly animated Silly Symphonies car-tune about two penguins in love. (9:22)

The Clock Watcher* (1945, Jack King) - Donald Duck works as a department store gift-wrapping engineer ... and let's just say he's not exactly wrapped up in his work. (7:33)

Rescue Dog* (1947, Charles A. Nichols) - Pluto fancies himself an astute rescue dog, but after a visit from a mischievous baby seal, it's our favorite orange pup who needs to be rescued from a frozen lake. (6:49)

Corn Chips* (1951, Jack Hannah) - Donald tricks Chip 'n Dale into shoveling his front walk, so the rascally rodents decide to make off with the duck's bowl of popcorn. (6:39)

Lend a Paw (1941, Clyde Geromini) - This cartoon won the 1941 Oscar for Animated Short Film, and it's one of Pluto's finest moments. The conflicted canine rescues a kitten from drowning, and lives to regret it ... temporarily, anyway. (7:50)

Toy Tinkers* (1949, Jack Hannah) - Donald Duck interrupts the wintertime snooze of Chip 'n Dale, so the chattering chipmunks follow him home and wreak some Christmastime chaos. (7:39)

The DVD

Video: The original full frame (1.33:1) aspect ratio is what's replicated here, and (aside from the flaws inherent within the source material) the cartoons look pretty darn excellent. As I don't own any of the "Treasures" collections, I cannot make a fair comparison, but I suspect even the diehard Disneyites will like what they see here.

Audio: Dolby Digital Mono, which is perfectly fine in every way. There's also a French audio track, as well as optional English captions.

Extras: Disney's touting a new "Fastplay" feature that, I believe, just lets you watch everything in order from the minute you pop the disc in. (And by "everything" I also mean the first two trailers mentioned below.) I suppose the Fastplay feature is meant to allow younger viewers to just pop the disc in and go. If so, great. Me, I'm a click-around-er. The only extras to be found are some trailers for upcoming Disney DVD releases: Tarzan: Special Edition, Toy Story: 10th Anniversary Edition, Old Yeller: Special Edition, Walt Disney's Timeless Tales, Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition, Kronk's New Groove, Chicken Little, and Kermit's 50th Anniversary Collection.

Final Thoughts

To the serious collectors, I'd say bite the bullet and drop the extra 12 bucks, because you just know you want the four cartoons that are exclusive to this collection. To casual fans, newcomers, and parents with good taste, I've no problem recommending this DVD whatsoever. It's got seven lovable old Disney cartoons presented in fine technical form. And at least Disney's playing along by offering the platters for about a dozen greenbacks. Not all of us can really afford the swankier "Treasures" collections, which makes the "Classic Cartoon Favorites" DVDs a great deal indeed.

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C O N T E N T

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Highly Recommended

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