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Classic Cartoon Favorites - Classic Holiday Stories

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // G // 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
The Cartoons

I've reviewed several of Disney's "Classic Cartoon Favorites" DVDs, and each of of them comes with 7 or 8 animated shorts, some of which have been released on earlier "Treasures" collections and others that are brand new to DVD. But the 9th title in the "CCF" line contains only three cartoons: Two previously released and Christmas-related shorts, and a 26-minute mini-favorite that's just now making its DVD debut.

Included in Classic Holiday Stories are the following cartoons: (The * denotes which ones are making their debut on DVD.)

The Small One* (1978, Don Bluth) - A young boy is told that his favorite donkey must be sold, so the kid takes his ass to town to find him a kindhearted new owner. Suffice to say that this underappreciated donkey is destined for some biblical noteriety. Directed by animation giant Don Bluth (just before he parted ways with the Disney gang), The Small One has built up a quaint little cult following, thanks to regular TV broadcasts every December, but now the holiday favorite can finally be seen via DVD. (25:27)

Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952, Jack Hannah) - Mickey & Pluto chop down the tree in which Chip 'n Dale reside, so the jittery chipmunks follow the guys home and turn their Christmas preparations into a chaotic mess. (6:50)

Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983, Burny Mattinson) - Charles Dickens' seminal tale is brought back to life with the help of Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Daisy, Jiminy Cricket, and Uncle Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge (of course). (25:33)

So while you're only getting 3 cartoons instead of the normal 7 or 8, two of the pieces are considerably longer than your normal "shorts," plus they're all comfortably couched in the Christmastime motif. So if you're going to have a house full of family this holiday season, this hour-long collection of Christmas stories should keep the little ones entertained ... and it's a whole lot better than giving 'em some stupid Tim Allen movie to watch.

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

The Little One is the real find within this three-cartoon collection, but the other pair are more than enjoyable enough -- particularly if you're a hardcore Disneyfan.

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Highly Recommended

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