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Although released before on a precious DVD, for those who want a Holiday Disney DVD of classic animation will dig this release!
on October 1, 2009
As a child, I can easily remember my prized possession was a Walt Disney book that my father purchased for me and it featured the chronology of the early classic Walt Disney animated shorts. Some of these shorts were shown on the Disney Channel when I was younger but suffice to say, with all the new animation, a lot of these classics have probably been forgotten or have been released on VHS video.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment are now releasing a few of these shorts on DVD for the first time (some have appeared on past Disney DVD releases). Now the seventh volume of the Walt Disney Animation Collection will be released and the theme for this volume is Christmas.
In past volumes, we saw many of the Silly Symphony shorts from the 1929-1939 featured in each volume but this time around, we have a volume featuring animation shorts released in the 80's. Also, the following shorts are much longer with most shorts in the past being around under 10 minutes, in this volume, the first two "Mickey's Christmas Carol" and "The Small One" are over 20 minutes long.
The seventh volume "Mickey's Christmas Carol" includes four shorts. Included are:
1. Mickey's Christmas Carol - (25:47) This popular Disney animated cartoon is from 1983 and has been featured on several DVD's in the past. In an animated retelling of the Charles Dickens masterpiece, Scrooge McDuck plays Ebenezer Scrooge who is tight with money and puts money above everything. Even on Christmas Eve, his poor employee Bob Cratchit (Mickey Mouse) is docked pay for Christmas vacation. But its when the Ghosts of Christmas past pay a visit to Ebenezer and show him that he should have compassion for people.
2. The Small One - (25:33) A popular Disney animated cartoon from 1978. A story about a boy who lives outside of Nazareth and because "The Small One", a donkey is getting too old, the boy's father tells him they must sell him. The boy who absolutely loves the Small One is crushed but tells his father that he will be responsible in selling Small One and finding him a new home. So, the boy and his donkey go to Nazareth.
3. Pluto's Christmas Tree - (6:53) A 1952 Technicolor animated short. Mickey cuts down a Christmas tree which is inhabited by two chipmunks: Chip and Dale and with Mickey and Pluto decorating the tree, Pluto is disturbed in finding out that the tree has two inhabitants living there.
4. Santa's Workshop - (6:18) a Silly Symphony animation from 1932 featuring Santa and his elves preparing for Christmas day.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Walt Disney Animation Collection" is featured with an aspect ratio of 1:33:1. These classics are available on DVD for the first time but its important to mention that these animated shorts have not been digitally remastered or cleaned up.
As a matter of fact, you will see a lot of the dust and scratches of the film and some of the animation look fine for being nearly 70 years old but others look grainy and a bit aged. Granted, these are not classic full featured films but I hope one of these days, many of these classics do get cleaned up or even digitally remastered.
As for the audio, audio is featured in Dolby Digital Surround Sound. I found that on my home theater system, the best selection on my receiver to view these animated shorts was to switch it to mono or (if you have this capability) select stereo for all channels.
There are no special features included on this DVD. But this volume does come with a litho print from "Mickey's Christmas Carol".
As mentioned earlier in my review, my prized possession as a child was a Walt Disney booklet that covered the Walt Disney animated shorts in chronological order and had the opportunity to watch these classics. Having these classic animated shorts from the past is great but also to have animation that I watched as a child during the Holidays, included on this DVD is awesome. But most importantly, now that I can share these classics with my son. These four animated shorts (and all previous volumes) are great for the families and in this volume's case, definitely worth sharing with the family during the holidays.
Of the released "Walt Disney Animation Collection" volumes, this volume is different in the fact that the past volumes featured shorts that had no dialogue (a few did but many didn't). Mainly music and sound effects but with this volume, "Mickey's Christmas Carol" and "The Small One" are two fantastic animated Disney cartoons that have a touching storyline, beautiful animation and although more recent than the Silly Symphony shorts featured on previous volumes, they are definitely Disney classics!
For those who owned the 2005 DVD release of "Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites, Vol. 09 - Classic Holiday Stories (1952-1983)", may not need this volume as all animation from this DVD are included on the 2005 DVD release with the exception of "Santa's Workshop". Unless you are diehard fan, then to have that DVD with the Silly Symphony short may be worth it to you.
I know that there are some who wish these classics were digitally restored or remastered but I doubt that Disney will do that for a lot of their animated shorts for now (although they are really doing a fantastic job on the Disney feature films such as "Sleeping Beauty", "Pinocchio" and "Snow White" for the Blu-ray release).
But overall, these collections are offered for a low price and if you are a Disney fan, it's a no-brainer that this volume is definitely worth it. "Walt Disney Animation Collection Vol. 7: Classic Short Films - Mickey's Chritmas Carol" is definitely recommended!