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DVD Talk review of 'Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Three (1947 - 1950)'

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DVD Talk review of 'Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Three (1947 - 1950)'

Old 11-27-07, 05:25 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Three (1947 - 1950)'

I read Paul Mavis's DVD review of Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Three (1947 - 1950) at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=31290 and...

I was surprised by Mr. Mavis's statement, "And while I adore those Looney Tunes, that Disney 'prestige' translates into gorgeously animated shorts with beautifully timed sight gags - something the more verbal-based, slightly cruder-drawn Looney Tunes couldn't always achieve."

That might have been true in the 30's, but by the early 40's the Schlesinger/Warner Bros. studio had caught up to Disney in terms of drawing and animation. In fact, in the case of Bob Clampett's Looney Tunes from 1942-1946, they surpassed the animation in the Disney cartoons. There were several great draftsmen working as animators at the Warner Bros. studio -- Robert McKimson, Rod Scribner, Manny Gould, Emery Hawkins (who later worked at Disney in the early 50's), I. Ellis, Don Williams, Basil Davidovitch and Bob Cannon. Several Disney animators also went to work at Warners after the 1941 Disney strike -- Art Babbit, Jack Bradbury, and Bill Melendez for example.

Chuck Jones's cartoons were always attractive and elegantly designed, too --even when tighter budgets caused him to economize on the animation in the 50's. (Friz Freleng and Robert McKimson, as director, did make some blander, not-so-slick cartoons starting in the 50's -- I'll grant you that.)

Also, the Warner cartoons weren't really verbal-based. Several of the cartoons are done entirely in pantomime (One Froggy Evening, Odor of the Day, A Foxy Duckling, all of the Road Runner cartoons), and they relied mostly on slapstick and sight gags for their humor than on just dialog (although their verbal humor was just as good when it was written by Mike Maltese).

I like the Disney cartoons too, but I wouldn't say they were "perfectly timed". That description better fits the cartoons directed by Tex Avery, Robert Clampett, Chuck Jones, and Frank Tashlin. Often, the Disney cartoons were a bit too slow in terms of timing, which is why they weren't as funny as the Looney Tunes cartoons.

Other than that one sentence, I found Mr. Mavis's review quite helpful.
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Old 11-27-07, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by J. J. Hunsecker
Other than that one sentence, I found Mr. Mavis's review quite helpful.
Well, if I only disappointed you on one sentence, out of that big review, I'll take that and be glad!

I did qualify the sentence, saying "...couldn't always achieve," -- meaning that they indeed did achieve it at times. As for the emphasis on the verbal, I would still contend that a very big part of the appeal of the classic Looney Tunes was the vocal work, specifically by Mel Blanc, of course. That's not to take away from the animators that worked at Termite Terrace; just a nod to Blanc.

Again, I just want to say I love both house styles, just for different reasons (not better or worse ones).

Thanks for writing, and I'm glad you found 99.9 percent of my review helpful! It's always a little nerve-wracking doing the Disney Treasures -- there are a lot of sharp-eyed readers out there!

Last edited by Paul Mavis; 11-27-07 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:51 AM
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Hey Paul-
Does this set have the original RKO titles for CRAZY OVER DAISY? Thanks.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:36 PM
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Charles, I went back to double check, and yes, the original title card is used. Now, it doesn't actually say, "RKO," but "A Walt Disney Production." But it's obviously the original title card, not the "Buena Vista" cards that were later tacked on for TV viewing. Even though it doesn't say, "RKO," I take these original cards to be the original title cards used for the RKO releases (which I understand varied from release to release, with some just utilizing that reddish brown backart that looks like rough canvas with "A Walt Disney Production" titling -- and no "RKO," and others that actually say, "RKO." At least that was my understanding.)
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Old 11-28-07, 08:38 PM
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OK, it sounds like it was the reissue print. The original also has a special "The End" title, where the curtain comes down on the final scene.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:14 AM
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I'm on the fence on this one - I have the first two Donald sets, and I like them fine, I just don't pop them in enough to be excited for this new set. Also, I think this is the weakest collection of the three.
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Old 11-30-07, 03:17 PM
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Thank you for the review, Paul. I agree there is some sort of charm to those late-40s/early-50s Disney shorts, and I am SO happy they're restored this time!

Now if only Disney would go back and redo the transfers on Volume 2, I would be happy (two years later and I'm still angry about that).
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Old 12-01-07, 05:08 PM
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Hey Matt! Love the handle. Be careful in outerspace.

We now return to your regularly scheduled thread.
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