Thursday, August 30, 2007

Disney Treasures 2007

Scheduled for release on December 11th are two more collections we should all be adding to our classical animation home video libraries, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and The Chronological Donald Vol. 3.

The Oswald cartoons featured on this set have long been considered lost and have previously only existed scattered in pieces amongst collectors. Thanks in part to the research of David Gerstein and Pietro Shakarian, a nice collection of these historic films has been pieced together. I believe this set will contain thirteen Oswalds, and a few of them are even taken from decent studio negatives. The animation in many of these is even wilder than in the shorts found on the recent Woody Woodpecker set. This collection is a must for anyone who wants to see some of the earliest work of luminaries like Friz Freleng, Rudy Ising, and Hugh Harman.

I cannot say I am too fond of the Donald Duck cartoons featured on the third collection, which are all of the films with the character released from 1947-1950. While Jack King had some clever staging in a few of his films (his short, "Donald's Dilemma", is possibly the best short on this set), few of them are funny. Jack Hannah's tend to be even worse, with inane stories, artless animation, and obnoxious characters like Chip an' Dale, Spike the Bee, and the Bootle Beetle. This set does feature animation by the likes of Emery Hawkins, Art Babbitt, and Bob Carlson, so it's at least worth a look for that.

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