WALT DISNEY TREASURES:
MICKEY MOUSE IN LIVING COLOR
Review by Michael Jacobson
Dolby Digital Mono
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Walt Disney
Features: See Review
Length: 217 Minutes
Release Date: December 4, 2001
only hope we never lose sight of one thing…it was all started by a mouse.”
been into DVD for several years now, and have certainly had a lot of fun with my
player over that time, but never as much as watching the double disc set of
“Mickey Mouse in Living Color” from the limited edition Walt Disney
as host Leonard Maltin reminds us, was once something more than just a pop
culture icon…he was a bona fide movie star.
He grew from humble silent film black and white beginnings into the mouse
that roared, and an entertainment empire would soon be built upon his capable
collection features every color Mickey Mouse cartoon from 1935 to 1938,
beginning and ending with two of his best.
“The Band Concert”, Mickey’s first color film, is a musical and
imaginative romp through the “William Tell Overture”, with the plucky mouse
conducting a raucous orchestra while dealing with Donald Duck’s incessant
intrusions, and of course, ending up in the sky as a cyclone carries the band on
a wild ride…they never stop playing!
Little Tailor” is one of Mickey’s finest starring roles, as clothes maker
who gets mistaken for a giant killer…to win the love of the Princess Minnie,
he’ll nevertheless give it a go!
shorts are also peppered with Mickey’s favorite co-stars, on their way to
becoming banner names themselves: Donald,
Goofy, Pluto…when two or more of these characters were combined, the comedy
grew in leaps and bounds. “Mickey’s
Fire Brigade” is a non-stop howl fest, as are the imaginative “Lonesome
Ghosts” and “Mickey’s Trailer” (“Hey…who’s driving?”).
cartoons all represent a simpler, and possibly better time in the studio’s
history, when the sky was the limit, imagination ran wild, talent was plentiful
and Disney was still a hungry young company, and not co-owner of the world along
with Microsoft and AOL/Time Warner. Despite
their long history of glowing achievements, one look at Mickey Mouse in his
heyday tends to prove that it doesn’t get much more fun than that.
may be all but retired from the screen, but Mickey’s legacy is indelible.
The Disney mystique began with him, and as “Mickey Mouse in Living
Color” proves, it’s still often at its best with him as well.
See below for complete program listing.
breathtaking…I would have never believed that 65 year old cartoon shorts could
look so good. Disney has preserved
these jewels of entertainment beautifully, and on DVD, their color, crispness
and clarity is better than ever. Every
Technicolor shade is perfectly rendered brightly and vividly.
Images are sharp and clear, and there is no grain or artifacting to spoil
the presentation. The prints themselves are in remarkably good shape…spots or
specks are very few and far between. For
animation fans, this disc will be an absolute treasure!
mono sound mixed fare very well, too, with good bits of dynamic range, clear
dialogue (inasmuch as Donald could EVER be understood, mind you), excellent
music presentation, and more. The
audio is very clean and clear throughout…nicely done.
discs feature a Leonard Maltin introduction (a slightly longer one on Disc Two).
Disc One also features a rarely seen bonus short, “Parade of Award
Nominees”, created especially for the Academy Awards, as well as some pencil
test sketches of Mickey. Both discs
feature cool Easter eggs: Disc One
has a short film of Walt Disney discussing the evolution of Mickey, while Disc
Two features another rarely seen Mickey cartoon…one commissioned by Nabisco,
no less! Included in the attractive metal box packaging is a limited
edition lithograph…the one I have features a reproduction of “The Band
THE COMPLETE LISTING:
The Band Concert