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Walt Disney Home Video presents
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Starring Mickey (1935-41)

"You clown!"
- Minnie Mouse, to her man

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: January 18, 2005

Stars: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Goof, Minnie Mouse
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:59m:15s
Release Date: January 11, 2005
UPC: 786936276992
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+B-B- D-

DVD Review

Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? Seven classic Mickey Mouse shorts are yoked together on this DVD, providing little dollops of animated fun that have been causing smiles for decades. They're sort of an arbitrary assortment, and aren't in chronological order; Mickey isn't even the star of most of them. So this isn't a disc for animation completists, but if you or your kids know Mickey, Donald, Goofy and their pals only as characters walking around Anaheim and Orlando, this might not be a bad place to start.

Our title rodent is the ringmaster in the first cartoon, but the real star of Mickey's Circus is Donald Duck, who does his best showing off the talents of some noncompliant and very hungry sea lions. They're after Donald's basket of fish, and have little or no interest in performing tricks. Mickey does an impromptu turn on the high wire, and there's more violence in this one than you might usually associate with Disney; it's got almost more of a Warner Bros. feel to it. Next, Mickey and Pluto are after the aphids and caterpillars who are eating up everything in Mickey's Garden; Mickey is crazy with the pesticides, and there are some almost Dal“esque images, such as when the bugs eat through a potato and leave only a dozen disembodied eyes. This cartoon also allows another generation to ponder the ways of anthropomorphized cartoon animalsÑthat is, how is it that a mouse has a pet dog?

Minnie's been baking again, and Mickey will only get a piece of cake if he cleans up her yard; but it's no easy task, because he'll have to battle The Little Whirlwind, a tornado with a mean streak. There's some sharp physical comedy in this one, and also in the following cartoonÑyou don't need the Capades to see Mickey and friends On Ice, in which Goofy demonstrates that he's not much of a fisherman, and Donald unwisely wages battle with the rapids. Temperatures soar when the crew goes on a Hawaiian Holiday, and Mickey again is in the background, as Goofy surfs, Donald hulas, and Pluto goes at it with a plucky starfish and a pluckier crab.

Next, Donald and Mickey have fallen behind in the rent, so to beat the sheriff and the eviction notice, it's Moving Day. More combat, with Goofy versus a piano the main event, and Donald versus a plunger on the undercard. Finally, Uncle Mickey and Uncle Donald take out a truck load of urchins on an Orphans' Picnic, with Donald getting most of the screen time and abuse from the kiddies, who like to do things like spike his sandwiches with bumblebees.

Also worth noting is that the title character here gives his name to the form, and takes the indefinite article. That is, these aren't referred to as shorts, or cartoons; the opening titles tell us: "Walt Disney Presents: A Mickey Mouse." Why? Because we like you!

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Video quality of the shorts is variable. Mickey's Circus has some fabulously bright colors, but Mickey's Garden has some obvious discolorations; certainly the worst of them is Moving Day, which is littered with dirt and scratches.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: There's almost no dialogue in these, though there's some hiss to be discerned on the music track.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 7 cues and remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Bambi, Cinderella, Mulan II, Porco Rosso
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Only trailers for some other Disney titles.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Seven classic Disney shorts from the period just before World War II; despite the title of the DVD, Mickey frequently takes a back seat to his pals in these, but they're still full of silliness and merriment.


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