Walt Disney Home Video presents
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Starring Chip n Dale (1947-1954)
"Come on, we'll fix him. Let's give him the old one-two."- Chip (James MacDonald)
Stars: James MacDonald, Dessie Flynn, Clarence Nash
Director: Jack Hannah, Charles A. Nichols
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (racial humor)
Run Time: 01h:02m:48s
Release Date: 2005-01-18
DVD ReviewIt apparently wasn't enough for Disney to have one incomprehensible star in Donald Duck (Clarence Nash); he had to add two more in trouble-making chipmunks Chip (James MacDonald) and Dale (Dessie Flynn). These high-pitched little rodents set the mark for sped-up voices followed by Alvin and others, while contributing their own spirited mayhem to the studios and always perturbing their frequent foil, Donald Duck. This disc collects nine of their shorts in an entertaining collection.
The chipmunks briefly had their own cartoon series, and two entries are included here. Chicken in the Rough (1951) finds Dale getting into trouble in the henhouse as he first mistakes an egg for a nut, and then is mistaken for a chick by the hen and rooster. Two Chips and a Miss (1952), a memorable little short, features the boys in romantic rivalry for chipmunk chanteuse Clarice, an amazingly steamy cartoon chipmunk, culminating in a musical competition presaging Alvin's recording career.
But most often Chip and Dale were guest stars making things difficult for the lead characters. In the Pluto cartoon Food for Feudin', their nut supply gets into Pluto's doghouse and he gamely tries to keep them out of his territory. Donald Duck gets a sizable representation here, with fully two-thirds of the shorts being from his series, including the Oscar-nominated Chip an' Dale (1947). In that first run-in, Donald cuts down the tree full of the chipmunks' nuts and they're forced to retrieve it out of his fireplace. Conflict arises in Out of Scale (1951) when Donald plays with his scale model trains and the chipmunks' tree is decidedly out of scale and must be removed. Working for Peanuts (1953), even though a Donald Duck cartoon, mostly features the chipmunks battling for peanuts with an elephant rather than zookeeper Donald. The duck is a tree surgeon in Out on a Limb (1950) , and the story can practically write itself.
The two most entertaining shorts are left for last. In Three for Breakfast (1948), Donald tries to to eat his stack of pancakes but the chipmunks have other ideas about the food. This film is interesting in its attention to detail; not only do we get a good look at the layout of Donald's house, but antique lovers will be amused to see just how much Fiestaware Donald has in his kitchen. In Dragon Around, the chipmunks are inspired by fairy tales of dragons, and imagine Donald's steam shovel is a dragon, and they accordingly prepare to fight it when he attempts to remove their tree for a new highway. This picture in particular is full of good sight gags and some inspired action.
Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The backgrounds in these cartoons are particularly lovely, with rich colors and fine vividness. Food for Feudin' seems to have a dupey appearance and seems to have been the victim of too much video noise reduction, since much of the linework is harmed. The shorts all have moderate aliasing and dot crawl; this might have looked better in dual layer format with a higher bit rate. Most of the shorts feature moderate speckling but aren't in terrible condition.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 mono tracks sound quite nice, with minimal hiss and noise, except on Chicken in the Rough, which is quite noisy. The subtitles are very handy here for both Donald and the chipmunks. The background music sounds fine for 50+-year-old mono.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 9 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Extras Review: There are no extras. As with others in the series, the disc features "FastPlay," omitting the menu but sending the viewer through several ads that are skippable with the remote. The menu does feature a "Play All" button that goes straight to the shorts.
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsA fine collection of nine cartoons that will be a must for Donald Duck collectors, generally in good shape although a few transfers have problems. But no extras are to be found.
Mark Zimmer 2005-01-17