Walt Disney Home Video presents
Best Pals: Mickey & Pluto (1946-57)
"Happy birthday, Pluto! Oh, boy!"- Mickey Mouse
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Pluto
MPAA Rating: Not RatedRun Time: 00h:55m:21s
Release Date: 2006-04-11
DVD ReviewMan and mouse alike know who their best friend is, and this DVD is a chance to pay tribute to the loyal, curious and affectionate Pluto. He's very much top dog here, and in truth Mickey Mouse makes just a handful of cameos—the principal action in these eight shorts, from the 1940s and 1950s, is of Pluto doing battle with animals of other species, with mixed results for him, but giving us an octet of nice little tales.
In the first, get those bones and chew toys out of bubble wrap, because it's time for Pluto's Housewarming—he's moving into some sweet new digs, but a couple of turtles are squatting on the premises, and a nearby bulldog has his own designs on the place as well. Then Mickey and Pluto are taking in the sights in South America, leading to a face-off with one of the locals, in Pluto and the Armadillo. (The armadillo has home-field advantage, even if Pluto is a gamer.) Cat Nap Pluto features a familiar rival: Figaro, the cat from Pinocchio, gives Pluto a beating just because he's looking for some shuteye.
I don't know if we're counting dog ones or people ones, but Pluto is a year older and it's time to celebrate next at Pluto's Party, for which the guest of honor must take a bath. Horrors. The party itself features reams of Mickey's nephews and nieces, and things get out of hand, turning into a sort of Mice Gone Wild. Pluto may not have a wife, but he does get himself a little protégé called Pluto Junior, and havoc ensues. And the nurturing instinct comes out again with Pluto's Fledgling, when it's a little bird consigned to Pluto's care.
Mickey and his pal head out for Camp Utopia, The Sportsman's Paradise, next, but there are no dogs allowed in the cabins, muzzles must be worn at all times, and there's a cat around to torment our friend, keeping this from being Plutopia—this one is especially notable for an animation style less grounded in the traditional realism that's the staple of Disney, giving it a sense of whimsy and unreality more associated with Warner Bros. Anyway, things end up with Mickey and Pluto hunting for Native American tchatchkes in Pueblo Pluto, when a much smaller dog has designs on Pluto's buffalo bones. These shorts were produced to run in front of feature films, so it's a little odd to watch them all in a row; then again, for those of us with short attention spans, they're just perfect, and given that Pluto's vocabulary is confined to woofs, mewls and barks, everybody will have a fine old time with this one.
Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The transfer is adequate, though the cartoons vary in quality—Cat Nap Pluto looks particularly degraded.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
|DS 2.0||English, French||yes|
Audio Transfer Review: There's some static at the top end of the range, but otherwise it sounds fine.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
8 Other Trailer(s) featuring Dumbo (SE), The Little Mermaid (SE) , The Fox and The Hound 2 , Little Einsteins, Leroy and Stitch, Brother Bear 2, Princess Fairy Tales, Lady and the Tramp II
- Fast Play option
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsEight classic Disney shorts, in which Mickey throws focus to his four-legged friend.
Jon Danziger 2006-05-10