Written by Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks
Directed by Walt Disney, Burt Gillett, David Hand, Ub Iwerks, Wilfred Jackson
Starring the Voices of Walt Disney, Marcellite Garner, Pinto Colvig
- Nine black and white animated Mickey Mouse shorts selected from 1928 through 1934
Released by: Buena Vista.
Anamorphic: N/A; cartoons appear in their original respective formats.
My Advice: If you were a fool and didn’t buy Walt Disney Treasures…then go back and fix your mistake.
Once upon a time, Disney used to make kickass animation. Cel animation, if you can believe it, kiddies. Hand drawn stuff. Isn’t that crazy? It was only later when they became a huge megacorp that they lost their collective freaking minds and began their slow slide into irrelevance. But back in the day…watch out. And that’s what you have here. Nine of the animated shorts.
Now the shorts themselves rock. “Steamboat Willie” is important for everybody to have a copy of. There’s also “Plane Crazy,” “The Karnival Kid,” “The Birthday Party,” “The Castaway,” “Mickey’s Orphans,” “Mickey’s Revue,” “Building a Building,” and “Mickey’s Steam Roller.” It’s a nice sampling, as it shows the growth of the character as the studio was trying to figure out just exactly what type of hero they had in the guy.
The audio and video are about as good as you could expect, given that the oldest shorts on here are pushing eighty. The main thing about these is that they’re not only necessary from an animation history perspective, for those of us who geek out on such things, but they’re also just plain good. Even though they are a bit dated, they are charming in how they have aged instead of being just annoying or, as is the case with a lot of older media, perplexing and in desperate need of temporal context.
I’m fine with this collection as it stands, even with no bonus bits, but my main problem is this: these are all already out on DVD in the Walt Disney Treasures line. Even out of print, you can still find Vol. 1 of the Mickey Mouse in Black and White for a reasonable amount and Vol. 2 is still available on Amazon, apparently. But regardless, even if you buy one online that’s without the collectible tin that’s three times this price, you’re getting almost four times the shorts plus bonus features. So I’ve said this before and I will say it again: buy Walt Disney Treasures when they street. Otherwise you’ll be crying in your beer later on. It just doesn’t make financial sense not to and then turn around buy a collection like this one.
So yes, if you’re a somewhat fan of Mickey to where you don’t want the Treasures sets or you just want a quick rental to introduce somebody to old school Mickey, fine. But otherwise, buy the shorts “in bulk.” It just makes more sense.
- Buy it from Amazon.
- Buy Walt Disney Treasures’ Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 from Amazon.