Walt Disney Treasures - Wave 8 (1951-1964) R1 Custom Cover


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Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Vol. 4 – 1951-1961 (Collector’s Tin)


Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, who provides introductions for both discs included in The Chronological Donald, Vol. 4: 1951-1961, points out that Walt Disney continued to make Donald Duck cartoons well after his studio had stopped creating titles featuring Goofy, Pluto, and even Disney figurehead Mickey Mouse. Perusing the nearly three dozen items included here, it’s easy to see why the “wise-quacking duck” was still in business nearly 30 years after his creation. This stuff is brilliant: clever, funny, endlessly inventive, and sometimes even educational, it simply never gets old. Of course, some are better than others; “Trick or Treat,” to name just one, features Huey, Dewey, and Louie, allied with the hag Witch Hazel, taking their Halloween revenge on their mean and stingy uncle, with not one but two original songs, one of them a hilarious “dance” number after Hazel puts a spell on Donald’s feet, all crammed into about eight minutes. Elsewhere, we find traditional nemeses like Chip ‘n’ Dale (particularly good in “Working for Peanuts,” which was originally produced in 3-D) and Black Pete, as well as a variety of newer adversaries, both “human” and animal, on whom the hot-headed duck unleashes his notorious temper. Of particular interest to some will be the educational shorts like “Mathmagic Land” (at nearly 30 minutes, it’s several times longer than the average cartoon in this set), which sports a weird, almost postmodern look and includes jokes about trees with “square roots,” information about the value of pi, circles, pentagrams, pentagons in nature, the “golden rectangle” in Greek architecture, and a great deal more, and even some live action footage. Other rarities include “Grand Canyonscope,” filmed in CinemaScope (with ample big, wide vistas as Donald lays waste to the Grand Canyon), a look at some storyboards that were never made into a finished product, and more. But the main attraction is Donald. Voiced, as always in those days, by Clarence “Ducky” Nash, the irrepressible duck (“Who’s never wrong but always right? Who’d never dream of starting a fight?” goes the theme song) is one of the great creations in the history of popular entertainment. –Sam Graham
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