Walt Disney Treasures Wave 3
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Mickey Mouse in Living Color Part 2 picks up where the first volume left off, starting with 1939's Society Dog Show and continuing all the way until Mickey's appearance in the short Runaway Brain from 1995. What's really interesting with this set is watching the Disney company become aware of Mickey's position within the company (as a corporate icon/trademark). Watching Mickey progress through the shorts on this disc is a little like watching the condensed career of a major league baseball player. Early on he's always playing hard, diving for groundballs and trying to stretch singles into doubles but as his career carries on and his place in the Hall of Fame becomes secure, he's content to just hit safely and let his teammates do the dirty work. This isn't really any sort of social comment, just a thought on what is perhaps an inevitable transformation.

The second disc in this series concerns itself primarily with Mickey's output from the last half of the 20th century. You'll see him in the short features Mickey's Christmas Carol and The Prince and the Pauper. This disc is also where you will find some interesting and informative special features—fewer making-of features and more pieces that might be classified as "theory." Animators, voice talents and technicians discuss the hows and whys of Mickey. (An added bonus here is a collection of color openings to the Mickey Mouse Club television show of the 1950s. Watch them and try not to sing along.) If this DVD set interests you, get after it quick as only 175,000 were pressed.

While Mickey is perhaps the Disney character we most want to be (sweet, funny, trusting, brave), Donald Duck is most likely who we really are. Fast-tempered, bull-headed, persistent and scheming, Donald takes these basic qualities and ratchets them up to the top degree. He's an interesting character because he should be ever so unlikable, but there is a type of inherent everyman-ness in him; he's a person who's just trying to live, which pulls you to really root for him. The Chronological Donald, Volume 1 contains 36 shorts, from his first appearance in The Wise Little Hen through some of his early work in 1941. At that point in his career, Donald had surpassed everyone else on the Disney lot, becoming the filmgoing public's favorite Disney character. This drove his film output up, but it also thinned his storylines down and for a short period his movies lapsed into the Donald Formula. As you watch the shorts presented here, you'll follow an interesting progression of the birth of the character, through his awkward teen years, and into a fully realized star. 

Of all the DVDs in this wave of releases, this one has the smallest selection of interesting extras. Most of the special features here deal with the unmistakable voice of Donald, Clarence Nash. This set is also limited to a specific number, 165,000 to be exact.
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