Walt Disney Treasures: Wave 8
For a few years now the Walt Disney Studios have been opening their amazing vaults to releases a series of DVDs called ‘Walt Disney Treasures.’ Many adjectives are applicable with DVDs like special, ultimate or collector’s edition. Usually, they are stretching things a lot by using those terms. Not in this case; these are truly treasures in every sense of the word. The collection is broken down into theme sets of discs presented in a very nice metal box. They are grouped into what Disney is calling waves with two or three sets in every wave. We are now up to wave eight, so you might have some catching up to do. Each DVD set is full of shorts, cartoons and features that surround you in the wonderful world of Disney. Some collections, especially those featuring the main cartoon characters like Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse, are so lengthy that Disney is presenting them a decade at a time. No matter what the topic for the set this is some of the best family entertainment that has ever existed. For those of you who grew up in the fifties and sixties, these sets will bring about a flood of great memories. These are the cartoons and television programs we all watched in our family’s living room. They are more than just a piece of entertainment history these are our personal experiences captured on disc. This eighth wave contains three sets; ‘The Chronological Donald Duck: 1951 – 1961’, ‘The Mickey Mouse Club Presents – Annette’ and ‘Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Mash’. So sit back, pull your Mouseketeer ears from out of the basement and have some good old fashion fun. For many of the younger set, this may be the first time they have seen any of this material. Parent’s show them what real entertainment is all about.
The Chronological Donald Duck Volume 4 1951 to 1961
For many of us, this is the decade we grew up in. These are the cartoons that we would rush home from school to watch on that old black and white television. Next to Mickey Mouse Donald Duck is one of the most enduring, recognizable and beloved cartoon characters in the world. By the time of this collection, Donald was already a well established and world-renowned figure. He had fought in World War II and was a constant presence in every movie house.
In the mid-fifties there was one television that we all watched; ‘The Mickey Mouse Club.’ We sat in front of the TV set with our official Mouseketeer completely enthralled. This was one of the first variety shows geared towards kids. It featured a troupe of kids around our age who sang, danced and put on little skits. There were also some shorts shown as well. Each of us had our favorite Mouseketeer, but by far the most popular was Annette Funicello. Most of the boys then agreed that girls had cooties, but for Annette, we would make an exception. This set features the best skits featuring Annette.
I have to admit that I have not thought about this Disney mini-series for decades. One I popped the first disc in the player I was instantly transported back to my youth. Once again I was a boy watching this series with undivided attention. I didn’t know the background back then; all I knew was it was a whole lot of fun. The stories for each episode were based on the novels by Russell Thorndike which was first published starting in 1915. The books were about a divinity scholar named Christopher Syn, played here by Patrick McGoohan. It only fitted that the character leads a double life since McGoohan would go on to international fame with ‘Secret Agent’ and ‘The Prisoner.’ He may have been a man of God, but he was also a man of action expert in sword fighting and sailing. He lived in a small parish in England during the eighteenth century. By day he was a kindly clergyman, but by night he would become the Scarecrow, the defender of what was right and opposed to the tyranny of the King and his minions. For many of us, this was one of the first action-adventure series we were allowed to watch on television.
These are three incredible sets. Family entertainment has changed a lot over the decades since these shows were new, but nothing has ever come close to the sheer entertainment value that is provided here. Each of them deserves a place of honor in your collection.
Posted 11/04/08 Posted 01/21/2019