The classics become the classics for a reason. True, this may be a collection of classic cartoons, but they are classics all the same. This disc contains four different cartoons that introduce children to the stories of “The Ugly Duckling”, “Ferdinand the Bull”, “The Country Cousin” and “The Wind in the Willows”. Parents can rest easy by putting their children in front of something like this for an hour, as children will not only be be entertained, but they will learn a little something along the way as well. These s…orts are from the golden age of Disney animation, back when everything was drawn by hand, and the true creative artists practiced their craft. This is animation as an art form.
The audio on this disc has been mastered for Dolby Digital 2.0, which is entirely adequate for this application. In fact, the audio sounds quite good, with the narrator’s voice full, rich and, most importantly, clear. It will be easy for young ones as well as adults to follow the narrative with this audio track. Music and sound effects are kept to a minimum, but also sound quite clear when they are featured. This is a quality audio track, given the nature of the disc’s subject matter.
Unfortunately, the video transfer is not as nice as the audio. There are many blemishes on these shorts, including scratches, dirt, dust and the like. It is understandable that these things would be present, given the age of these cartoons, but it is still a shame to see them show up here. Sometimes, the DVD format just goes to show each blemish in even greater detail, and sadly, that is the case with this title. Maybe VHS was the right format for this subject mater after all.
The only extras on this disc are some sneak peeks for other children’s fare from Disney. This is a children’s title, however, so I really wasn’t expecting too much. In fact, the most handy thing on this disc isn’t really an extra, but a presentation device. This disc features Disney’s Fast Play feature, a nifty feature that plays the disc automatically upon disc insertion. Normally, I am annoyed when discs are set-up this way, but in this instance, it is a welcome treat for parents, as it allows young children to play the disc themselves, without any parental set-up required.
This is a fine disc for children, though it is probably not the way to go for the adult Disney collector. All of these shorts are available in the Walt Disney Treasures series of releases, which are a much better package for adults. However, if you are a parent looking for an easy way to please your child for an hour, while not forcing yourself to listen to Elmo’s brain-numbing screech, this is the disc for you.
Special Features List
- Sneak Peeks