In better days, the Disney company helped shape a lot of young minds back in the day. They released a lot of short films based on established fairy tales and fables. The animation was groundbreaking in its day, long before computers ruled the land, and some of the work really is great. As part of the movement to bring some of the tales to DVD, Disney has released two titles of Timeless Tales to reacquaint fans of the old work, and to bring new fans into the fold.
The discs contain…short films, with the first volume containing five of them (Mark Dancer discusses Volume Two in his review, currently available on the site). The shorts are “Three Little Pigs” , “The Tortoise and the Hare”, “The Prince and the Pauper”, “The Pied Piper” and “The Grasshopper and the Ants”. I won’t bore those of you who had a normal childhood and were read these by your parents, but most of these tales have stood up to time through the years and are memorable for separate reasons.
With the exception of “The Prince and the Pauper”, which was released in the early ‘90s, the remainder of these features are decades old, and their re-appearance on DVD is a welcome one. The shorts average about ten minutes in length, so they won’t bore today’s kids, and it’s good to finally have the original versions available now.
The 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo sounds good, when you consider that most of the source material is from the ‘40s and ‘50s. Almost all of what is heard comes through the center speaker clearly without any distortion.
Considering the source material, the full frame video presentation looks very good also. While there are some minor issues with the consistency in the picture, the overall running time of the disc doesn’t present any complaints. And some of these shorts are over 70 years old, so complaining isn’t really justified.
Aside from a booklet in the case that discusses “The Prince and the Pauper” and some sneak peeks from Disney, there’s nothing much to miss here.
Those who are fans of animation or of the children’s film genre will enjoy having these tales on DVD now. The color reproduction is great, the sound is OK, and the material is memorable. Family members shouldn’t hesitate to add these to their collection.
Special Features List
- Collectible Booklet
- Sneak Peeks