I have always held a place in my mind and heart for the warmth of Mickey, even though I usually prefer the antics of Goofy or Donald Duck. Mickey just seems to have that innocent, charming look to him that one would not picture as someone who would get into mischief. This is probably why Disney slowly phased Mickey out of cartoon shorts and relied more on Donald Duck, Goofy and the rest. Funny Factory with Mickey Volume 1 contains 8 Mickey shorts totaling 61 minutes.
The 8 cartoons we are given range…anywhere from the early 1930’s to 1950. Each cartoon is around 7-8 minutes long and each feature Mickey in wacky situations. One pleasant surprise though is the quality of the episodes. One might expect them to be a bit poor considering the age, but Disney, as they always do with new and old releases, touched up the quality keeping the picture looking nice. Onto to the cartoons!
Mickey and the Seal is directed by Charles A. Nicholas. While at the zoo feeding the seals, a baby seal starts to take a liking to Mickey and decides to follow him home. Naturally, the seal destroys Mickey’s house and Mickey’s dog Pluto gets the bum wrap. A pretty entertaining and funny cartoon, especially the ending sequence.
Mr.Mouse Takes A Trip is directed by Clyde Geronimi. In this cartoon, Mickey and Pluto try to take a trip together but Pluto is not allowed on the train. Luckily for Mickey, Pete the conductor is none the wiser about this. How come dogs aren’t allowed on trains, but a mouse is?
Moose Hunters is directed by Ben Sharpsteen. In this cartoon Mickey, Donald Duck, and Goofy are hunting in the Northern Country. Donald Duck and Goofy disguise themselves as the front and back of a female moose to try to lure a male moose into the shooting range. Some pretty funny scenes, especially the scene where the moose is eating the tree. ‘Deer Kiss Perfume!’
Mickey’s Parrot is directed by Bill Roberts. In this cartoon, a talking parrot lands on Mickey’s doorstep during a big storm. Mickey, not being too bright, mistakes him for a mass killer Machine-Gun Butch. Mickey sure does get frightened easily as is evident in many scenes in this cartoon.
The Pointer is directed by Clyde Geronimi. In this carton, Mickey tries to teach Pluto to be a hunting dog. After successfully teaching him, they go on a hunting trip after a bear and quail. Mickey is extremely unaware of his surroundings, especially not noticing that a bear is following him. Pluto, in the end, does his job.
Magician Mickey is directed by David Hand. In this cartoon, Mickey is performing a magician act when Donald, who is in the audience, tries to interfere. This is probably the most entertaining cartoon on this disc mainly for all the little tricks Mickey does. And of course Donald being Donald is always funny.
Tugboat Mickey is directed by Clyde Geronimi. In this cartoon, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are manning a big tugboat. Suddenly they’re called to rescue a sinking ship. Now naturally, moving this big old tugboat is not the easiest task. It seems like none of these characters have ever manned a tugboat before. Some entertaining scenes especially the coal scene.
R’coon Dawg is directed by Charles A. Nichols. In this final cartoon, Mickey and Pluto are on a coon hunt in the woods. But the coon uses its’ cuteness to its’ advantage. This cartoon is the newest cartoon on this disc having been produced in the 1950. The images certainly show this as everything looks lovely.
Funny Factory with Mickey Volume 1 is presented in a 1:33:1 Full Screen ratio. Some of the cartoons show their age, but some, especially The Pointer are vibrant and really nice to look at. They are a few scenes where the background shows a bit of distortion, but the cartoons are too visually pleasing to let this be a negative.
We are given a Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio Track which sounds just fine for the source material. Since this is a cartoon, a majority of the sound effects, including bass, treble and an overall dynamic range, are pretty limited. One should not expect this type of DVD to be a demo disc, but the dialogue does come off rather clear giving your ears a pleasant feeling.
An extremely limited amount of features here
Sneak Peeks: Here we are given a peek at six upcoming Disney releases. They include Pooh’s Grand Adventure, Bambi II, Chicken Little, and three upcoming Special Editions in Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo, and The Little Mermaid
One item to note here is the amount of little surprises we have on this disc. While we don’t have any real features, the target audience for this dvd, children, probably won’t mind and will get a kick out of the surprises. Just be sure to put your cursor over each little area so you won’t miss any hidden surprise!
While the cartoons presented do bring back nostalgic memories of watching these when I was younger, I do wish Disney had decided to put a few more cartoons on this disc. (61 Minutes for $15 is a bit lacking). Because of this, I can’t really recommend this for more than an afternoon rental especially considering Disney has put out bigger collections of these cartoons.
Special Features List
- Sneak Peeks