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Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites

Volume 1: Starring Mickey (July 3/05)

Given that Mickey Mouse remains one of the most beloved cartoon characters in cinematic history, it makes sense that the first volume of Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites is devoted to the scrappy little rodent. The disc includes seven shorts revolving around Mickey, though - as is the case with all the installments in the Classic Cartoon Favorites collection - they're not in chronological order. The shorts are: Mickey's Circus, Mickey's Garden, The Little Whirlwind, On Ice, Hawaiian Holiday, Moving Day, and Orphan's Picnic. Each short offers up an expected assortment of hijinks and wacky happenings, and generally pairs Mickey up with one or more members of the Disney universe. In The Little Whirlwind, On Ice, and Hawaiian Holiday, Mickey's one true love, Minnie, finds herself embroiled in some kind of nutty scheme (either that, or she must wait patiently as Mickey copes with a problem that's generally all his doing).

Volume 2: Starring Donald (July 3/05)

Next up are the foibles of everyone's favorite put-upon duck, Donald Duck. Each of these shorts essentially follows the same formula: Donald attempts to get something done, and eventually loses his temper as becomes increasingly frustrated and irritated. Were this any other character, this might come off as tedious and repetitive; but because Donald is so quick to get angry, it's hard not to laugh at his clumsiness. This disc collects eight of his shorts, including: Inferior Decorator, Don Donald, Golden Eggs, Bee at the Beach, Donald's Dog Laundry, Donald's Vacation, Old MacDonald Duck, and Chef Donald. Don Donald is notable in that it features the first appearance of Donald's girlfriend, Daisy, although she is called Donna here. The remainder of the shorts deliver exactly what one might expect, with Donald's Dog Laundry a highlight (it features Donald attempting to try out a new device for washing dogs on Pluto).

Volume 3: Starring Goofy (July 4/05)

This DVD collects nine of Goofy's most memorable shorts, all of which - not surprisingly - revolve around the bungling canine's inept antics. It goes without saying, then, that these Goofy shorts feature some extremely overt instances of physical comedy (that Goofy hardly talks in most of them only cements that point). The disc includes the following shorts: The Art of Skiing, How to Fish, How to Swim, Baggage Buster, How to Dance, Lion Down, The Big Wash, Hold That Pose, and Father's Day Off. The Art of Skiing, in which Goofy clumsily attempts a variety of skiing tricks, remains one of the big guy's finest efforts, while the three "How to" installments perfectly exemplify why Goofy continues to endure. Interestingly, Goofy is the only prominent Disney character to appear in these shorts (Mrs. Goofy pops up in Father's Day Off, but that's about the extent of it).

Volume 4: Starring Chip 'n' Dale (July 22/05)

It's hard not to love Chip and Dale, a pair of unusually verbose chipmunks who essentially spend all their time finding and collecting acorns (we never see them actually eat the nuts, though). For the most part, they tend not to interact with other Disney characters - except for Donald Duck, with whom they have an ongoing rivalry. This DVD collects nine of the duo's shorts, including: Chicken in the Rough, Chip 'n' Dale, Out of Scale, Two Chips and a Miss, Food for Feudin', Working for Peanuts, Out on a Limb, Three for Breakfast, and Dragon Around. Though the disc does not contain their first appearance - that would be 1947's Private Pluto - the Chip 'n' Dale short is notable as the first time the two chipmunks are referred to by name. It's also worth noting that Two Chips and a Miss - revolving around Chip and Dale's efforts to woo a female chipmunk named Clarice - is one of the few Chip 'n' Dale shorts in which the two aren't foraging for nuts.

Volume 5: Extreme Sports Fun (September 25/05)

Having exhausted all the major characters, we now move onto themed DVDs - starting with "Extreme Sports Fun." As the title indicates, each of these three shorts revolves around sports - with most featuring Goofy (not surprisingly). The disc includes: Canine Caddy (Mickey and Pluto's hijinks on the golf course), How To Play Baseball (Goofy teaches the viewer the finer points of baseball), The Hockey Champ (Donald attempts to play hockey with his rambunctious nephews), Double Dribble (two teams comprised entirely of Goofys go head to head), How To Play Football (several Goofys take on more Goofys in a game of football), Mickey's Polo Team (Mickey Mouse and friends play a game of polo against several real-life movie stars, including Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy), Tennis Racquet (Goofy takes on Goofy in a tennis match), and Goofy Gymnastics (Goofy takes up gymnastics).

Volume 6: Extreme Music Fun (September 25/05)

"Extreme Music Fun" collects eight Disney shorts revolving around music, with the various characters either performing musical numbers or actually participating in them. Interestingly, this set features several shorts that don't star any recognizable Disney characters. "Extreme Music Fun" comes with: Mickey's Grand Opera (Mickey must conduct an opera starring Donald Duck), Music Land (a Romeo and Juliet-esque tale), Orphan's Benefit (Mickey hosts a recital), Farmyard Symphony (many farm animals perform various familiar tunes), Pluto's Blue Note (Pluto discovers that his tail makes a good needle for his record player), How To Dance (Goofy demonstrates the evolution of dance through the ages), Woodland Cafe (a cavalcade of bugs play instruments and perform), and Donald's Dilemma (Donald becomes a famous singer).

Volume 7: Extreme Adventure Fun (September 25/05)

As one might guess, "Extreme Adventure Fun" emphasizes Mickey and the gang's exploits while trying to enjoy the great outdoors. The disc contains eight shorts, including: Mickey's Trailer (Mickey, Donald, and Goofy decide to take a trip in an oversized trailer), No Sail (Donald and Goofy encounter sharks while traveling in a coin-operated boat), Good Scouts (Donald accompanies his nephews on a trip into the woods), Hello Aloha (Goofy moves to a tropical island), Old Sequoia (Donald is assigned the task of protecting an old tree from beavers), How To Ride A Horse (Goofy demonstrates various horse-riding techniques), Trailer Horn (Donald must contend with Chip 'n' Dale's wacky hijinks as he's trying to enjoy a camping trip), and Two Weeks Vacation (Goofy goes on a vacation).

Volume 10: Best Pals - Mickey and Minnie (April 14/06)

"Best Pals - Mickey and Minnie" features eight shorts revolving around Mickey and Minnie's adventures together, though there are a few here in which the duo engage in hijinks separately of one another. The included shorts are: First Aiders (Pluto and the mischievous Figaro compete for Minnie's attention as she attempts to practice her nursing skills), Bath Day (Figaro must endure the taunts of several alley cats after undergoing a thorough cleaning), Pluto and the Gopher (Pluto must battle a playful gopher for control of Minnie's flower bed), Figaro and Frankie (Frankie, Minnie's pet canary, relentlessly torments Figaro), Mickey's Rival (Mickey must compete for Minnie's affections with nemesis Mortimer), The Nifty Nineties (Mickey and Minnie tool around in the 1800s), Pluto's Sweater (Pluto finds himself on the receiving end of a distinctly unflattering sweater knitted by Minnie), and Mickey's Delayed Date (Mickey, running late for a date with Minnie, must contend with Pluto's antics).

Volume 11: Best Pals - Donald and Daisy (April 14/06)

Continuing the theme of volume 10, "Best Pals - Donald and Daisy" revolves around shorts dealing mostly with Donald and Daisy's hijinks. The disc contains eight shorts, including: Mr. Duck Steps Out (Donald must contend with the antics of Huey, Dewey, and Louie while preparing for a date with Daisy), Cured Duck (Donald loses his temper over a broken window, much to Daisy's chagrin), Donald's Double Trouble (Donald convinces a look-alike to stand in for him and impress Daisy with his intelligence), Sleepy Time Donald (Donald takes Daisy out for a night on the town, despite the fact that he's fast asleep), Crazy Over Daisy (Donald and Daisy frolic and encounter various friends), Donald's Dream Voice (Donald works on his troublesome voice to improve his door-to-door manner), Donald's Crime (Donald steals money from his nephew's piggy bank to show Daisy a good time), and Donald's Diary (Donald and Daisy get married, to wacky results).

Volume 12: Best Pals - Mickey and Pluto (April 14/06)

These eight shorts collect the best of Mickey and Pluto's adventures together, though there are a few here that feature the characters on their own. The included shorts are: Pluto's Housewarming (Pluto's impending move into a new house is ruined by the presence of other animals), Pluto and the Armadillo (Pluto encounters a pesky armadillo during a trip to South America with Mickey), Cat Nap Pluto (Figaro and Pluto battle over sleeping arrangements), Pluto's Party (Pluto wants nothing more than to eat his birthday cake, but encounters a whole host of obstacles), Pluto, Junior (Pluto must contend with a miniature version of himself), Pluto's Fledgling (Pluto assists a motherless bird with its first flight), Plutopia (Pluto has a dream in which he has a butler), and Pueblo Pluto (Pluto, again on vacation in South America, finds himself confronted with a bigger dog).


About the DVDs: Buena Vista Home Entertainment presents each of these shorts with surprisingly crisp transfers, although bonus features are non-existent.
© David Nusair