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Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Three (1947-1950) - animated DVD / children's and family DVD review
WALT DISNEY TREASURES: THE CHRONOLOGICAL DONALD, VOLUME THREE (1947-1950) Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: Clarence Nash, Tony Anselmo, Leonard Maltin, Ronald Colman, James MacDonald
Director: Jack Hannah, Jack King   Studio: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 11 December 2007   Feature runtime: 263 minutes
(2 discs)
Format: Animated, Color, B&W, DVD-Video, NTSC, Box Set
DVD Features: Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital Stereo), The Shorts (25 shorts), From the Vault (5 shorts), "The Many Faces of Donald Duck," "Sculpting Donald," Donald Duck on The Mickey Mouse Club (Easter egg hunt), Still Frame Galleries, Introductions and interviews by Leonard Maltin

Serious fans of animation and its history will revel in this decidely non-P.C. collection of Walt Disney's favorite and most versatile animated character - the flash-tempered, often incomprehensible, tantrum-throwing Donald Duck - in his heyday. The third volume in the tin-contained Walt Disney Treasures series following The Chronological Donald covers 1947-1950 (Volumes One and Two encompassed 1934-1941 and 1942-1946, respectively), including the Academy Award-nominated shorts Chip An' Dale, Tea for Two Hundred and Toy Tinkers.

As film historian Leonard Maltin and his interviewees at Disney point out, Donald has featured in more films, feature-length and short, than the more obvious face of Disney, Mickey Mouse. Whereas the studio felt that Mickey had to remain a pretty solid fellow, they played out a lot more line where his mercuric feathered friend was concerned. Donald was more the Everyman, often knocked down by life and circumstances, often the author of his own troubles, and definitely ready to fight back (or, sometimes, first).

We see Donald in all sorts of vocations here - sea captain, Fuller brush salesman, forest ranger, Sinatra-esque crooner - and pitted against a variety of opponents including a never-named bee, the Bootle Beetle, the chipmunk duo Chip and Dale, a mountain lion, even his own three mischievous nephews. Occasional crony Goofy and love interest Daisy make several appearances as well. We also get to see the Great Duck himself (more often than not) indulging in plenty of bad behavior: lots (LOTS!) of tantrums - today he'd have been sent to anger management more than once; persecuting and mocking creatures smaller than himself (though they ultimately get the better of him); and engaging in questionable "parenting" techniques (like forcing Huey, Dewey and Louie to smoke great mouthfuls of cigars that he discovers later were to be their birthday gift to him). In a decision that will be welcome to many parents, the shorts that reflect their times in ways less acceptable today - including racial and ethnic stereotyping, more violence and casual tobacco use - are grouped under the "From the Vault" menu heading to separate them from the greater number of more palatable films.

The shorts included on these two discs are
Wide Open Spaces   Daddy Duck   Donald's Dream Voice
Drip Drippy Donald   Inferior Decorator   Soup's On
Tea for Two Hundred   Three for Breakfast   The Trial of Donald Duck
Donald's Happy Birthday   Bee at the Beach   The Greener Yard
Lion Around   Out on a Limb   Trailer Horn
Honey Harvester   Sea Salts   Slide, Donald, Slide
Bootle Beetle   Toy Tinkers   Chip 'n Dale
Clown of the Jungle   Crazy with the Heat   Winter Storage
Donald's Dilemma   Sleepy Time Donald   Straight Shooters
Crazy over Daisy   Hook, Lion and Sinker   All in a Nutshell

The insights and trivia tidbits provided by Maltin, second-generation Donald voicer Tony Anselmo and animation historian Jerry Beck deepen appreciation for this irascible, ineloquent avian crank who provided an escape from (and gave voice to, along with laughs) the frustrations of the Greatest Generation post-WWII. Recommended.
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reviewed by Sharon Schulz-Elsing
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