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Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Vol. 4 - 1951-1961 - animated DVD / family and children's DVD / classic Disney cartoons review
WALT DISNEY TREASURES: THE CHRONOLOGICAL DONALD VOL. 4 (1951-1961 Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: Clarence Nash, James MacDonald
Director: Jack Hannah Distributor: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 11 November 2008 Feature runtime: 344 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: Animated, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
DVD Features: Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 2.0), Exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, "Donald Goes To Press" comic book retrospective, "The Unseen Donald Duck: Trouble Shooters" (storyboards for unproduced cartoon), Audio commentary by Leonard Maltin and Jerry Beck

For any student or lover of animation, Disney's shorts are a must. In this, the fourth two-disc set of Donald Duck short, we see Donald in his waning years. Animation had grown more expensive to produce and less popular as before-feature items. Walt had pulled the plug on Mickey, Goofy and Pluto shorts but kept Donald rolling; he had to keep his animators busy between full-length features.

This collection features some great shorts. Donald is more of a suburban home-owner in many of the features, and he fights with his obnoxious neighbor, a bee named Spike and, of course, Chip and Dale. Donald hasn't mellowed at all in his advancing years - indeed, his emotions oscillate between contentment and fury. He's got a mean streak a mile wide. His capability for cruelty is amazing, but karma tends to have its way with him in most shorts.

Leonard Maltin introduces both DVDs, providing some excellent tidbits and historical info. Several shorts set aside in the "From the Vault" sections of each disc have bits that may be objectionable to some viewers. These areas are preceded by an intro by Maltin explaining that they are indicative of their times and should be viewed as such. Still, Disney has yet to release SONG OF THE SOUTH.

Several of the shorts seem to look down upon the hunting culture of the time. Hunters are viewed as trash-generating eco-terrorists who come in with lots of guns and leave a scorched earth behind - trees bereft of leaves, the ground littered with tin cans, trash and bottles. The Keep America Beautiful campaign had just begun, and it seems that Disney was doing its part to further the effort.

If you love animation or Disney, this is a must-have collection. As with all of the items in the Walt Disney Treasures line-up, the presentation is excellent. This is really a special set.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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