Walt Disney Treasures – The Chronological Donald, Volume 3 (1947 – 1950) – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director:
Jack Hannah

Cast:
Clarence Nash….Donald Duck
Dessie Flynn….Dale
James MacDonald….Chip
Dink Trout….Bootle Beetle

Disney Home Video presents Walt Disney Treasures – The Chronological Donald, Volume 3 (1947 – 1950). Running time: 4 hours and 23 minutes. Thirty cartoons on two DVDs. DVD released Dec. 11, 2007.

The Shorts

Mickey Mouse cleaned up his act to became the good corporate spokesmouse for Walt Disney in the 1940s. No longer could he be a mischievous hero willing to instigate outrageous adventures. He had to be a respected role model for the kiddies. His final cartoons rendered him in lackluster cameo roles as Pluto dominated the action. This left Donald Duck to handle the dirty work of being the big star of Disney’s animated shorts. The fowl superstar was allowed to do all the things off limits to Mickey. Donald could cuss (although only in duck blather), fight, steal and be a menace to all that cross his path. These 30 cartoons from the end of the 1940s catch him in fine form as he battled a slew of new characters.

The big co-stars of this collection is Chip ‘n Dale. The chipmunk duo were constantly figuring out ways to frustrate Donald to keep up their supply of acorns. “Chip An’ Dale” has Donald cut down their tree. The duo wants their home back and they won’t settle for a new nesting space. “Winter Storage” has park ranger Donald planting acorns to grow more mighty oaks. Chip ‘n Dale decide it’s easier to dig up acorns than scavenge them from branches. “All in a Nutshell” has Donald running a roadside nut butter stand shaped like a giant walnut. The secret to Donald’s business is stealing acorns and nuts from the chipmunks’ stash. Chip ‘n Dale think the Walnut-shaped stand is ready to be cracked. “Toy Tinkers” is a Christmas cartoon with Donald attacking the chipmunks with a rifle filled with acorns. There was a great animosity between the duck and the chipmunks.

Bootle Beetle became Donald’s bug pal. “Bootle Beetle” has the duck hunting the elusive bug. Things don’t get too nasty during this big game safari. “Sea Salts” has the duo stranded after a shipwreck. They rely on each other to survive. The Beetle suspects that Donald is taking advantage of his friendship. This is very apparent when they go fishing. Guess who is the bait? “The Greener Yard” has the Beetle and his son as Donald’s next door neighbor. The Bootle explains why he doesn’t envy the Duck’s luscious garden. The Bootle Beetle always comes off as Jiminy Cricket’s less dressed cousin.

The Bee proves to be a major nemesis for Donald. The little striped guy seems to always get on the wrong foot with the Duck. “Honey Harvester” has Donald turning the bee into his private honey producer. All the Duck has to do is discover the hidden hive. Did you know a bee’s stinger can also double as a saw? Also pollen is directly transformed into honey when a bee collects it. This cartoon isn’t based on scientific facts. “Slide, Donald, Slide” has the Bee and Donald fight over radio stations. Donald wants to hear a baseball game while the Bee demands to air conduct a symphony. “Bee at the Beach” has the twosome meet up at the ocean. The bee gets ticked when Donald keeps stealing his space on the sand. The bee gets revenge by having sharks attack Donald.

Five of the cartoons with moments not intended for small kids have been stashed in the “From the Vault” section. “Tea for Two Hundred” has Donald attacked by an ant invasion. The ants are drawn to be African tribesmen. “Clown of the Jungle” has Donald going after a bird with a machine gun. That’s very un-Disney. “Donald’s Happy Birthday” features his nephews smoking a box of cigars. “Bee at the Beach” has the shark attack that might frighten a four year-old. “Three for Breakfast” contains an Asian moment that might upset a tender viewer.

The thirty cartoons contained on Walt Disney Treasures – The Chronological Donald, Volume 3 show that while certain characters were watered down to make them more family friendly, they hadn’t completely broken the duck. Donald was a comic bad boy of cinema like Adam Sandler is today. Donald didn’t mind losing his temper if he thought it would win the fight. He wasn’t restrained or polite. These classic cartoons should remind kids that Donald Duck is more than a face on an orange juice carton.

The Cartoons
“Straight Shooters,” “Sleepy Time Donald,” “Donald’s Dilemma,” “Crazy with the Heat,” “Bootle Beetle,” “Wide Open Spaces,” “Chip ‘An Dale,” “Drip Drippy Donald,” “Daddy Duck,” “Donald’s Dream Voice,” “The Trial of Donald Duck,” “Inferior Decorator,” “Soup’s On,” “”Clown of the Jungle,” “Three for Breakfast,” “Tea for Two Hundred,” “Sea Salts,” “Winter Storage,” “Honey Harvester,” “All in a Nutshell,” “The Greener Yard,” “Slide, Donald, Slide,” “Toy Tinkers,” “Lion Around,” “Crazy Over Daisy,” “Trailer Horn,” “Hook, Lion, and Sinker,” “Out on a Limb,” “Donald’s Happy Birthday” and “Bee at the Beach.”
The DVD

VIDEO:
The cartoons are 1.33:1 The transfers look better than the ones used on Volume 2.

AUDIO:
The soundtracks are all Dolby Digital Mono. The cartoons are subtitled in English.

EXTRAS:
The Many Faces of Donald Duck (14:40) shows how the Duck changed over the course of his animated history. Leonard Maltin and Jerry Beck point out that Donald was a major star. Donald made more feature films than Mickey Mouse.

Sculpting Donald (9:08) has Ruben Procopio create a Donald Duck sculpture for 3-D modeling.

Donald Duck on “The Mickey Mouse Club” (0:23) allows Leonard Maltin to explain that there were 10 openings for the Club. You can see them all by locating the 10 Easter Eggs on both discs.

Galleries contains storyboard sketches and other production drawings from the various Donald Duck cartoons.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for
Walt Disney Treasures – The Chronological Donald, Volume 3 (1947 – 1950)
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE CARTOONS

9
THE VIDEO

9
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

6
REPLAY VALUE

9
OVERALL
9
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

The Inside Pulse
At one point Disney had tried to discontinue this series. Thankfully somebody with sense realized that America needed to experience Donald Duck from his glory days. Volume 3 is the best set yet since it includes the arrival of Chip ‘n Dale.

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