Friday, December 7, 2012

Dumbo, Alice and More Come To Netflix

I was pretty happy yesterday to see some honest-to-goodness Disney Classics arrive on the Netflix streaming service. Hopefully this is the start of a beautiful relationship between the two entertainment giants and more titles both popular and obscure will start to surface!

Some major titles making their debut on Netflix:
  • Dumbo (1941)
  • Alice In Wonderland (1951)
  • The Aristocats (1970)
  • The Fox and the Hound (1981)
  • The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
  • The Rescuers Down Under (1991)
  • Pocahontas (1995)
  • The Tigger Movie (2000)

And then some other goodies from the studio:
  • One Magic Christmas (1985)
  • Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World (1998)
  • The Brave Little Toaster Goes To Mars (1998)
  • The Brave Little Toaster To The Rescue (1999)
  • Air Bud: World Pup (2000)
  • Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch (2002)
  • Tarzan & Jane (2002)
  • Air Bud: Spikes Back (2003)
  • Air Buddies (2006)
  • Tinker Bell (2008)
  • The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos (2008)
  • Mickey Mouse Club House: Road Rally (2010)
  • Car Toons: Mater's Tall Tales (2010)
  • Spooky Buddies (2011)
I was surprised to see some of Disney's real animated treasures like Dumbo and Alice in Wonderland available and pleased to find some off-beat titles as well. It looks like this could be the start of something magical...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reconstucting Disneyland part 2

Continuing my project of putting together the first season of Disneyland...
Episode 1.4  11/17/54  The Donald Duck Story
Walt Disney shows us a scrapbook of the life of Donald Duck, which sets the stage for showings of several Donald Duck cartoons. This episode presented the first real challenge of piecing together an episode from the Anthology series. While many of the cartoon episodes are easily available, I don't have this particular episode nor was I able to track one down anywhere. I did find a list of the cartoons used in the episode, as well as some information pointing to a large number of clips from the episode were used in a DVD bonus feature. I thought about substituting a different Donald Duck episode for this one, but those are all coming up in the line up later on, so I watched a selection of cartoons featured in the episode. Honey Harvester (1949), Tea For Two Hundred (1948), Donald's Dream Voice (1948) and Three For Breakfast (1948) are all found on the Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald Volume Three: 1947-1950 DVD. Orphan's Benefit (1934) can be found on Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse Black & White. I supplemented the cartoon line-up with the bonus feature from the Donald Duck Treasures DVD: The Many Faces of Donald Duck (2007) which is a 16 minute discussion of Donald's career with plenty of clips from The Donald Duck Story episode.

Episode 1.5  11/24/54 So Dear To My Heart
The 1948 feature film about life for a young farm boy at the turn of the century was presented. Although not nearly as popular or well known as other animated films from the Disney library, this movie has had three VHS releases and is also available on disc exclusively from the Disney Movie Club. My copy is the original 1986 VHS release. The preview for the next episode of the Anthology series can be found in the bonus features of the Lady & The Tramp 50th Anniversary DVD.

Episode 1.6  12/1/54  The Story of Dogs
A look at the new animated feature Lady & The Tramp is presented, followed by a tribute to Mickey's best friend Pluto. This was a fun episode to recreate as you can easily find almost the entire episode. The Lady & The Tramp half is on the film's 50th Anniversary DVD release, while the Pluto half is on Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Pluto in the bonus features section under "Pluto's Picture Book." Each segment has opening and closing credits but the preview for the next episode is not to be found on either.

Friday, November 2, 2012

YouTube Character Videos Vol. 1

Last night my family and I got sucked into the abyss of YouTube for over a half hour, watching videos of people meeting characters at the Disney Parks. There are a few factors that come into play when portraying a "face character" because you need not only the look but also the attitude and mannerisms to really sell the character. There two videos are fantastic:

This Ariel sounds just like she does in the movie:

And here Rapunzel and Flynn are amazing... More to come...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Reconstructing Disneyland

What's considered to be the longest running show in television history, The Wonderful World of Disney (and all it's various incarnations) has never received a proper DVD season by season release. A majority of the episodes are made up of preexisting material, be it animated shorts or feature films, so it's likely the anthology series will never see an official digital release. Single episodes have seen releases over the years and many segments of the show have popped up as DVD extras in recent years. Often times the show was divided into two segments, and it's not uncommon to find half an episode as a bonus feature on one disc, and the second half on another title.

I've always thought it would be fun to see if I could recreate the series, researching the contents of episodes and digging into my extensive collection of Disney product on both DVD and VHS...not to mention Laserdisc. Since I just got back from a week at Walt Disney World, and I'm looking to keep that Disney Magic going in the real world, I thought now would be as good a time as any to start my little Reconstructing Disneyland project.

Episodes lists for the series can easily be found online at various sources. I've found the one at to be fairly thorough. I also stick by a list published in The Disney Films by Leonard Maltin. The book The Wonderful World of Disney Television by Bill Cotter offers more insight into the contents of each episode although the book does not offer an episode by episode airdate guide.

Here's the first three episodes I watched over the weekend:

Episode 1.1 10/27/54 The Disneyland Story
Your host Walt Disney offers a preview of Disneyland the park and Disneyland the series. The hour is rounded out by a selection of Mickey Mouse cartoons. This episode appears in its entirety on the DVD Walt Disney Treasures: Disneyland U.S.A.

Episode 1.2 11/3/54 Alice in Wonderland
The 1951 feature film was presented, edited to fit the hour time slot. The film has had numerous releases on both video and DVD. I have the fantastic 2004 Masterpiece Edition DVD which not only includes the whole movie but also Walt Disney's introductions from the first broadcast and a later 1960's repeat airing. A staple of each episode was a lengthy preview of the next week's instalment. The preview portion of episode two can actually be found in the Trailers & Promos section on disc 2 of True-Life Adventures Volume 2: Lands of Exploration. The menu listing incorrectly states The Vanishing Prairie/Seal Island (TV Promo) where the episode is actually just Prairie/Seal Island.

Episode 1.3 11/10/54 Prairie - Seal Island
The first half shows how photographers get the up close and personal shots that make up the True-Life Adventure films. The second half is the Academy Award winning short Seal Island. Prairie is presented as a bonus feature on True-Life Adventures Volume 2: Lands of Exploration. The disc features the color version with the opening titles from a later Wonderful World of Color rebroadcast and closing credits. There is no preview segment for the next episode.  The short subject Seal Island is presented as a whole on Disc one of the same True-Life Adventures set.

Some of these will be easy to find or put together, others will be more of a challenge.
See ya real soon!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012