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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Mickey Mouse
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
Join your favorite Disney pals as they celebrate some of Mickey's funniest moments in this sidesplitting collection of cartoon treasures. Mickey, Pluto, and their pals get together for hilarious adventures in this classic collection of eight short films - including two that were nominated for Academy Awards! You'll laugh out loud as they encounter a lovesick moose in "Moose Hunters", a sneaky baby seal in "Mickey And The Seal", a clever raccoon in "R'coon Dawg" and more!

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Monaural
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 61 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 1/10/2006

Bonus:
• Sneak Peeks


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Walt Disney's Funny Factory With Mickey: Volume I (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 25, 2006)

Disney changes the names of their cartoon compilations more often than I change my underwear. Funny Factory is the newest in a run of hour-long collections. Volume One stars Mickey Mouse and includes shorts that have already appeared in the two Mickey Mouse in Living Color “Walt Disney Treasures” sets.

For each short, I’ll offer the year in which it was produced and the name of its director. I’ll also provide a quick synopsis of the cartoon plus my number grade for each one done on a scale of 1 to 10.

Mickey and the Seal (1948, Charles A. Nichols): Mickey visits a seal park, and a little seal stows away to come home with him. Many later Mickey shorts really focus on other characters, and that occurs for “Seal”, as it features Pluto much of the time. The seal cranks up the cuteness factor, which could have been a problem but doesn’t interfere too badly. This is a likable short, though not one that stands out as particularly memorable. 6/10.

Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip (1940, Clyde Geronimi): Mickey tries to take a train trip, but Conductor Pete refuses to allow Pluto onboard. Mickey attempts to sneak his pooch onto the train. The story leads to some good conflict, and it’s nice to see Mickey take an active role in his own cartoon. 7/10.

Moose Hunters (1937, Ben Sharpsteen): Mickey, Donald and Goofy head to the woods to kill a moose. One of this collection’s sillier shorts, we see all the nutty attempts the guys make to succeed. This provides a few nice sight gags, but I wouldn’t call “Hunters” anything special. 6/10.

Mickey's Parrot (1938, Bill Roberts): When a parrot seeks shelter in Mickey’s house, the Mouse mistakes the bird for a vicious criminal. This short goes with a pretty odd concept, and it exploits it fairly well. At least Mickey gets a fair amount of screen time; while Pluto gets more than a few moments, the short allows the Mouse to become more proactive than usual. 7/10.

The Pointer (1939, Clyde Geronimi): Mickey tries to train Pluto to be a hunting dog. And he does so in a rather nasty manner, I must say! Actually, Mickey doesn’t berate Pluto for too long, but it seems awkward and out of character. Nonetheless, the short has some amusing moments and works fine. 7/10.

Magician Mickey (1937, David Hand): Donald heckles Mickey as the Mouse attempts to perform a magic act. And he does so in a rather effective manner, I must say! This package’s best short by far, “Magician” becomes almost surreal as it presents many inventive ways for Donald and Mickey to tangle. It’s a creative, delightful hoot. 10/10.

Tugboat Mickey (1940, Clyde Geronimi): Mickey, Donald and Goofy attempt to take their tugboat to rescue a ship but their boat fights back at them. Perhaps anything less than brilliant would be a letdown after the wonderful “Magician”, but I do think “Tugboat” is fairly mediocre. It offers a moderate amount of amusement but never really escalates into anything more. 6/10.

(Note – “Tugboat” might be funnier if you watch with subtitles activated. That’s because the people who wrote them had trouble understanding Donald. For instance, “well I’ll be dog-goned!” turns into “that’s a good job!”)

R'coon Dawg (1951, Charles A. Nichols): Mickey and Pluto try to hunt a raccoon. The cutesiest of this DVD’s shorts, “Dawg” is also the worst. It repeats the theme of “Pointer” but lacks much bite. 4/10.


The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

Funny Factory with Mickey – Volume One appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Since all these shorts already appeared on “Disney Treasures” collections, I expected them to look good. For the most part, they offered fine visuals, but there was less consistency than I expected.

Sharpness generally appeared good. At times, some softness interfered with the presentation; periodically, sequences looked a bit blurry or out of focus. In particular, I thought “Trip” was a bit soft. However, those instances seemed infrequent, as the cartoons largely were nicely crisp and clear. Jagged edges and moiré effects caused no concerns, but some light edge enhancement did seem visible on occasion.

Print flaws varied but generally stayed minor for material of this vintage. Overall, the most significant issues related to light dust along with some occasional marks, speckles, grit and blotches. “Seal”, “Moose” and “Parrot” were the worst offenders, as they showed the most dirt. “Tugboat” was also grainer than expected. Still, the shorts were cleaner than usual for material of their vintage.

Colors consistently seemed strong. The tones were bright and vivid throughout the shorts, with very few exceptions on display. The cartoons stuck largely with primary colors, and these looked quite distinct and vibrant at virtually all times. Black levels also appeared nicely deep and rich, while shadow detail was clear and accurate throughout the shorts. Overall, the cartoons looked pretty solid.

The monaural audio of Funny Factory also showed some age-related concerns, but the sound seemed fine considering its vintage. Dialogue sounded a little edgy at times, but for the most part, the lines were acceptably clear and accurate. Effects showed a bit of distortion and harshness, but they stayed fairly clean and distinct through the shorts. Music also demonstrated variable levels of shrill and rough tones, but this wasn’t unexpected, and the score seemed reasonably solid. Decent depth accompanied some effects, but the track was pretty thin and tinny as a whole. The audio was never impressive, but it seemed more than acceptable for its age.

When we look at supplements, we get virtually nothing. The DVD opens with ads for Lady and the Tramp, Bambi II, and Pooh’s Grand Adventure. These also appear in the DVD’s Sneak Peeks domain along with promos for Dumbo, Chicken Little and The Little Mermaid.

Funny Factory with Mickey includes one excellent cartoon, one relative clunker, and a bunch of pretty good ones. It’s not the Mouse’s absolute best, but it has plenty of fun moments. The DVD provides reasonably solid picture and audio but lacks substantial extras. Disney buffs will already own these shorts via the “Treasures” releases, but casual fans should give the set a look.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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