Ub Iwerks, of course, is credited as Disney's finest and fastest animator of the late 20s, as well as achieving the honour of coming up with the first effective 'MICKEY MOUSE' drawings.
Leaving DISNEY around 1930 to set up his own studio, this DVD is chock-a-block with early animation gems, which have been sadly neglected by general animation history----I can't remember seeing any of these animations on UK television, which is a great shame, as I'm sure I would have loved this stuff as a kid.The technical quality of these prints are acceptable: but they're not up to the restoration standards of the LOONEY TUNES, for example. Most 'FLIP the FROG' cartoons [bar one or two]are clear enough, but the colour ones are watchable, but not razor-sharp. However, this is possibly the finest quality we can realistically expect to see these works, and on this level, this purchase is worthwhile.
If you prefer the wisecracking of BUGS BUNNY or the artistry of DISNEY, this is not for you; however anyone who enjoys the off-the-wall humour of early 30s BETTY BOOP, for example--as I do----will surely enjoy these items from around the same era [1030-36].
I personally enjoy the B/W 'FLIP the FROG' animations best here, [there are different sections, indexing different themes] and although FLIP has been sadly relegated to animation obscurity, we can at least enjoy his finest hour on this disc: his comic-horror short 'SPOOKS' is definately among my favourite-ever animations. 'STORMY SEAS' is also great, with fantastic rolling waves, and a sinister NEPTUNE figure who drags our hero undersea...
Also contains the ultra-bizarre 'BALLOONLAND', one of the strangest animations ever produced, with it's oddball balloon heroes imperilled by the demonic 'PINCUSHION MAN'----sadly this is slightly marred by shifting colour which crops up on the occassional 'toon, but still well worth seeing, as is the very imaginitive 'STRATOS FEAR' featuring the long-forgotten 'WILLY WHOPPER', with much otherworldly tomfoolery.
Some of the character designs and even animation is very reminiscent of FLEISCHER'S output of this period: check out 'COO COO the Magician, with it's very BOOP-like heroine. It has to be said that occassional glimpses of shapely female thigh and other sauciness crop up here and there, but this just adds to the outrageous anarchy on view.
There are 26 'toons, [and a bonus fragment of a colour 'WILLY WHOPPER' adventure set in Hell] so I'm not complaining about the absence of bonus features...this runs to over a [very healthy] 3 hours. I give this 4 stars on account of the occassional glitch in picture quality, but to see these sadly-neglected gems in this watchable format is highly reccomended, for aficiandos of early-mid 1930s cartoon animation especially.
[VOL 1 will be reviewed on AMAZON shortly].