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The Walt Disney Treasures series has been a gold mine to Disney lovers who want to own the old classics from the early days. Having previously focused on Mickey and Goofy, the series now turns to Donald Duck for the first of what promises to be many volumes.
This set focuses on his early solo career with 36 cartoons from 1934-1941. It actually starts with "The Wise Little Hen," a Silly Symphony retelling of the classic fable where Donald only plays a small part. He's a co-star in "Donald and Pluto," and finally gets solo billing in the third short, 1937's "Don Donald." That short also introduces an early version of Daisy, who only shows up again one other time in this set, "Mr. Duck Steps Out" on disc two. His nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, make many appearances in this set in such shorts as "Donald's Nephews" (their first), "Hockey Champ," "Good Scouts," and "Truant Officer Donald."
I must admit, Donald has always been my least favorite of the Disney characters. My first complaint has been that I never could understand a word he's saying. I watched every cartoon in the set with the closed captions on, and let me tell you, it made quite the difference. Unfortunately, sometimes it spoiled a joke by letting you guess something was coming, but it was still worth it.
My other problem with Donald is more fundamental. He gets provoked way too easily and has a mean streak. There are some cartoons where I find myself rooting for him to fail, like when he tries to drown a bee for fun in "Window Washers." Of course, I find myself sympathizing with him more often then not, such as when a fly buzzes him for no reason in "Old MacDonald Duck." And sometimes it's just a case of funny bad luck, as is "Donald's Lucky Day" or "Chef Donald."
Leonard Maltin continues to host this series. As usual, we get an informative introduction on both discs. He also gives us a warning before any cartoon that might be considered offensive today. Like many, I find his breaking in more annoying then anything in the cartoons itself, but if that's what it takes to get these cartoons released, I'll live with it. The cartoons have obviously been restored as the picture is sharp and the sound is wonderful. Still in mono and nothing spectacular by today's standards, but you can easily hear everything. The bonus material seems a little light. Disc one has a photo gallery of stills, books, and other merchandise featuring Donald from the period. Disc two features a five-minute mini-biography on Clarence "Ducky" Nash, the voice behind the duck for over 50 years. There are some fun Easter Eggs to hunt for as well.
Ultimately, this set won me over to the exacerbated Duck. Which is fortunate since volume two of this collection is set for this year's wave of Treasure titles.
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The restoration of these immortal cartoons is absolutely superb, and the pictures on our screens are far better than those projected through the haze of cigarette smoke hanging in the upper reaches of cinemas during the 1930s and 1940s.
Watching these 29 shorts is fascinating, although Donald was a star from the first it was some time before Disney really cottoned on to suitable stories playing to his irascible character.
Leonard Maltin popping up before a few selected films to explain away perceived violence or lack of political correctness is simply silly, at least as seen this side of the Atlantic.
There are a number of good extras including a short tribute to Clarence (Ducky) Nash the voice of Donald and old comic covers and first comic strips (although these are unreadable even on a 32 inch LCD screen).
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on 24 August 2010
Suppose you don't have Disney channel for your junior clone, or you just want to re-live your own early years, these are genuinely sidesplitting cartoons of a type too sadly lost to political correctness.
Since the 1990's media culture has weaned - with some justification - young ones away from the violence of guns and fighting. Fair enough when you see some of the appalling beat-em-up toys you can buy for corn-fed tots in the US-of-A. But it's gone too far. Far too far and if you are truly irritated by the overly sensitive syrupy mush that is the entire starring cast of the Night Garden, then this is the perfect riposte. Good old fashioned rotteness at some other poor souls expense, that is painfully funny.
Laugh without mercy or justification, poke fun at the hapless and weak and feel no guilt afterwards.
This the good honest fun that folk one time came home to after they'd finished building the world.

The collection charts DD's earliest outings chronologically and in all guises and pseudonyms.
Much has been fairly said of The Commentary - which is simply too anal and is pitched at the level anorak suited buffs would demand at a Disney convention lecture. It is wholly unecessary and jarrs obliquely with the thickly splashed slapstick of the 'toons, but mercifully (depending on how your DVD player navigates) quickly rolls by without disturbing the entertainment.

Easily the best of Disney "short" stars at his best. If you get a chance to play infront of virgin-eyes watch the reaction of tots who've never seen DD before. Well over an hour of animated gold.
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on 18 January 2013
It was 1934 when the irascible Donald Duck came to life in a teeny bit of a part in 'The Wise Little Men' and proceeded to steal the show. From that point on nobody could hold him back, and the much-loved cranky character went on the most profilic of Walt's FAB FIVE.

Now for the First Time, you can enjoy Donald in ALL of his STARRING SHORTS from 'Donald & Pluto' in 1936 to 'Chef Donald' in 1941.

This Volume also includes insights into the origins and career of the belligerent 'bird' from Tony Aselmo, a renowned Disney Animator who apprenticed for 3 years with Clarence "Ducky" Nash, the originator of Donald's distinctive voice.

Also features exclusive introductions by film historian, Leonald Maltin, making this 2 DVD Set a TIMELESS Collection from generations past for generations to come.
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on 18 September 2010
This is a Great Donald Duck dvd with loads and loads of episodes on 2 discs.
Very enjoyable and funny to watch again and again :)
Looking foward to volume 2 when that comes out.
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on 11 December 2014
Well, I'm a big fan, and I'm now able to view old cartoons that I've never seen before. Donald is my favourite character and I find it very funny when he gets frustrated with things. I especially love one episode, where he goes to a robot museum and the robot butler keeps trying to take his hats. Knowing me I'll end up getting the next volume of donald cartoons.
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on 13 November 2010
Donald Duck is my favourate cartoon character even though am over 27 years old, but WHY THE HELL Disney dicided not to release the rest of the 3 DVD sets of Donald Duck in the European area, is that because people here can't make as much money as the yankee?
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on 18 December 2007
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