75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2004
Okay so many of us wont remember the Silly Symphonies (first time round or otherwise) but these shorts are the reason we now have such classic's as "Snow White", "Pinocchio" and "Bambi". These shorts weren't produced for laugh's like the Mickey Mouse cartoons of the same time. They were made as an experiment in animation. Not only do they succeed in doing so, but they are also extremely entertaining.
There are 34 shorts (you have to find 3 of them) on this two disc set and they range from charming, to having great stories, to having great characters, or all three. Don't worry that some of the shorts don't contain the big stars like Goffy or Mickey (although Donald and Pluto are present) just watch and enjoy.
The shorts contained on this set are...
The Tortoise and the Hare, The Country Cousin, Babes in the Woods, Elmer Elephant, The Flying Mouse, The Golden Touch, The Robber Kitten, Lullaby Land, Mother Goose Melodies, Water Babies, The Wise Little Hen, Three Little Pigs, The Big Bad Wolf, Three Little Wolves, Toby Tortoise Returns, Who Killed Cock Robin?, The Grasshopper and the Ants, Wynken, Blynken and Nod, Mother Pluto, Peculiar Penguins, The Old Mill, Funny Little Bunnies, The Ugly Duckling (1939), The Ugly Duckling (1931), Father Noah's Ark, Birds of a Feather, The Busy Beavers, Just Dogs, Music Land, The China Plate, Egyptian Melodies, Flowers and Trees, The Cookie Carnival, The Skeleton Dance, Woodland Café, Farmyard Symphony.
There is also a some special features found here that give you the background of these shorts and why they were made.
All else I can say is
BUY THIS SET NOW! You wont be disapointted.
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2004
Ever wondered how the Disney studio rose to become the top animation studio in the world in the 1930s?
Well part of the answer can be found in this colection of 34 cartoons from the "Silly Symphony" series.
A couple of these have surfaced on the "Fables" collection of DVDs. Cartoons (sorry, Animation Shorts for the collectors out there!) such as The Old Mill, The Ugly Duckling & Wynken, Blynken And Nod.
But whereas the Fables discs have only been about an hour long this collection of 2 discs (with initial copies coming in a rather nice metal tin) runs to close to six hours in length !!!!
If you have children it's practically guaranteed to keep them quiet for over 2 hours per disc. Unfortuantely they're so entertaining that you'll find yourself watching the cartoons alongside them so you'll get no extra housework done.
There are a couple of short documentaries here too. A chat with Richard M Sherman (the guy who co-wrote the Mary Poppins tunes) and the other looking at the early Disney merchandise (yes, even back in the beginning there was Disney merchandise!!!)
It's hard to find anything to moan about when it's really the cartoons that speak for themselves here. Maybe a list of when the cartoons were released would have been handy, perhaps a little bit of back history for each cartoon, but that really is nitpicking on what is a top notch release.
In the States there have so far been 11 releases in the Walt Disney Treasures series and whilst I'm not too concerned about the "Complete Davy Crockett" or "Disneyland USA" I certainly hope we get to see the Complete Goofy, Donald Duck and Black & White Mickey Mouse collections.
If you enjoy this then it's "sister" set Mickey Mouse In Living Colour has also just been released in the UK (plus it's equally as good). Or if you fancy something other than Disney you won't go far wrong with the recent Looney Tunes or Tom & Jerry DVD releases.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2012
Now these are a god send, bloody difficult to get in The Uk, but certainly a treat! Now, 90% of these cartoons are fully restored and wondeful.
As always with these treasures, you get beautiful shorts with minor interuptions from our host, Leonard Maltin! As I have stated on other reviews of these treasures, if it gets these shorts on DVD, I'm not complaining.
Now, The U.K. release, unlike the U.S. release, has the original "Jewish peddler" visuals restored to Three Little Pigs. (for any buffs out there)
This Italian version plays 100% in English, it may have the italian writing on the box, but dont let that put you off, its a good way to get these shorts on dvd without having to fork out crazy amounts of money for imports etc.
The list of cartoons are...
Fables and fairy tales -
The Tortoise and the Hare (1935)
The Country Cousin (1936)
Babes in the Wood (1932)
Elmer Elephant (1936)
The Flying Mouse (1934)
The Golden Touch (1935)
The Robber Kitten (1935)
Lullaby Land (1933)
Mother Goose Melodies (1931)
Favorite characters -
The Wise Little Hen (1934)
Three Little Pigs (1933)
The Big Bad Wolf (1934)
Three Little Wolves (1936)
Toby Tortoise Returns (1936)
Additional cartoons (via Easter eggs)-
The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934)
Water Babies (1935)
Who Killed Cock Robin? (1935)
Wynken, Blynken & Nod (1938)
The Practical Pig (1939)
Leonard's picks -
Note: They are repeated form other sections of the DVD -
Three Little Pigs
The Flying Mouse
The Grasshopper and the Ants
Wynken, Blynken & Nod
The Tortoise and the Hare
Nature on screen -
Mother Pluto (1936)
Peculiar Penguins (1934)
The Old Mill (1937)
Funny Little Bunnies (1934)
The Ugly Duckling (1939)
The Ugly Duckling (1931)
Father Noah's Ark (1933)
Birds of a Feather (1931)
The Busy Beavers (1931)
Just Dogs (1932)
Accent on music -
Music Land (1935)
The China Plate (1931)
Egyptian Melodies (1931)
Flowers and Trees (1932)
The Cookie Carnival (1935)
The Skeleton Dance (1929)
Woodland Café (1937)
Additional cartoons (via Easter eggs) -
The Old Mill (1937)
Farmyard Symphony (1938)
Leonard's picks -
The Ugly Duckling (1931)
The Ugly Duckling (1939)
Flowers & Trees
The Skeleton Dance
Now if you have any concerns about cuts as The Chronological Donald Duck Volume 2 had a short missing, and some minor cuts, you can contact me via a comment and I'd be happy to sift through on any short you believe maybe cut before you buy.
All in all, fantastic buy, fantastic quality, we just need more Region 2 releases via. The Uk!
Ciao and thanks for reading
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I did not commence regular cinema going until after the hey day of Walt Disney’s “Silly Symphonies” so this two DVD set has been a revelation.
The animations are well chosen to illustrate the improvements in technique from the late twenties until 1939. There are a fair number of the pre 1933 black and white cartoons, these are historically interesting but the moment Walt changed to colour everything took on a new dimension, depth, naturalness and above all the characters are able to display emotion, something completely missing in the black and white films. A great example of this is to compare the 1931 and 1939 versions of the “Ugly Duckling”.
The restoration is superb, everything seems newly minted. These animations are so diverse you can easily watch an entire DVD at one sitting without any sense of “I have seen it before”.
My only grouse is the “The Water Babies” on disc 1 and “Farmyard Symphony” on disc 2 are not on the menus but can only be played by tracing the hidden area to click on, seems rather silly to me but I suppose I should not spoil Disney’s little game.
The restoration is superb, everything seems newly minted, truly lovely set.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2009
This was a present for my son who had worn out his original VHS tape of "Silly Symphonies".
Excellent quality and fast turnaround = one very happy customer!
I was a little unsure about getting "Walt Disney Treasures - Silly Symphonies" due to the price being just over £10. I had, just last week, bought Vintage Mickey for £5 and didn't want to waste my money.
But glad to say I was worrying over nothing. You get so much more and it is worth the higher price. This set is just under a massive 5 hours long, compared to the 1 hour Vintage Mickey you get so much more (hence the higher price).
As for the set itself. Well the DVD case is not English, but don't let that worry you. The disks inside are English, the shorts are English and even the subs are English too. There is 2 disks covering the 5 hours & while the DVD case says you get 31 shorts we in-fact get 33 shorts, plus 2 bonus small documentary (I've listed everything below), so yep, very happy with this set.
The Tortoise and the Hare, 19th January 1935
The Country Cousin, 15th August 1936
Babes in the Woods, 19th November 1932
Elmer Elephant, 18th January 1936
The Flying Mouse, 14th July 1834
The Golden Touch, 16th February 1935
The Robber Kitten, 13th April 1935
Lullaby Land, 11th November 1933
Mother Goose Melodies, 17th April 1931
The Wise Little Hen, 19th May 1934
Three Little Pigs, 27th May 1933
The Big Bad Wolf, 14th April 1934
Three Little Wolves, 14th March 1936
Toby Tortoise Returns, 18th April 1936
Wynken, Blynken and Nod, 27th May 1938
The Grasshopper and the Ants, 17th February 1934
Mother Pluto, 10th October 1936
Peculiar Penguins, 20th October 1934
The Old Mill, 22nd October 1937
Funny Little Bunnies, 10th March 1934
The Ugly Duckling, 7th April 1939
The Ugly Duckling, 16th December 1931
Father Noah's Ark, 8th April 1933
Birds of a Feather, 10th February 1931
The Busy Beavers, 22nd June 1931
Just Dogs, 16th April 1932
Music Land, 14th September 1935
The China Plate, 25th May 1931
Egyptian Melodies, 21st August 1931
Flowers and Trees, 30th July 1932
The Cookie Carnival, 15th June 1935
The Skeleton Dance, 22nd August 1929
Woodland Café, 17th January 1937
10 mins documentary about the Silly Symphonies music
20 mins documentary about Silly Symphonies merchandise
on 19 January 2010
* Only 150,000 sets issued
* Disc One
* Fables and Fairy Tales (9 cartoons)
* Favorite Characters (5 cartoons)
* Leonard's Picks (6 cartoons)
* Disc Two
* Accent on Music (7 cartoons)
* Nature on the Screen (10 cartoons)
* Leonard's Picks (4 cartoons)
* See below for complete list of cartoons
* Supplemental Features
* "The Song of the Silly Symphonies" Leonard Maltin and Composer Richard Sherman
* "Silly Symphonies Souvenirs" Leonard Maltin and Dave Smith of the Disney Archives
* Still Gallery
* Easter Eggs
This groundbreaking series of 31 uncensored cartoons, released between 1929 and 1939, includes six Academy Award(R) winners and provides an astonishing look inside the evolution of animation. Each boasting a unique cast of characters, these musical shorts served as Walt Disney's proving ground for emerging technology, new musical styles, and experimental forms. In addition to the cartoons themselves, join Academy Award(R)-winning composer Richard M. Sherman (MARY POPPINS) for an overview of the "Silly Symphony" series, and take a peek inside the Disney archives to view some rare and remarkable merchandise, conceptual art, and theatrical posters. Enjoy a nostalgic look back at the original musical shorts that launched a revolution in the world of animation. Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come.
In 1928, when Walt Disney's artists completed "The Skeleton Dance," the distributor of the Mickey Mouse shorts rejected the first "Silly Symphony" with a two-word telegram: "MORE MICE." Disney arranged to screen "Skeleton Dance" at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles, where it received an enthusiastic response, and the series took off. Seven "Silly Symphonies" won Academy Awards, beginning with "Flowers and Trees." Disney used these musically themed shorts to train young artists and test new styles, effects, and technologies: every film represented an innovation of some sort. In "Three Little Pigs," characters who looked alike demonstrated different personalities through the way they moved. "The Old Mill" showcased the newly invented Multiplane camera. The Sugar Cookie Girl in "Cookie Carnival" was one of several female characters the artists created while learning to animate a believable heroine for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The well-chosen selections in this set demonstrate how quickly Disney advanced the art of animation during the '30s. Only eight years separate the crude black-and-white version of "The Ugly Duckling" (1931) from the moving Technicolor Oscar-winner of 1939. Over 60 years later, these films have lost none of their charm. The jazz-dancing insects in "Woodland Café," the wonderfully animated caricature of Mae West in "Who Killed Cock Robin," and the instrument-characters in "Music Land" remain as delightful as ever. Leonard Maltin makes a genial host, and two hidden cartoons include Walt's introductions from the old Disneyland program. --Charles Solomon
A wonderful dvd set!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2014
The government should stop the national curriculum and insist that all children watch these. Bright kids could do some lovely historical analysis. Musical kids could simply sing and dance.x
on 23 September 2014
An excellent selection of Disney's Silly Symphonies. The image quality of the different titles, is indeed a little variable, but I assume that this is due to the quality of the original source material. My only adverse comment, is that there is no actual title index, either in the storage box or on the discs. The title list menu only shows the index number of the tracks, 16 on disc one and 17 on disc two, so I have typed out a listing of the titles, so I can that I can find the individual titles fast. Apart from that it's pure Disney Magic at it's best.
on 29 December 2011
This DVD set of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies cartoons are just fantastic.
The cartoons are beautifully drawn. the music is infectiously catchy and occasionally tug's at your heart strings.
Film critic and animation lover Leonard Maltin introduces some of the shorts and also picks out his favourites in this collection.
My stand out cartoons are the 'Three Little Pig's', 'Father Noah's Ark' and 'Flowers and Tree's' as they bring back pleasant childhood memories.
Spread over two disc's I highly recommend this DVD for both children and adults.