As predicted, I only got through one disc last night...Fun and Fancy Free. Since I finally broke down and upgraded by Ichabod and Mr. Toad DVD to Blu-Ray, this movie made up the other half of the combo pack (although I already had it on a stand-alone DVD). Of course, all the offerings on it I have seen before (some numerous times), but it has been a while and I actually didn't stitch just so I could watch them. It is basically composed of two shorts, Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk and a rather long, but fun opening sequence to the entire thing with Jiminy Cricket (who shows up again during Mickey and the Beanstalk).
Bongo, as a cartoon, really isn't that special, but there is just something about that music from the 40's and 50's that has always appealed to me. It might be because a couple of my grandparents played their old records a lot when I was little, but that kind of music has always been like comfort food. It's probably why my favorite Disney cartoons have great crooners behind them...like Bing Crosby for Ichabod or Roy Rogers for Pecos Bill. Bongo was narrated by and the music was all by Dinah Shore and, unfortunately, I am old enough to remember Dinah Shore (although, in my defense, she was much older when I was a kid!).
I remember Mickey and the Beanstalk from childhood and I've got it on several different discs throughout my collection, but I didn't remember this version because the story was told by Edgar Bergen to, of course, his "friends" Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd (yep, definitely showing my age here because I used to have a Charlie McCarthy doll). Jiminy is here too as well as Luana Patten (little Ginny from Song of the South and she was also in the Pecos Bill prequel section with Roy Rogers). This is one of those rare occasions when I don't mind that the action of the film drops back to the second story line happening in the background, because I was always a Charlie and Mortimer fan as a child (I watched a LOT of PBS in my young life). If you do some online searches, you can easily find a lot of the old Charlie McCarthy Shows online (and Edgar is also the father of Candace Bergen, for those of you slightly younger than me, but still remembers Murphy Brown).
Anyhoo, I actually really liked this version of Mickey and the Beanstalk better because they cut the story so short in all the other versions. It's still not feature-length and I did miss Ludwig Von Drake's narration a bit, but I would find myself rolling at cynical old Charlie during the intermissions! I would definitely recommend this version any day of the week! Plus, this is the last time Walt would ever voice Mickey himself, so it's a classic for that alone.
I picked this trailer because I also tend to love the old trailers a lot better than the newer ones.
The only bonus feature on the disc was The Reluctant Dragon, but oh what a bonus feature it is! For those that have never seen The Reluctant Dragon, definitely run out and get it because it's not just a cartoon. I've watched it since my teens, but only because they didn't release it until the mid 80's since its initial release in the 40's because it flopped big time. I also seem to remember it being released in the middle of the artist's strike, so times weren't very good at the company in those days. I don't know the exact dates, but the first part of the film is in black and white and the second half in color. I probably should be researching this stuff before I start quoting dates (because, most of the time I'm just guessing by the style), but I figure if you guys were interested, you could look it up on Wikipedia just as easily as I could and I can't imagine too many of you even care.
It basically follows the noted actor Robert Benchley on his quest to get his wife's favorite book, The Reluctant Dragon, turned into an animated picture. Robert wanders through the halls of the Disney Studios, meeting and talking with real-life Disney legends like Clarence "Ducky" Nash, Ward Kimball, and Wooly Reitherman as well as many others, seeing how animated movies were made when animation was actually an art form (HA! you knew I'd get that in there at some point). He also runs across Donald and Goofy and several other characters. By the time Robert does finally make it to Walt to pitch him the idea, he finds him in the screening room with all the other Disney legends to watch their newest feature, The Reluctant Dragon...they beat him to it!
Someone has actually posted the entire thing on YouTube but, for some weird reason, the voices are all sped up and it's just too weird.
Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk are definitely shorts, one being animation and the other mixed-medium. The Reluctant Dragon, while not your typical full-length feature length, has that full feature feel to it (and it's almost long enough to be), so I'm going to count it that way and it is most definitely mixed medium.
This weekend is the International Hermit and Stitch weekend, which is always great for knocking out a lot of these movies, but I also have to fix a computer tomorrow, so not so much this particular weekend. Oh, and I've done my TUSAL pic, I just haven't posted it yet. I'll do that Sunday with the Weekly Stitching Post.
Oh, and FYI, I was right! The Dawn space craft was just giving Pluto it's moment...it was cleared today to go back into action after it's glitch and is now ready to drop to the third science orbit which is within 1500km of the dwarf planet. Now, maybe we'll finally be able to see what the heck those bright spots are (I still vote for ice...any takers).
Live Action: 44
Full-Length Animation: 87
Animated Shorts: 279
Live Action Shorts: 1
Mixed-Medium Shorts: 3
Animated Series: 77
Mixed-Medium Series: 2