Rank the Walt Disney Treasure Sets

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ernest Rister, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Just because making lists is fun...and because its that time of year again.

    Ranking the Treasures Sets so Far (ev'rybody chime in with their own)

    1. Disney on the Front Lines (I've written extensivley on this, and won't elaborate, suffice it to say this is one of the best DVD sets of the year, containing some of the most powerful examples of animation as a informational and propaganda tool ever released in a single setting.)

    2. Tomorrowland (A celebration of some of the most unique hours of television ever produced, as people in the 50's imagine what life will be like in the decades to come. Bold, committed, serious, and whimsical, all at the same time. The second disc with Walt's visions for EPCOT are startling.)

    3. The Silly Symphonies (Other cartoon series may have produced more laughs, or more endearing characters, but Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies get my vote for the greatest cartoon series of all time, because this was the experimental sandbox through which Walt's animators discovered and codified many of the principles of animation still used tofay. The set has one major flaw -- the material is not presented chronologically, robbing non-schooled audiences the thrill of seeing animation progress from "The Skeleton Dance" to the character work in "The Country Cousin" and the astonishing f/x work of "The Old Mill")

    4. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. I ("Lonesome Ghosts", "Mickey's Trailer", "Clock Cleaners", "The Band Concert" -- need I say more?)

    5. The Complete Goofy (Disney's great physical comedian - while many of his best routines are found on the Mickey Mouse In Living Color set, only a scrooge could keep a straight face during "Goofy Gymnastics" or "Aquamania")

    6. The Chronological Donald Vol. I (The funniest cartoon series of the Disney studios was built around "the Duck", and here we see many of the kinks being worked out of what would become a truly inspired cartoon series in the 40's and 50's. That is this set's only real problem - the best Duck cartoons would follow in the intervening years, and it is almost a cruel tease for the great work to come. Vol. II should be a real treat)

    7. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. II (An unusually strong collection of bonus features helps this disc overcome the essential dilemna of its content - namely the decline of Mickey Mouse as a box office attraction. Unfortunately, a couple of the highlights of the disc have been previously released to DVD - "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" makes it's third go-round on DVD, while "Mickey and the Beanstalk" is essentially half of the the feature release Fun and Fancy Free. Two standouts from the Walt era remain, namely "The Nifty 90's", featuring a laugh-out-loud parody of melodrama, and "The Pointer", with Fred Moore's re-design of mickey making his first public premiere. The modern Mickey cartoons ("Mickey's Christmas Carol", "The Prince and the Pauper", and "Runaway Brain", are hit and miss affairs, with "Runaway Brain" the most inspired of the lot)

    8. Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. I (The immense historical value has an appeal all its own, and as a window onto animation in the late 20's, it is invaluable. There are stand-out works of bravura experimentation like "The Mad Doctor", one of the best Disney cartoons, and Ub Iwerks "Plane Crazy", but the real problem is that we are vewing these outside of the context of audiences in 1928, 1929, 1930, etc. In 1928, seeing a cartoon cow on screen actually appear to "Moo" was a sensational novelty. 12 years later, we would have Fantasia, making "Steamboat Willie" look, well, archaic. Still, if you have the imagination to send yourself back in time, you'll fid much to appreciate here.)

    9. Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios (If you're looking for a fun, general primer on some of the principles of animation, you couldn't possibly do better than this set, which is essentially Walt Disney personally taking you on a guided tour through the history of animation and the principles of animation discovered by his artists in the 20's, 30's and even 40's. The highlight of the disc is a top-to-bottom recreation of the original vaudeville presentation of Winsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur". This set is absolute nirvana for animation junkies, but for others, they will only get as much interest out of the set as they are willing to put into it. For people curious about animation as an art form, and want to learn more, this is the absolute best place to start, just as it was for Leonard Maltin and John Canemaker in the 50's, and for myself in re-runs on the Disney channel in the early 80's.)

    10. Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (The episodes are solid hours of television, and Jeff York is great as always, chewing up the scenery playing Mike Fink. But the appeal of the set is probably limited to nostalgia buffs - truth be known, these short films aren't exactly Disney's finest hour. Good overview of the Crockett Craze, however, and a fun look at the history of Crockett merchandise)

    11. Disneyland USA (alarmingly thin compared to the potential of what this set could have been, and some of the content is indeed cut, contrary to the stated goals of the WDT series. It seems as if the idea was to get the opening day telecast onto DVD, and then everything else was an afterthought. Very little context, very little historical information, and very few bonus features -- just a big wasted opportunity)
     
  2. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    I pretty much agree with your list, Ernest. I don't, however, own the two sets that occupy your 10th and 11th spots, so my list would be this:

    1. Disney on the Front Lines
    2. The Silly Symphonies
    4. Mickey Mouse in Living Color 1/2
    5. Mickey Mouse in Black and White 1/2
    6. The Complete Goofy
    7. The Chronological Donald 1
    8. The Complete Pluto 1
    9. Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios
    10. Tomorrowland
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Excellent:

    Behind the Scenes at Disney Studios
    The Complete Goofy
    On the Front Lines
    Tomorrowland
    The Chronological Donald, Vol. I

    Great:

    Davy Crockett
    Mickey Mouse in B&W, Vol. I
    Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol. I
    Silly Symphonies

    Good:

    Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol. II

    Just OK:

    Disneyland USA
     
  4. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    1) Disney on the Front Lines
    2) The Silly Symphonies
    3) The Complete Goofy
    4) The Chronological Donald Vol.1
    5) Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol.1
    6) Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol.2
    7) Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol.1
    8) Tomorrowland
     
  5. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    We need more Tomorrowland love here.
     
  6. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Silly Symphonies
    Front Lines
    Goofy
    Mickey Color 1
    Donald
    Behind the Scenes
    Mickey BW
    Mickey Color 2
    Disneyland
    Davy Crockett

    abstain: Tomorrowland (sadly I have yet to crack this open! [​IMG] )
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    1. Disney on the Front Lines
    2. Tomorrowland
    3. Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier
    4. The Complete Goofy
    5. The Chronological Donald Vol. I
    6. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. I
    7. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. II
    8. Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios
    9. Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. I
    10. The Silly Symphonies
    11. Disneyland USA
     
  8. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Sadly, I only have six of these sets so could not do a complete ranking, but I absolutely love the On the Front Lines set, it may be the most interesting and informative DVD I own in a lot of ways.
     
  9. RichardLoomis

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    This is a tough call, as I do enjoy them all in different ways:

    1. Frontlines: simply because I think it was a bold release, although baffling (this but not Song of the South?).

    2. The Complete Goofy: Well, I've always enjoyed the Goofy shorts more than the others, simply because I can relate to him [​IMG] This is also the single most complete set to date, with all 46 toons on the 2 discs. Missing a few of the later ones, so it might be dubbed The Completeish Goofy.

    3. Davy Crockett: I bought this originally for the sake of having a complete set, but I was quickly won over by Crocketmania. Fess Parker is such a likeable performer, it is hard not to watch these over and over.

    5. Behind the Scenes: This is what the Treasures are all about really - old school Disney and how it was done. The inclusion of The Reluctant Dragon is worth the price alone, but the rest of the material is gold. I've watched this repeatedly.

    6. Mickey in Living Colour Volume 2: Talk about packed! Some have muttered about "Oh, but you can get this short on this set, why include Fantasia..." etc. But Disney didn't have to, and they have still included pretty much every Mickey short on the various Mickey sets (4 as of next week). A true Treasure.

    7. Mickey in Living Colour Volume 1: For once I'll agree with Ernest's assessment - with shorts like those, how can you go wrong? Lonesome Ghost has been on more DVDs than any other short though, I believe.

    8. Mickey in B & W Volume 1: I actually think some of the shorts on here are terrific, and this is one of the most important historical documents in both film and animation. Look how much animation has changed in the seven short years between the first and last toons. I only rank this lower simply because I know I probably won't watch this one much again.

    9. Silly Symphonies: There are some excellent examples of animation here too, but I rank them lower again, simply because of my own rewatchability values.

    10. Chronological Donald: This may one day rank higher but I have a confession - I have barely watched this since the May release! I was so caught up in Frontlines, I just didn't get around to it.

    11. Disneyland USA: There are some fascinating clips on here, and have real archive value. However, after watching the special once, it will be a long time before I do again.
     
  10. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    I believe those were purposefully left off, and should appear on a "miscellaneous/educational" set.
     
  11. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    This is an invaluable thread, as I only have the SILLY SYMPHONIES set so far and have wanted to complete the collection for awhile. The Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck sets are no brainers, thanks for the info!
     
  12. Steven Wesley

    Steven Wesley Second Unit

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    Interesting topic, especially since the criteria for ranking is left up to personal interpretation. For me, I guess I look at quality of set from a production standpoint along with personal enjoyment.
    1. The Complete Goofy
      When I think about cartoon rewatchability, I tend to go back to the Goofy set. I guess personally, I enjoyed him as a character more than the other in the Fab 5. Since this was a Wave 2 release, Disney also fixed the blatant ordering errors found in Wave 1 and gave us the choice to watch in both chronological and alphabetical order. Solid production and good enjoyment.
    2. Davy Crockett
      Having never grown up in the Crockett era, I found this fun to watch from a historical and nostalgic perspective. Also, I never quite understood all the Crockett-theme rides at Walt Disney World until I watched these shows on DVD. The set is short on extra features, but I'm OK with that
    3. Disneyland USA
      My love for Disney started in reverse when compared to most folks. I've always been fascinated with the theme park side of things; only recently have I dug into the animation vault to appreciate advances in this medium. Anything having to do with the parks is fine with me, though this set really annoyed the heck out of most folks due to all the edits.
    4. Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios
      Also fun to rewatch, at least from the perspective of catching The Reluctant Dragon. Everything else probably doesn't hold as much in the "hey, let's pop this in to watch again" department.
    5. Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. I
      This is the set that prompted me to first start creating DVD inserts for the Treasures line, as it was just a navigation nightmare (along with Silly Symphonies). Not knowing much of the earlier history of the Mouse, it was great to see these shorts from the first color era.
    6. Disney on the Front Lines
      Great because it tells you how to best build a latrine in Latin America! Seriously, it took a lot of guts to release this set and the result is a great collection of things we've never seen before. It's a prize to hang on to, and probably marks the high mark of the Treasures concept.
    7. Tomorrowland
      Who doesn't like space? I never lived during the Space Race era, but it was great to imagine what it must have been like while viewing these older programs. Loved the inclusion of all the concept artwork.
    8. Silly Symphonies
      Here's an idea... let's make entire shorts as Easter Eggs and then make it impossible to find them! Once you figured out where everything was on this set and tried to play it chronologically, it was a great way to see advances in animation. Probably one of the best examples of progress in the Treasures line.
    9. Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. I
      It has the "one that started it all." Can't go wrong there. Plus, how can you miss gratuitous animal violence, sensual tango dancing, hot dog spanking, spitting tobacco, and Mickey taking on the world with guns?
    10. The Chronological Donald Vol. I
      Nice to have in the DVD format if only for the subtitles to actually understand what the heck Donald is saying half the time. A good start in rolling out this huge library of shorts.
    11. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. II
      While important to have from a historical perspective, it was rather boring with the inclusion of what seemed like a lot of filler material. Still, glad that Disney had the heart to make this the best it could be.
     
  13. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    This is tough I own all the sets, but I've only watched a handful to completion (plan on working through the rest this holiday break) and haven't been able to get to any of the four from wave three because I've been trying to finish both the other sets and the Looney Tune Golden Collection sets. so here's my rankings:

    On the Front Lines - I've not watched the DVD, but I had downloaded several of the forbidden shorts beforehand, based on everything else on the dvd and everything I've read, this is the best Treasures release

    Mickey Mouse in Living Color vol 1 - my favorite release of the ones I've watched completely

    Complete Goofy - another favorite, but the second disc cartoons were a bit more 'b side' I felt.

    Davy Crockett - I loved this show as a kid, they're fun to watch now.

    Silly Symphonies - great cartoons, especially the first disc. I must have watched the Old Mill a dozen times since getting this set, incredible storytelling going on here.

    Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney Studios - Reluctant Dragon, great great film.

    Tomorrowland - Simply sounds like an incredible set

    Chronological donald - possibly my favorite character (because I've always been able to do the voice since I was very little) and I've still not gotten too it!

    Mickey Mouse in Black and White - an excellent set, but didn't hold as much interest for me as some of the other cartoons, good stuff though, very entertaining, not yet gotten to the second disc.

    Mickey Mouse in living color vol II - sounds good, not seen any of it.

    Disneyland USA - interesting for historical value and brer rabbit clips, but otherwise pretty blah.

    and I'm excited about completing my Mickey Cartoons, I'm extremely annoyed at only a volume 1 for Pluto (do one volume like you did for goofy you money grubbing bastards!) and I expect Mickey Mouse club to replace Disneyland USA as their least interesting and poorest release, but by now I'm buying them for completion sake.

    Adam
     
  14. DavidKNML

    DavidKNML Agent

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    Here's my list. I don't own Davy Crockett so it won't be ranked.

    1. Disney on the Front Lines
    2. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. II
    3. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. I
    4. The Complete Goofy
    5. The Silly Symphonies
    6. Disneyland USA
    7. Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. I
    8. The Chronological Donald Vol. I
    9. Tomorrowland
    10. Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios.

    Disney on the Front line is amazing and probably the DVD of the year for me. I've only watched the Reluctant Dragon on the Studio set so it could change as I watch the rest. The Mickey sets are so High because my kids really love them and I've seen them to most. I hate to mark Donald so low its a very good set.
     
  15. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    01. The Complete Goofy

    02. Disney On The Front Lines

    03. Tomorrowland

    04. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. I

    05. Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. I

    06. The Chronological Donald Vol. I

    07. Mickey Mouse in Living Color Vol. II

    08. Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios

    09. Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier

    10. The Silly Symphonies

    11. Disneyland USA
     
  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    1) On the Front Lines
    2) The Chronological Donald, Vol. I
    3) Behind the Scenes at Disney Studios
    4) Mickey Mouse in B&W, Vol. I
    5) Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol. I
    6) Silly Symphonies
    7) Disneyland USA
    8) Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol. II
    9) The Complete Goofy
    10) Davy Crockett
    11) Tomorrowland

    I didn't provide comments because I've reviewed all these sets - you can check out the reviews here: http://www.dvdmg.com/disney.shtml
     
  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Sorry. I thought it was fun to see for historical reasons but that was about it. It's easily my least favorite of the packages so far. (Haven't watched the three new ones yet...)
     
  18. Michael St. Clair

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    I'm exactly the opposite! I care little about the historical reference, but this set is a must-own for the brilliant animation of Ward Kimball!
     
  19. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Sorry.

    You don't have to apologize for having your own preferences, Colin. This thread was made for people to share their opinions -- for my part, I think Ward Kimball's work was spectacular, especially Mars and Beyond. The entertainment value, for me, is in the imagination and animation craftsmanship (and that "Mars Needs Women" spoof is damned funny). Ward Kimball was a unique American artist, and the set is, for me, an absolute joy. And the look at EPCOT was heartbreaking -- Walt Disney smoked unfiltered Chesterfields. If not for that habit, Lord only knows what he would have achieved in Florida. The EPCOT presentation is a glimpse at what might have been. Great stuff.
     
  20. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    "Disney on the Front Lines is amazing and probably the DVD of the year for me."

    For me as well - so far, anyway. The Gone With the Wind set was damned good, but Front Lines gave us a chance to see films and materials that I thought I'd never live to see on home video. I don't hold out any hope that Front Lines will actually be recognized as "DVD of the Year" by any of the awards groups or even the people here on this forum, because of bigger fish in the pond like Gone With the Wind, Star Wars Trilogy, Master and Commander and Return of the King: EE and many others. Doesn't matter, I now own sparkling, pristine versions of Victory Through Air Power, Education for Death, Der Fuehrer's Face, Commando Duck, Chicken Little, The New Spirit, and Reason and Emotion and socres of others. Couldn't be happier.
     

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