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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Children > Walt Disney Treasures – More Silly Symphonies: Volume 2 (1929 – 1938)

Walt Disney Treasures – More Silly Symphonies: Volume 2 (1929 – 1938)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Animated Shorts: B+



More Silly Symphonies: Volume Two is one of four new additions to the 6th wave of Disney Treasure Collection releases.  As the title suggests the More Silly Symphonies collection offers animated shorts from the years 1929 through 1938, which is quite extensive.  The second installment to DVD of Silly Symphonies finishes off the collection of ambitious animated shorts that Walt Disney started in 1929.  Silly Symphonies in many ways was the creative powerhouse that helped the Disney Corporation grow to what we know today.  Walt Disney allowing Silly Symphonies to be the stomping grounds for new, innovative animation coupled with young artists that were attempting to refine their talents.  This venture though sketchy at first (no pun intended) grew into having great praise and success winning a fair number of awards and monetary gain for the studio.  Overall the Series was very influential to all areas of animation, Warner Bros. going as far to derive their cartoon series Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies from the Disney name Silly Symphonies.


If nothing else these collectable sets are excellently put together and presented.  The set comes in a collectable tin, the entire set being a limited edition of 65,000.  The production numbers in wave 6 are greatly reduced from the original Disney Treasure Collections, which were limited editions of 150,000. The set includes a certificate of authenticity, a 7” x 4.5” poster reproduction on hard cardboard, as well as a booklet nicely explaining the limited set.  A nice set well worth looking into purchasing for a Disney fan’s collection.


The shorts included on this set are as follows, packed on two discs with many extras:


Hell’s Bells (1929)

Springtime (1929)

Artic Antics (1930)

Autumn (1930)

Frolicking Fish (1930)

Monkey Melodies (1930)

Night (1930)

Playful Pan (1930)

Summer (1930)

Winter (1930)

The Cat’s Out (1931)

The Clock Store (1931)

The Fox Hunt (1931)

The Spider and the Fly (1931)

The Bears and the Bees (1932)

The Bird Store (1932)

Bugs In Love (1932)

El Terrible (1929)

The Merry Dwarfs (1929)

Cannibal Capers (1930)

Midnight in a Toy Shop (1930)

Birds in the Spring (1933)

The Night Before Christmas (1933)

Ole King Cole (1933)

The Pied Piper (1933)

The Goddess of Spring (1934)

Cock O’ the Walk (1935)

Three Blind Mouseketeers (1936)

Little Hiawatha (1937)

Merbabies (1938)

Moth and the Flame (1938)

King Neptune (1932)

Santa’s Workshop (1932)

The China Shop (1934)

Broken Toys (1935)

Three Orphan Kittens (1935)

More Kittens (1936)

Mother Goose Goes Hollywood (1938)



Before viewing the bonus shorts or the ‘from the vault’ shorts contained on this set (ranging from 1929-1932) critic Leonard Maltin offers a disclaimer about the now politically incorrect portions of the shorts.  Some of these shorts include some violent acts, as well as references to an African American ‘Mammy’ character, Asian ethnic references, and a few others.  This preemptive ‘warning’ was not distracting at all, Disney doing the right and tasteful thing by not editing these shorts and including them to make this a truly complete compilation and show how society as well as animation has evolved over the past 75 years.  For those wondering, why is Leonard Maltin hosting?  Leonard Maltin actually is one of the few individuals who spearheaded the creation of Disney Treasure Collections, without him they may have never seen the light of day.


The technical aspects of this DVD set are first-rate overall.  Disney has taken some time in Digitally Mastering the shorts presented in this animated DVD compilation and where there is some work to be done on these shorts, the picture is quite crisp and the colors are bright and not washed out.  The picture is presented in its original 1.33 X 1 Full Screen format as they were originally produced and viewed.  As with some of the other Disney Treasure Collection there remains a definite level of visual dirt/dust debris throughout the shorts that must be corrected.  In some shorts dust was constant and clumps of dirt could be easily seen.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound quality is clear and balanced only having the rare high/low errors.  Though the opening songs for many of the shorts are quite poor and some hard to understand.


Extras on this set, as seen on most Walt Disney Treasure Collections are plentiful and well constructed.  Extras include Bonus Features such as "Silly Symphonies Rediscovered" featurette, "Animators at Play" (rare film of a studio softball game from 1930, narrated by Leonard Maltin), Art Galleries, and various audio commentaries by Special Disney Historians.


Overall, this set is a must have for all Disney fans.  The content, presentation, and quality overall is refreshing and this set offers a nice addition to any DVD collection.  Not to mention the splendid choice by Disney to include all shorts controversial or not.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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