Since the advent of home video, Disney has found ways to bundle classic animated shorts into themed packages. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment carries that tradition forward with the first Disney100 themed release, Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1. The collection was released today through Disney Movie Club and through digital providers, and will receive a wide release next week on February 7th.
In the disc era, Disney’s home video releases of classic shorts have primarily played like a playlist – a selection of shorts viewable individually or with a “Play All” button. Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1, however, takes a slightly different approach. The experience becomes more like a package feature, harkening back to films of the 1940s like Melody Time or even the VHS release to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 70th birthday, The Spirit of Mickey, all of which use interstitials to introduce each short.
The framing device here is a scrapbook being assembled by Mickey Mouse (voiced by Bret Iwan) and Minnie Mouse (voiced by Kaitlyn Robrock). There isn’t any new animation to speak of, nor do they attempt to dub over pre-existing animation ala the old Disney Sing-Along Songs interstitials. Still, it makes for a nice viewing experience as the lovable mice look back on ten favorite memories, introducing each classic short and offering 83-minutes of Walt-era entertainment.
What really sets Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1 apart from past releases is its focus on Minnie Mouse, who never headlined her own series and only appeared in around 70 shorts compared to Mickey Mouse’s 120. As a result, Disney Animation collectors will delight in the debut of two classic shorts, presented here for the first time in a newly restored high-definition format, Figaro and Frankie and Bath Day. These join four other shorts that have been released in HD on Disney+, but make their disc debut here (On Ice, Hawaiian Holiday, Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip, Mickey’s Delayed Date), along with four other shorts previously released in HD either as bonus features on other releases, or as part of the Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary release, Celebrating Mickey (Steamboat Willie, Thru the Mirror, Brave Little Tailor, The Little Whirlwind).
All ten shorts have been fully restored in high definition and look better than ever on this release. Grain is evident on all ten pieces, although purists will probably have preferred that more of it had been left in tact. Still, the attention to detail on each short seems consistent with the level of care Disney has given the feature-length classics from the same era, such as Pinocchio and Fantasia. The scrapbook sequences are in widescreen (1:78:1), but each short is pillarboxed in its original academy ratio, which varies slightly from short to short.
Originally released in mono, the shorts are presented here in 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo mixes. Additional audio options include French and Spanish 2.0.
Packaging & Design
This Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo pack comes in a standard Blu-Ray case with disc holders on either side of the interior. Both discs receive artwork that matches the cover art, featuring Mickey and Minnie hugging each other inside the Disney100 logo. A slipcover is included in the initial pressing, which features the characters embossed and glossy over a matte finish silver background. The disc menu replicates this artwork, set to cartoony music. The menu options allow for each short to be played individually, which tacks on the scrapbook introduction for each segment.
Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1 is a great way to honor Disney’s animation history during the Disney100 celebration. Family friendly, this collection features a handful of Mickey Mouse’s most iconic shorts, while also restoring a few lesser-known titles. The “Volume 1″ in the title implies that more releases are on the way, giving home video enthusiasts something new to collect while honoring a tradition that goes back to the earliest VHS and Betamax days when Disney shorts were bundled by character in gold embossed clamshell releases.
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