Disney Animation Collection 5: The Wind in the Willows (1949)

Genre(s): Animation
Disney || G - 78 minutes - $19.99 || May 12, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-06-04


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore


Theatrical Release Date: October 5, 1949


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

This collection has a total of six different classic Disney short films contained on it, which are: ďWind in the WillowsĒ, ďThe Ugly DucklingĒ, ďThe Robber KittenĒ, ďThe Grasshopper and the AntsĒ, ďThe Wise Little HenĒ and ďThe Golden TouchĒ.

The opener, Wind in the Willows, is a strange tale about a toad, a badger, and a mole. The toad is fascinated with some sort of car and gets into some serious troubles because of it. As a result, he is thrown into jail and goes before a court in hopes to change who he is as a person and what heís doing with his life. This one is way out in left field for an opener as a cartoon in my opinion, as itís doubtful that kids or even young adults will understand the whole court system thing and whatís going on. I found this one to be boring and its long runtime didnít help much either.

Next up is a story that rings true to my heart, the Ugly Duckling. A duckling is hatched from an egg that looks different from his parents, and is abandoned by them accidentally one day while swimming in the lake. The duck sets forth to find someone who is just like him, but in the end he realizes itís okay to be who you are and not worry about who is judging you. Well, thatís my opinion anyway of the ending. Itís a delightful tale that has a few comical moments, and kids should be able to relate to it. It is definitely the strongest showing available on this collection.

The Grasshopper and the Ants tells the tall tale of a grasshopper who sings and dances all day, while the ants work hard to prepare for winter. Try as he might, he canít convince the ants to stop working and worrying about the upcoming cold. Yes, this is another moral cartoon that lets people know that saving for now is worth it later. Itís not funny but it does teach a decent lesson, although itís one Iíve never followed but Iím sure others have.

Following that tale is the Golden Touch, one that also comes with a moral. The king Midas is met by an elf who grants him the power to turn things into gold. Midas soon learns that this power comes with a great price, and as such, is forced to give up his treasure he has made over the years to remove the curse. This one teaches us that money and power isnít everything, and that we should truly cherish what we have. At least I think thatís what the moral is, Iím not too sure. This one isnít exciting, funny, or anything that children will be able to relate to.

The Robber Kitten is a cute tale about a little kitten playing a robber in his fictional world. He steals some cookies from his house and runs out only to meet a real criminal in the world, and a few hilarious situations result. He ends up getting so scared though in the end that he gets into the bath he was trying to avoid from the start. I thought this was a cute story that is enjoying to me so odds are kids will be able to relate as well.

Finally, the Wise Little Hen closes out this disc. A mother hen is looking for help to plant the harvest of corn, and asks a pig and a duck for help. The two complain of belly aches since they apparently donít eat much, but things get resolved in the end between the three. This one didnít make a ton of sense to me, nor did it seem to have any morals. It also wasnít as funny or entertaining as the others on this one, so to me, this one didnít belong here on the disc.

This is probably one of the weaker volumes, as there were only two out of the six stories that I found entertaining in the slightest. The others were just not relatable for kids, which is I would assume the target audience for these kinds of DVDs. Thatís not to say that they wonít like them, but to me, they arenít funny or eye-popping enough for kids to keep their attention spanned glued to the television wondering whatís happening next. Instead, theyíre probably wondering what actually is happening.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There are no special features to be found on the disc.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Considering that one of these movies is in black and white, and the rest have a terrible color palette, there isnít much to go on here that is exciting to write about. Thereís a fair amount of noise and distortion, but considering that these are so old Iím not really faulting them for anything major. These look nearly identical to how they looked back in the day to be honest, as the color palette is outdated for its time and so is the color scheme. This isnít demo material, but odds are these are the best these cartoons will ever look.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 track accompanying these movies doesnít help a lot either, as dialogue wasnít even in a few of the cartoons and when it was used it sounded low and muffled. I was disappointed with the addition of a 2.0 track, but an upgrade to a 5.1 probably wouldnít have helped much either. Just like the video, the audio is about as good as itís ever going to sound, so take it with a grain of salt.



.::OVERALL::.

Volume five isnít as strong as the other series, but it holds its own with two of the six being funny and relevant to the younger audiences. It goes without saying that Disney fans will pick this up for their giant collection easily. All others should probably rent it first to see if itís worth a purchase for their children.