Donna's Cool Movies
Classic Animation Movies

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (25th Anniversary Edition) (1977)
Director: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman

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Disney's 1977 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh may be the last word on (animated) Pooh because it so faithfully honors the first word on Pooh, penned in the 1920s by British storyteller A.A. Milne. Gently paced, subtly humorous, and blessedly understated, this adaptation reflects Walt Disney's original vision to develop the beloved British bear for a wider audience. The film is essentially a collection of the original Pooh shorts, "The Honey Tree," "The Blustery Day," and "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too." These storybooks are presented in seamless "chapters," narrated by the timeless Sebastian Cabot. The familiar musical score and original voices of Sterling Holloway as Pooh, and Paul Winchell as Tigger, cap this enchanting keepsake. (Ages 2 and up).
-from website

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney Platinum Edition) (1938)
Starring: Harry Stockwell, Adriana Caselotti

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One of the brightest nuggets from Disney's golden age, this 1937 film is almost dizzying in its meticulous construction of an enchanted world, with scores of major and minor characters (including fauna and fowl), each with a distinct identity. When you watch Snow White's intricate, graceful movements of fingers, arms, and head all in one shot, it is not the technical brilliance of Disney's artists that leaps out at you, but the very spirit of her engaging, girl-woman character. When the wicked queen's poisoned apple turns from killer green to rose red, the effect of knowing something so beautiful can be so terrible is absolutely elemental, so pure it forces one to surrender to the horror of it. Based on the Grimm fairy tale, Snow White is probably the best family film ever to deal, in mythic terms, with the psychological foundation for growing up. It's a crowning achievement and should not be missed.
Additional features : Disney figured out that it's not necessarily how many extras a DVD offers, it's how effortlessly the fan can view them. In two "guided tours," a viewer can see a selection of the excellent extras on the history and creation of Walt Disney's crown jewel. Disc 1 has an informative 40-minute documentary, plus karaoke songs, a neat trivia game, and Barbra Streisand's new version of "Some Day My Prince Will Come." Like Fantasia, the commentary track is expertly made up of historical recordings from over the years by Disney himself. The second disc brings out abandoned concepts, a crisp storyboard-to-film comparison, hundreds of well-organized drawings, and many historical recordings. The centerpiece, "Disney Through the Decades," is a mixed blessing of information and hype. Disney pride aside, they have done well with the film (now looking better than ever) that laid the foundation of their empire.
-from website

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Peter Pan

Peter Pan (1953)
Starring: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont
Director: Wilfred Jackson, Clyde Geronimi

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Peter Pan has a special place in the realm of classic animated Disney films: it instills an element of childlike wonder. The 1953 version of James M. Barrie's story is colorfully told and keeps on the straight and narrow of the book. Barrie's wondrous focus on child's play is the key to its longevity: kids who don't grow up, shadows that run away from their owners, pirates, a fairy, and the magic ability to fly. In short, you can't help wishing the adventure would happen to you. Fueled by a few memorable songs (the stunner being "You Can Fly") and the strong impression of the pixie fairy Tinkerbell and the goofy Captain Hook, Disney's version of this story neither supplants nor lessens the Broadway version with Mary Martin that was produced for television the same decade. Unlike some classics, Peter Pan never ages along the way.
Additional Features: How "special" is the Special Edition? Very, especially if you consider the initial edition of the Disney animated film contained only one extra: a French soundtrack. This new edition packs some background on the story, plus two games for the kids. Roy Disney hosts the excellent commentary track, which combines archival recordings of Walt Disney along with new commentaries from some of the "Nine Old Men" of Disney animation, as well as other experts and talents. The "restored picture" doesn't add much from the original fine quality of the first DVD, but the soundtrack has been remastered for Dolby 5.1, giving the movie an overall kick.
-from website

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Fantasia (60th Anniversary Special Edition) (1942)
Starring: Leopold Stokowski
Director: Ford Beebe, Bill Roberts

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Groundbreaking on several counts, not the least of which was an innovative use of animation and stereophonic sound, this ambitious Disney feature has lost nothing to time since its release in 1940. Classical music was interpreted by Disney animators, resulting in surreal fantasy and playful escapism. Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra provided the music for eight segments by the composers Tchaikovsky, Moussorgsky, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Ponchielli, Bach, Dukas, and Schubert. Not all the sequences were created equally, but a few are simply glorious, such as "Night on Bald Mountain," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and "The Nutcracker Suite." The animation ranges from subtly delicate to fiercely bold. The screen bursts with color and action as creatures transmute and convention is thrust aside. The painstaking detail and saturated hues are unique to this film, unmatched even by more advanced technology.
-from website

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Dumbo (60th Anniversary Edition) (1941)
Starring: Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy
Director: Ben Sharpsteen

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Only 64 minutes long, Dumbo remains one of most charming and heartfelt films in the Disney canon. This DVD marks the 60th anniversary of its release: the attack on Pearl Harbor knocked Dumbo off the cover of Time. The clear, digitally restored print highlights the imaginative use of color in the film, especially in the dramatic sequence of the roustabouts raising the big top and the brilliantly surreal "Pink Elephants on Parade." In the "Celebrating Dumbo" featurette, young studio artists talk about loving the film but provide little information about its creation. The artists aren't identified in the small galleries of preproduction drawings and publicity stills. Animation historian John Canemaker provides a knowledgeable audio commentary, but the viewer longs for more of Joe Grant, the 93-year-old cowriter of Dumbo who continues to work at the Disney Studio.
The Dumbo 60th Anniversary Edition was the beneficiary of an electronic film restoration process where every frame of film was scanned into a high resolution computer system, then painstakingly examined and repaired frame by frame to eliminate negative and positive dirt, film scratches and the like. A high definition transfer was done and color correction was supervised by Disney Feature Animation to ensure faithful reproduction of the colors as they were originally intended.
-from website

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Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Starring: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn
Director: Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi

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Imaginatively rendered but slightly chilly, this 1951 Disney adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic is also appropriately surreal. Alice (voiced by Kathryn Beaumont) has all the anticipated experiences: shrinking and growing, meeting the White Rabbit, having tea with the Mad Hatter, etc. Characterization is very strong, and the Disney team worked hard to bring screen personality to Carroll's eccentric creations.
-from website

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