George: So, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is releasing no less than nine Blu-rays on August 12. We’ve got our hands on most of them, so we’ve got a lot of reviews coming your way! This week, we’re looking at: The Adventures of Ichabod And Mr. Toad/Fun And Fancy Free 2-Movie Collection; and Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers. Are these movies worth buying on Blu-ray?
Jeff: First of all, it’s worth noting that these two blu-rays alone are jam packed with films. I mean, you’re basically getting 6 movies for the price of two with these. That alone makes it pretty okay in my book. But let’s start with The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, shall we? Of course, this film is a classic, and one I have adored for years. But I have to say, watching it on blu-ray REALLY made it jump at me even more…it looks absolutely GORGEOUS in this transfer. So much so that I had to look up how much work they put into restoring it. I mean, the colors are vivid, the picture is stunning, and it sounds incredible!
George: The Ichabod and Mr. Toad/Fun and Fancy Free have three of my favorite animated segments from the package films. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has always been a favorite because of the amazing atmosphere that’s created through the animation and the music. Even watching it as an adult, I found myself getting a little bit frightened (just a little, mind you). It’s done so well and should be a perennial favorite at Halloween. Of course, the Wind in the Willows is a wonderful piece that shows off the creativity of the studio with an over-the-top fight scene. It also fills in the gap for the Mr. Toad attraction at Disneyland.
Jeff: It’s funny, I was watching Toad with Martina, who had NEVER seen it before, and as it went on, she kept saying “Well, now the ride makes more sense.” But in addition to those great films, the Blu-Ray also includes The Reluctant Dragon, the great “behind-the-scenes” look at the Walt Disney Studios from the early 40s. And it looks amazing, too! Seriously, the entire blu-ray, from start to finish, is totally worth the price of it for the movie alone. But how about the other extras?
George: The biggest extra was the hi-definition version of The Reluctant Dragon. It was pretty amazing to see parts of the Walt Disney Studios that we’d just seen on the CommunTOUR! There was a making of Fun and Fancy documentary that was included. It was enjoyable but not as detailed as I would like it. I do have to say that I love half of Fun and Fancy Free. For the second time, I’ve fallen asleep in the middle of Bongo and I still have no idea what happened. Mickey and the Beanstalk is my favorite segment of any package film (except for Johnny Appleseed) because of the music. I had the storybook album as a kid and “My, What a Happy Day” is one of my favorite songs.
Jeff: Moving on to the other blu-ray, we have The Three Musketeers! How many have you have seen this growing up? I remember seeing it on the Disney channel a million times as a kid. Did you know it was the first feature film to have Mickey, Donald, AND Goofy altogether? No, well, you will before the end of the extra features!
George: For some odd reason, both of my boys have seen it, whereas I’d never seen it before. It was well-animated, which surprised me, since I assumed it was going to be like Pocahontas II and Cinderella 27: The Search for More Dresses. It looked great on Blu-ray and the voice acting was superb. The story was a mish-mash of the Three Musketeers book by Dumas and the music is familiar classical songs with lyrics written to fit the story. I had to stow my sense of incredulity at the story when I saw Pete using a telephone and the unorthodox amount of plumbing in the film. Yes, I know this is a film geared towards kids and doesn’t need pure historical accuracy. Still.
Jeff: We all know Disney films are known for their historical accuracy, of course! Rounding out the disc are all the extras from the original DVD, some deleted scenes (with commentary as to why they were deleted), and a “Get up and Dance” feature which made me not want to get up and dance. But it tried really hard! But overall, the disc isn’t that bad…not as good as the Ichabod/Toad one, mind you, but if you’re a fan of the film, it might be worth picking up on blu-ray!
George: So, The Adventures of Ichabod And Mr. Toad/Fun And Fancy Free is a definite purchase and the Three Musketeers is a strong maybe if you’re a fan of Mickey, Donald, Pluto, Minnie, Daisy and Pete! The fact the The Reluctant Dragon is available on the Ichabod/Toad disc is worth the purchase, alone!
Jeff: Totally agree. Reluctant Dragon FTW! Also, being able to go merrily on my way to nowhere in particular in glorious HD? Priceless. Or, you know, $25. Either or.
Are you going to pick up both of these? Which one are you more excited about?
By Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
Other places you can find George and Jeff:
- The 626 (Jeff)
- ImagiNERDing (George)
- From the Mouth of the Mouse (Jeff)
- Communicore Weekly The Greatest Online Show ™ (Jeff and George)
You can also see us EVERY week on Communicore Weekly on the MiceTube.