March 8th, 2005

fox hunt

Complete title list and descriptions of the new Digiview Cartoon Craze dollar DVD titles at Wal-Mart

Here's my exhaustive and pointless report on the new Digiview Cartoon Craze dollar discs at Wal-Mart.
Felix The Cat - Woos Whoopee
-Woos Whoopee (1930)
-Forty Winks (1930)
-Arabiantics (1928)
-False Vases (1930)
-Futuritzy (1928)
-Skulls and Sculls (1930)
-Outdoor Indore (1928)

Wow. Weird stuff for a children's cartoon collection. The imdb reader comment for "Woos Whoopee" describes it best: "It portrays Felix as an inebriated feline being chased by all kinds of demons only to be welcomed by the greatest demon of all, the angry wife." All are black and white. Even though they're listed as silent on imdb, they each had scored music, sound effects, and various meows and grunts.

Bosko and Friends - Shipwrecked
-Bosko Shipwrecked! (1931) (b&w)(has a heavy orange tint)
-Ain't Nature Grand! (1931) (b&w)
-Big Man from the North (1931) (b&w)
-Battling Bosko (1932) (b&w)
-Bosko and Honey (1932) (b&w) (nice, sharp picture)
-Mr. Rossi On the Beach (1964)
-Sudden Fried Chicken (1946)
-Stupidstitious Cat (1947)
-Hep Cat Symphony (1949)

In a nutshell, five b&w Bosko cartoons, a (very) 60's (very) Italian animated short, and three run-of-the-mill Harvey Noveltoons

Aesop's Fables
-Close Call (1929)
-A Dizzy Day (1933)
-A Toytown Tale (1931)
-The Animal Fair (1931)
-Circus Capers
-Cinderella Blues (1931)
-Yodeling Yokels (1931)
-Leprechaun's Gold (1949)(color)

The first 6 are Van Bueren "Aesop's Sound Fables"., "Yodeling Yokels" is Bosko and yet another Harvey Noveltoon pads out the set. Al except the Harvey are in black and white.

Popeye & Friends: Lets Sing With Popeye
-Let's Sing along with Popeye (1934) (b&w)
-I Never Changes My Altitude (1937) (b&w)
-Frozen Frolics (1930) (b&w)
-Nursery Scandal (1932) (b&w)
-The Four Musicians of Bremen (1922) (b&w)
-When G.I. Johnny Comes Home
-Moonbird (1959)
-Campus Capers (1949)
-Naughty But Mice (1947)
-The King of the Bugs (1930) (b&w)

Ok. This one is all over the place. The first two are Popeye cartoons, the first being a very very short sing-a-long of the Popeye theme. Then we have 2 Van Bueren Aesop Fables. "Bremen" is one of Walt Disney's very first shorts followed by a somewhat serious Noveltoon sing-a-long of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home". "Moonbird" is the 1960 Academy Award winner for best animated short. It's very interesting and "arty" as the kids say. Next are two bland Harvey Noveltoons and the endcap is yet another Van Bueran Aesop Fable.

Raggedy Ann - Suddenly It's Spring
-Suddenly It's Spring
-The Enchanted Square (1947)
-Freedom River (1971)
-Old MacDonald Had a Farm (1946)
-Naughty But Mice (1947) (listed on the case as "Les Escargots")
-Sport Chumpions (1941)
-Big Man from the North (1931) (b&w)
-Ups an' Downs Derby (1950)

The first two are the Raggedy Ann toons. "Freedom River" is political parable narrated by Orson Welles. "Mice" is the same Harvey toon from the Popeye disc above. Pity, because "Les Escargots" sounds much more interesting. "Sport" is one of those Freling shorts with 20 shorts gags tied together, this time about various sports. "Big Man" is the same toon from the Bosko disc, and "Ups an' Downs" is yet another lame Harvey Noveltoon.

Molly Moo-Cow and Friends
-The Hunting Season (1935)
-Molly Moo Cow and Rip Van Wrinkle (1935)
-Sheep Shape (1946)
-A Self-Made Mongrel (1945)
-No Mutton for Nuttin' (1943)
-Scrappily Married (1945)
-The Old Shell Game (1948)
-The Dover Boys at Pimento University
-The Mild West (1947)

Just a bunch of Harvey goofiness puncuated by Chucks Jones' excellent and revolutionary "Dover Boys".

Hunky and Spunky & Friends - You Can't Shoe a Shoefly (spine says "Yankee Doodle Donkey")
-You Can't Shoe a Horsefly (1940)
-Land of the Lost Jewels (1950)
-Boy Meets Dog (1938)
-The Goal Rush (195?)
-Once Upon A Time There Was A Point (1964)
-The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy (1955)
-The Tender Game (1958)
-Freedom River (1971)

This one's my favorite. It starts(instead of ends) with the usual Harvey Noveltoons pablum, but the latter half of the disc is great. "Point" is an esoterical Yugoslavian Zagreb Film, "Dufy" is about the French painter, "Game" is by the same animator as the Academy Award winner "Moonbird" listed above on another disc, and "Freedom" is another repeat, but this time it's with more desirable fare.

The Three Stooges- Goofy Gondoliers
-Goofy Gondoliers
-The Bigger They Are The Harder They Hit
-A FlyCycle Built For Two
-Baby Sitters
-Droll Weevil
-Flat Heads
-Get That Snack Pack Off Track
-Story Of Time

The first seven of these are Episodes of "The New Three Stooges", each with the original theme music, and sometimes creepy live action bookends to each toon. The last one, the Oscar nominated "Story Of Time" is a dialogue-free artistic journey through the ages and various time keeping inventions. Or as the prologue states, "This film is a symbolic story of man's progress in time measurement." Sorry to ruin the ending, but man's quest for correct time measurement reaches it full potential as a 1951 Timex wristwatch. Yup, it's essentially an ad.

The Wizard Of Oz and Friends
-The Wizard Of Oz (19??)
-Ants in the Plants (1940)
-Bunny Mooning (1937)
-The Cobweb Hotel (1936)
-Fire Cheese (1941)
-Play Safe (1936)
-Pleased to Eat You (1950)
-Boy Meets Dog (1938)

This one looks nice on the outside, but ultimately is disappointing. The "Oz" short is a generic anime version that blasts through the Oz story we all know in 4 minutes or so (HEYI'MDOROTHYNOWI'MINATORNADOHEYSCARECROWINEEDABRAINHEYTINMANINEEDAHEART). The rest are various dave fleischer toons capped at the end with another, you guessed it, Harvey Noveltoon(DUN Dun dunnn!). The worst part of this is that "Marcello, I'm Bored (1966)" is listed on the back cover, along with a completly different set of cartoons. "Marcello" is an early John Millius effort with sound editing by none other than George Lucas.

Here's what's listed on the case of the "Oz" disc.

-The Wizard Of Oz
-51st Dragon
-Children of the Sun+
-Moonbird (1959)
-A Short Vision
-Pleased to Eat You (1950)
-Marcello, I'm Bored (1966)

There's even a picture of "Moonbird" on the back, and a shot of "51st Dragon" in the title menu!
There's some nice stuff here and some of the usual crap *coughHarveycough*, but it could have been much greater if they'd just stuck to the titles listed on the actual cases. Digiview is pretty reliable, but they slipped a bit here. Nice to see that they're trying to offer something other than the usual fare.