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Disney Treasures on DVD

Disney Treasures on DVD

Here’s a guilty pleasure, or a blast from the past depending on your age.

Walt Disney studios’ “Treasures” is a series of old stuff from the studio’s vaults, another way for the company to make a profit on stuff that undoubtedly paid for itself years and years ago.

Okay, that isn’t really fair, especially from a bunch of free market believers such as us. And even if it’s true, there’s still some neat stuff here.

We received three of these deluxe two disc sets (packaged in very classy metal boxes) and though we only had time to watch one of them, it was a fabulous trip down memory lane.

That one is “Tomorrow Land, Disney in Space and Beyond” and it's a selection of movies originally run on the old "Disneyland" TV show we used to watch religiously every weekend when we were kids. The discs have recreated the old show's introduction and feel, including the show opening intro by Walt Disney himself.

But it's the films themselves that really grabbed us. They're basically science primers on a variety of topics. Disc one features "Man in Space," "Man and the Moon," and "Mars and Beyond," while disc two includes "Eyes in Outer Space," "Our Friend the Atom," and "EPCOT."

Remember, these shows aired before there'd ever been a man in space, let alone landings on the moon, so to say they were ahead of their time is an understatement.

My favorite was "Our Friend the Atom," which we remember seeing in school (so does Leonard Maltin, who's along as narrator for the discs). We used to have so many dry and boring movies inflicted upon us in school back then and we can remember clearly how happy we were when the Disney logo showed up at the beginning of what we figured would be yet another snoozefest.

Our Friend the Atom is a primer on atomic energy, told from the point of view of a society looking for the cheap and clean energy source that atomic power can provide - when there are no enviro-whackos around.

Using animation and humor, Disney shows where the idea behind the atom came from and how atomic power works. The destructive potential is touched upon, but the movie is a far more optimistic look at the atom than we'd expect to see today - especially from a left wing organization such as what Disney has become.

It's very educational and it would be nice if it were still shown today, if only to offer a different perspective than the junk scientific mush people are taught today.

Man in Space is an excellent introduction to space flight. Using real scientists and "unreal" animation, we learn what makes a rocket work, how orbits work and why astronauts in space appear to be weightless. It is also an excellent primer on space flight and should also be used in schools today.

The other two sets are "Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume 2 (1939-today, though in this case "today" seems to be 1953) and "Walt Disney on the Front Lines'. As you might expect, the former is a collection of color Mickey Mouse cartoons, including one Disney did for the Standard Oil company in the 1930's, while the latter is a collection of patriotic information and training films the studio made during World War II. It includes the full length "Victory Through Air Power."

The box for this latter set tells about how the Disney studio was "taken over by the military" the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked and we'd like to argue that point, though we don't have enough information to do it properly. But from what we've learned about the patriotic American Walt Disney it's more likely that he put his own studio on a war footing and asked what he could do for his country than had the military jackboot his doors and force him to create propaganda.

Ah, how times have changed. Hollywood now goes out of its way to aid and abet America's enemies, shortsightedly pursuing a socialist agenda that - if it were to happen that these limousine liberals could help create a socialist utopia - would grind them under its totalitarian yoke the same way it would anyone else. Except, of course, that they'd be the ones in charge and in control - which is exactly what they want.

Useful idiots, indeed.

The picture and sound quality is very good considering the age of the material, and there's enough stuff on each of these discs to keep one entertained for hours. There are nearly six hours of Mickey Mouse, the WWII discs are 3.5 hours long, while Tomorrow Land runs about four hours.

Walt Disney Treasures, from Walt Disney Home Entertainment


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