Starring Pluto – who else? Leonard Maltin, Andreas Deja
Studio: Disney DVD, Buena Vista Home Video
Buy on Amazon.com link
If you’re a dog lover then you’re going to love this set. Pluto, the classic Disney character and faithful canine friend of Mickey Mouse, finally gets his own DVD collection. Rightfully so and well deserved this 2 disc DVD set captures Pluto’s beginnings as a lead character starring in his own cartoons including the Academy Award-winning short Lend a Paw. Pluto, uncharacteristically is the only Disney character that actually maintains his persona as an animal. Not taking on any of the human qualities of the other Disney leads.
Looks like Pluto had duck for lunch.
2004 Buena Vista Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved
Pluto began life at Disney as an unnamed bloodhound in two appearances in the 1930’s. His brilliant animation and typical dog behavior earned him immediate praise that Disney decided could stand on its own without help from other well known characters. Eventually Pluto was given is own animation team and all of the Pluto cartoons in the set, from the earliest in black & white during the depression era right into the WWII mascot roles, follows the daily occurrences of the innocent and mischievous Pluto. I think the reason these cartoons are so entertaining like so many others from the golden age of animation is that these are self-contained, funny and original stories. All told in great detail in five minutes or less. Most of the shorts that Pluto stars in don’t even have dialog since he is dog and doesn’t speak any English. The animators and creators back in the day really captured what intrigues us about animals. Something that you don’t get in a lot of today’s cartoons.
Each cartoon short takes place in different animated places around the world, with different characters. I guess it’s cheaper to draw the destinations than to travel there. You really get a taste of all of what Disney has to offer since Pluto is along side many of the other popular characters like Mickey and Donald but also others that make only one appearance. One of my favorites is the armadillo in “Pluto and the Armadillo”. It’s a Mickey Mouse feature that takes place in Brazil. Disney used many real world places and tried to throw in a few educational tidbits about each. Entertaining and good for kids as they retain that stuff because they don’t even know they are learning.
I can’t say too much about the extras unless you are a die-hard animation fan and are really interested in learning what makes animators tick, its not too enlightening. There are no tutorials or never-before-seen footage that would intrigue me to watch. The menu’s and DVD introduction are slick and easy to navigate. It has the same consistency in design as the other Walt Disney Treasures DVD sets do which makes it truly a part of the entire collection. The packaging is fantastic. An aluminum tin with full color art encases the double DVD standard case with the limited edition numbered certificate and collectible art. Pretty well done and worth a spot on the display rack in the media center rather than in a shoe box or somewhere else those extra DVDs are.
Overall, this set is a great introduction and trip into the world of what Disney really is about. Not the corporate entity we all read of in the news or complain about when the stock takes a dive. This is a much better investment into the Disney world of animation and its characters. It captures what real fans have come to appreciate from classic Disney. A sense of family, fun, memories and quality in a great package. Wait, isn’t that what Disney World is supposed to be? That trip will cost you slightly more.
The Life & Times of Pluto
Galleries (Still Shots and Old Comics)
Pluto’s Pal Fergy (about the original animator)
Favorite Scenes: Beach Picnic – Actually a Donald Duck feature, Pluto steals the show.
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 4 minutes