Roughly two months ago, Walt Disney Studios released a new collection of vintage Disney cartoons in the form of Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1. The single-disc compilation of classic Disney cartoons proved to be a bit of a mixed bag, primarily because of the shorts that made up its body. Almost half of its shorts had already been released as part of Disney’s 2018 collection, Celebrating Mickey. The other shorts were pulled from the studio’s Have A Laugh shorts that themselves were met with some criticism from audiences. On Tuesday, Disney followed up that collection’s release with the digital release of Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 2. That very title is somewhat problematic for this compilation. It will be discussed a little later. The shorts that make up the new collection are both positive and negative. They will be discussed shortly. The shorts’ overall production quality is another positive worth noting, so it will also be addressed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collection’s presentation. All things considered they make Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 2 a presentation that is at least a slight improvement over its predecessor worth watching at least once.
Walt Disney Studios’ latest collection of classic Disney shorts, Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 2 is a slight improvement over its predecessor/companion compilation, Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1. Released digitally Tuesday and set for physical release June 27, the new collection proves at least slightly better than its predecessor/companion compilation largely because of its featured shorts. As with that previous release, this compilation features 10 more vintage Disney shorts on a single disc. This time out, those responsible for deciding which shorts to include only pulled a pair of shorts from the studio’s 2018 collection, Celebrating Mickey. Of course it is tough to say that is really saying something considering that almost half of the shorts featured in Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1 came from that previously released collection. The remainder of the Mickey and Minnie collection were pulled from Disney’s Have A Laugh compilations. So really, Disney’s people had already used up almost the majority of the shorts featured in Celebrating Mickey, leaving so little to recycle again here anyway. To the positive, the shorts pulled from the studio’s Have a Laugh sets this time out are not recycled from Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1. Rather, four of the shorts were featured in Disney Channel’s 60-episode Have a Laugh series that ran from 2009-2012 but never included in the DVD presentations. The other four shorts were included in the Have a Laugh sets but not used in the previous 10-episode collection. So to that end, what audiences get in terms of the set’s shorts is material that at least from one volume to another hasn’t been recycled yet again.
Of course while the shorts that make up the collection’s main body is a positive, the bigger picture is somewhat problematic at the same time. That is because of how much of it was lifted from Disney Channel’s Have a Laugh TV series. Considering that series produced a total of 60 shorts (some new and some vintage) it would just seem to make more sense to release all of those episodes in one larger collection instead of continuing to spread them across various volumes, as was already done briefly in the studio’s four Have a Laugh single-disc compilations. Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1 is listed between $15 and $20 depending on the retailer (Best Buy most recently listed it at $15 and Walmart at $20). So odds are when this collection is released on DVD and Blu-ray, prices are likely to be in the same range. That means audiences are paying a lot of money for the content across the two volumes and will likely end up spending a lot more should Disney try to release any more collections from the Have a Laugh series. This is even more fuel for the argument to hold off on any more sets and instead release all of the shorts featured in the Have a Laugh series on one larger DVD and/or Blu-ray collection. Keeping all of this in mind, the content featured in this latest collection is a step up from its predecessor, but also leaves room for concern about any future collections.
Another concern that this collection brings comes in its very title. The title of this collection is Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 2. There was not a Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1 released ahead of this collection. The compilation that preceded it was, again, Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1. That collection focused on more than just Mickey and Minnie, adding in shorts that focused just as much on their friends, Donald and Goofy, and Mickey’s canine pal, Pluto. So to go from one title to the other while also trying to connect them with the “Volume 1” and “Volume 2” monikers shows a certain lack of attention to detail in the marketing. On a deeper level, that lack of attention to detail actually hurts the company’s reputation even more. That is because it makes it look even more like Disney’s staff cares more about the studio’s bottom line than actually honoring its history and its audiences. This lack of foresight on something as simple as the collection’s title is not enough to doom the presentation, but it certainly does not help the collection’s appeal. To that end, there is one more positive to note. It comes in the form of the collection’s production values.
The shorts featured in this collection originally premiered between 1935 and 1950, the audio and video has stood the test of time quite well. That is a testament to the time and effort put in by those charged with restoring the footage for its original presentation on Disney Channel for the Have a Laugh series. The color in the shorts is so rich and the audio still has that touch of static that is sure to create a welcome sense of nostalgia for audiences. The result there is a positive general effect for the overall presentation. Taking that into account along with the positive of the featured shorts, the end result is a presentation whose general presentation and aesthetics make for a presentation that is worth watching at least occasionally and that is at least a slight improvement over its predecessor/companion compilation.
Walt Disney Studios’ new vintage cartoon collection, Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 2 is a slight improvement over its predecessor/companion collection, Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1. The improvement is shown primarily through its featured shorts. The shorts featured here thankfully are not just more recycling of shorts featured in previous collections. Yes, there is some recycling, but it is far less prominent than in the aforementioned collection. That makes for at least some reason to give this collection a chance. At the same time that the featured shorts do help the presentation here, the collection’s title detracts slightly from its appeal. That is because it clearly was not thought through before being used for the set’s marketing. It makes it look like those responsible for marketing the set cared more about Disney’s bottom line than actually making sure every minor detail lined up. Thankfully the impact of this issue is not enough to doom the presentation. To that end, the shorts’ production works with the shorts themselves to add slightly more appeal. Considering the age of the shorts, the footage has been restored with a certain level of heart. That is evident in the quality of the film and its sound. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1. All things considered they make this latest compilation from Walt Disney Studios a slight improvement from its predecessor/companion collection that is worth watching at least occasionally.
Mickey & Friends: 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 2 is available now on digital platforms and is scheduled for home physical release June 27 through Walt Disney Studios. More information on this and other titles from Walt Disney Studios is available at:
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