Walt Disney's Treasury of Cartoon Classics

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Geis, Darlene
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Research Projects
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Copyright 1981 by Walt Disney Productions. This volume includes sections devoted to Tales, Fables, Animal Stories, Nature Stories, and Poems and Rhymes. The fables section includes GA, TH, TMCM, and The Wise Little Hen. There are opening and finishing sections on how Silly Symphonies came to be and a filmography of them. Seventy-six Silly Symphonies appeared between 1929 and 1939. After twenty-eight in black and white, the rest were in full color. Seven, including The Tortoise and the Hare, won Academy Awards. This book offers a good combination of narrative and visuals taken from the films. The latter are not outstanding for their visual definition. Around each pair of pages is the same frame of a musical score, infrequently broken by a picture that extends beyond the usual margin. I see in reading GA carefully that, though Disney bypasses the traditional fable's harshness, he has his own teaching to offer. The ants do play now, and the grasshopper's play is also work, since he is playing for the ants. TH is Toby Tortoise vs. Max Hare. It features Toby's exasperation with Max's boasting, the wager in an attempt to stop his boasting, Max's training quarters, and Toby's modest attempt to shake hands before the race. Straight and steady does it. Just keep going is Toby's mantra. Some snails pass him on the road. Max actually wants to nap. Once Toby passes him, Max takes off but stops to chat with the girls at the school. Toby plods by and turns down the girls' offer to stop and chat. Toby shows off by being both the shooter and apple-carrier in a bow-and-arrow trick and by playing tennis with himself. There is no baseball in this version. Toby extends his neck to win. Country Cousin is Disney's version of TMCM. The first move here is an invitation to Abner in the country to join Monte in the city. Monte has to warn Abner four times not to make so much noise, e.g., by crunching celery. Abner gets into mustard and champagne. The tipsy Abner is ready to fight the sleeping cat on the way to the mousehole. Abner kicks the cat's backside, and Monte runs to his mousehole and shuts the door. The fables section also includes The Wise Little Hen. Peter Pig and Donald Duck beg off, supposedly sick, when it is time to plant and to harvest the corn. When it comes times to eat the goodies, they get castor oil! These fables are enjoyably presented.
Disney Press
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