Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Pluto – Volume One

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Rating: Not Rated

Special Features:
The Life And Times Of Pluto

Pluto’s Picture Book (Excerpt From ‘A Story Of Dogs’)

Pluto’s Pal Fergy (Norm Ferguson Tribute)

Pluto 101 (Character Design And Animation)

Art Galleries: Pluto On Paper, Pluto’s Posters, Background Paintings, Animation Drawings

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Running Time: 4 Hours 26 Minutes

Synopsis:
These Pluto shorts were originally released between 1930 and 1947. Here’s the text from the DVD cover:

“Mickey’s faithful friend Pluto is unleashed in this first volume of the celebrated canine’s cartoon capers. Spanning the years 1930 to 1947, these 29 classic shorts include Pluto’s 1930 debut in “The Chain Gang” — which was actually his first and second appearance playing unnamed, identical bloodhounds — and the 1941 Academy Award®-winning short “Lend A Paw.” The tales continue with a special “dogumentary” focusing on the birth and evolution of everybody’s best friend, an excerpt from the TV program “A Story Of Dogs,” a look back at the life of Pluto’s father, animator Norman “Fergy” Ferguson, and more. It’s no wonder Pluto’s star rose faster than his temper.”

This DVD is not rated.

The Movie:
Just like the other Disney Treasures DVDs, this is a fantastic collection of vintage Disney cartoons. This time Pluto is the featured character. You get to see his debut in the 1930 film “The Chain Gang” all the way through his 1947 film “Pluto’s Housewarming”. It’s quite amazing to see how the character has transformed over the years from his almost unrecognizable bloodhound form to his current incarnation. Yet the one thing that has remained consistent is that he always behaves like a real dog. Rather than taking on human characteristics like Mickey or Donald, he always stayed an animal. Despite being unable to speak, he always exhibited a lot of personality.

Besides including his more well-known cartoons, there are a couple of episodes included from the “Vault”. These episodes include material that would be considered inappropriate or racist today. These episodes show a “mammy” stereotype character as well as a blackface gag. They are introduced by Leonard Maltin who puts them in a historical context and warns parents.

If you’re a Disney fan or a Pluto fan, this is a required addition to your DVD collection.

The Extras:
Like the other Disney Treasures DVDs, Leonard Maltin hosts a number of bonus features. Here are the highlights:

The Life And Times Of Pluto – This featurette shows the development of Pluto and his unique character traits. They show highlights from his career and interviews with his creators and animators.

Pluto’s Picture Book (Excerpt From ‘A Story Of Dogs’) – This is an excerpt from an old Disneyland episode that paid tribute to Pluto (and was a promo for the upcoming Lady and the Tramp). The Pluto segment includes original footage of Pluto as well as highlights from his career.

Pluto’s Pal Fergy (Norm Ferguson Tribute) – Leonard Maltin hosts this tribute to the Disney animator who was most responsible for developing Pluto’s unique character. They talk about how he gave Pluto his mannerisms and how they made him one of the earliest thinking, acting cartoon characters.

Pluto 101 (Character Design And Animation) – Maltin speaks to one of the Disney animators and gets a lesson on how to draw the character.

The Bottom Line:
The Complete Pluto is yet another great addition to the Disney Treasures collection. Fans of Disney, animation, and Pluto will definitely want to add this DVD to their collections.

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