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Featured DVD Review: Have a Laugh: Volumes Three and Four

July 6th, 2011

Have a Laugh: Buy from Amazon: Volume Three and Volume Four

Have a Laugh is the latest line of Disney shorts to hit the home market. So what shorts are included on these two DVDs? Are they worth owning? And are there any additional extras that add value to the overall package?

Volume Three

Each DVD is divided into three sections starting with five shorts...

  1. Mickey's Delayed Date
    Mickey has a big date with Minnie tonight, but he took a nap and overslept. By the time Minnie calls him at the beginning of the short, he's already an hour late, and he's got to shower, get dressed, and get all the way across town.
  2. The Whalers
    Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are the crew of a whaling ship looking to catch a big, big whale. But they have to deal with thieving birds, physics-defying water, and the general incompetence of Goofy.
  3. Chef Donald
    The short starts with Donald gluing recipes into his scrap book when its time for his favorite radio cooking program with Mother Mallard. In this episode, she is teaching her listeners to make waffles; however, Donald accidentally pours rubber cement into his batter instead of baking powder, and naturally this causes quite a mess.
  4. How to Play Baseball
    Part of Goofy's instructional series of cartoon shorts. It's one of the most famous so there's little need to explain it here. Also, there's very little plot and it's just a series of gags.
  5. Pluto and the Gopher
    There's a gopher digging up Minnie's flowers, and Pluto is determined to put a stop to this. Of course, in the process he does a lot of damage to the flowers and gets blamed by Minnie for all of the destruction, even the stuff he didn't cause. But that's not the end of the fight.
You can watch these five shorts in their original form, or in a shortened format. For almost everyone, the original form will be the way to go. Of the five shorts on this DVD, the first and last are kind of weak, while Chef Donald and How to Play Baseball are excellent and The Whalers is merely average. That's not a great hit-to-miss ratio.

Then there are three Blam! shorts:

  1. Golf
  2. Cooking
  3. Gliding
These are 90-second clips of classic shorts with commentary, for those who want just the violence with none of the plot. The commentary is obnoxious and I would rather just watch the unedited version of the short. Speaking of which, Cooking is edited from Chef Donald.

And finally one Re-Micks:

  1. Dance Party: "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black-Eye Peas
This combines a contemporary song with a classic cartoon. It's a cool concept and works.

Volume Four

  1. Mickey Down Under
    Mickey and Pluto are living in Australia working on a banana plantation. Mickey uses a boomerang to harvest the bananas, and Pluto and the boomerang get into quite a fight.
  2. Hawaiian Holiday
    Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto are all in Hawaii on vacation trying to relax. Some of them are more successful than others. Goofy tries to go surfing, and that ends in pain and suffering. Donald tries to dance in a grass skirt, near the campfire, and this too ends in pain and suffering. All in all, it's more of a series of short gags than a story with a plot, but they are funny gags.
  3. Trailer Horn
    It's morning in the woods and Chip 'n' Dale wake up to find Donald Duck camping near their home. They take this opportunity to mess with him.
  4. How to Swim
    Another of Goofy's instructional cartoon shorts, this time about swimming. It's not quite as funny as the baseball one above, but still arguably the best short on this DVD.
  5. Pluto's Surprise Package
    The mailman delivers the mail to Mickey, including a package, and Pluto goes to retrieve it. However, when he does, it starts to move before sprouting legs and walking away. Mail order pets?
Like the previous DVD, you can watch the five shorts in their original form, or shortened down to just under three minutes. The original format is always the better choice. Also like before, the first and last are kind of weak, while the other three are all solid, but none are classics. How to Swim is the best, at least in my opinion.

Then there are three Blam! shorts:

  1. Beach
  2. Fox Hunt
  3. Hockey
Not seeing a point to these 90-second collections of clips.

And finally one Re-Micks:

  1. "Play My Music" by The Jonas Brothers
I prefer the Re-Micks from the previous DVD, as this song is not my style.

The Verdict

On the one hand, there are some great shorts on these two DVDs. Of the ten total shorts, five are worth owning, and of those, two are arguably classics of the era. On the other hand, the shortened versions are mostly pointless, the Blams! are annoying, and only the Re-Micks are worth checking out. Have a Laugh Volume Three and Volume Four are only worth picking up if you don't have any of the shorts on DVD already. If you have the Chronological collections, then forget about these.

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