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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection

September 20th, 2015

Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand

Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection

The screener for Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection finally arrived, so the review is a little late. Was it worth the wait? Are the shorts worth owning? Are there a lot of double-dips?

The Movie

  1. John Henry
    A short film retelling the legend of John Henry done in 2D animation with a rough style.
    The main song is strong and the style helps, but while it is a solid short, it doesn't stand out.
  2. Lorenzo
    A fat cat named Lorenzo lives a life of luxury and taunts the poorer street cats. One of the cats he taunts is a black cat that has no tail. When Lorenzo taunts this cat with his luxurious tail, the dark and evil cat curses Lorenzo making his tail come alive.
    Has an old-fashioned feel to it, but in a good way.
  3. The Little Match Girl
    An adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story about a young girl trying to sell matches. But she has to make a choice between selling the matches and using them to stay warm.
    This short is, in a word, depressing. However, that should be considered a compliment, because it means the short film had an emotional effect.
  4. How to Hook Up Your Home Theater
    An homage to the old How-to Goofy cartoons from decades ago, this time with Goofy trying to set up a new home theater system.
    I love the original cartoons and while this isn't quite as good as the classics, it is still highly entertaining.
  5. Tick Tock Tale
    A small clock has a really embarrassing alarm where a man drops his lederhosen. All of the other clocks in the store refuse to be with him, but when a thief comes in, he might be their only hope.
    Technical impressive, but I don't think it stands out on this set.
  6. Prep and Landing: Operation Secret Santa
    I've reviewed this previously. I enjoyed the main show and this short in particular.
  7. The Ballad Of Nessie
    A short story about the early years of Nessie and the origins of Loch Ness.
    I've also previously reviewed this short and it is quite fun.
  8. Tangled Ever After
    The wedding of Rapunzel and Flynn, which didn't go as smoothly as they would have liked.
    Another good short, but another one I've previously reviewed.
  9. Paperman
    The Oscar-winning short about a man and a woman who meet, and how the paper makes sure they meet again. It makes sense if you watch it.
    I reviewed this one as well. I'm seeing a pattern here.
  10. Get A Horse!
    This short starts out as a classic Mickey Mouse short, a black and white short, but about 90 seconds into the short, Pluto hits Mickey so hard that he comes out of the short and into the real world.
    This short has good energy, but lacks plot and characters compared to some of the other more emotional shorts.
  11. Feast
    The story of a man and his relationship, as we see through the eating habits of his dog.
    Another Oscar-winning short. And another one featured on the Blu-ray I previously reviewed.
  12. Frozen Fever
    It's Anna's birthday and Elsa is trying to plan the perfect birthday party. Only there's a problem, Elsa has a cold and that's causing some serious problems.
    This just came out on Blu-ray with Cinderella.

The Extras

Each short has an introduction, while there is also a seven-minute featurette with some of the animators talking about the process that goes into making a short film and how they use the shorts to test new techniques.

The technical presentation is excellent, given the wide variety of animation techniques used across these dozen shorts. Some, like John Henry, are meant to look like an older cartoon complete with the pencil lines not being cleaned up. This cartoon doesn't look as sharp as the CGI shorts, but there's a lot of detail there. The colors are always good and I didn't see any compression issues or digital artifacts. The audio is almost as good. Most of the time, the shorts were not overly complicated. I really liked How to Hook Up Your Home Theater. There's a scene where the narrator goes over all of the speakers in a surround sound system and as each speaker was mentioned, the corresponding speaker started blaring. Using the speakers as part of the joke was a good touch.

Right now, the Blu-ray combo pack costs $24, which is actually $2 cheaper than the DVD.

The Verdict

The value of the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection can be determined by asking two questions. Firstly, how many of these shorts do you already own on DVD or Blu-ray. For me it was six out of twelve. Additionally, the DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack doesn't have a lot of extras. That said, I'm still glad I have this Blu-ray, because I like short cartoons and having all of these great shorts in one convenient place is worth it.

Filed under: Video Review, Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection, Kristen Bell, Zachary Levi, Idina Menzel, Mandy Moore