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Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 11
Best Pals: Donald & Daisy DVD Review

Buy Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 11 - Best Pals: Donald & Daisy from Amazon.com Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 11 - Best Pals: Donald & Daisy
DVD Details

Running Time: 57 Minutes / Rating: Not Rated
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Aspect Ratio), Dolby Digital Mono (English, French)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned

DVD Release Date: April 11, 2006
Originally Released Between 1940 and 1954
Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5)
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
White Keepcase with Side Snaps

When it comes to the protagonists of Disney's cartoon shorts, Donald Duck often comes in at #2. Introduced in 1934, the anthropomorphic duck who makes up for his lack of pants with an excessive temper can readily be labeled the second major star that Walt Disney and his animators hit upon after deciding on an all-animated short format. Though Donald came years after the
world embraced Mickey Mouse, he quickly made up the difference and soon became Disney's most beloved and most-used character. As the most fiery third of the studio's dynamic trio, a symbol of American World War II soldiers, a frustrated uncle, and a practically unintelligible suitor, Donald etched his place in Disney history with appearances in over 100 shorts during the format's heyday, a number unmatched by any other Disney creation.

Despite boasting a fuller resumι, though, Donald has somewhat played second fiddle to Mickey Mouse, Disney's iconic every-mouse, since the cartoon short more or less disappeared from theaters, at least for Disney, in the 1950s. When Disney launched the Classic Cartoon Favorites DVD series in January of 2004 and devoted four compilations to popular characters, Mickey claimed Volume 1 and Donald claimed Volume 2. The same thing happened this past January when a barely-different line, Walt Disney's Funny Factory, was introduced. In the 2004 direct-to-video feature Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, the duck again took second billing. And the annual treat for collectors, the Walt Disney Treasures, even got to Goofy before beginning to issue The Chronological Donald sets.

Donald and Daisy dance the way only the best of best pals do in "Mr. Duck Steps Out." Donald and Daisy share a heart-to-heart soulgaze.

It seems hard to dispute the secondary status that situations have dictated for Donald. Of course, when the character above you is one of the most marketed and widely-recognized fictitious creations of all-time, you can't be doing that bad. This is true for the duck, who is one of the few popular personalities of the 1930s that today's children can identify. Donald can be found in stores, Disney parks, the popular PlayStation 2 game Kingdom Hearts and its sequel, the IMAX/theatrical release Fantasia 2000, television's "Quack Pack" and "House of Mouse", and on and on, making his success longer-lasting than Mickey Rooney, Greta Garbo, Shirley Temple, and the other celebrities he rubbed shoulders with in the 1939 short The Autograph Hound.

It seems inevitable, then, that in determining subjects for the three latest volumes of Classic Cartoon Favorites that Donald would figure into the mix. Sure enough, he does, right after Mickey. Though it failed to achieve its apparent goal, Volume 10 purported to cover Mickey's romantic adventures with Minnie. Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 11 - Best Pals: Donald & Daisy, as that long title suggests, focuses on Donald's encounters with Daisy Duck, the love interest who made her debut in 1937 and subsequently made ten substantial appearances through 1954. Eight of those ten shorts are presented here on a disc which adheres to the hour-of-cartoons-and-nothing-else format that Buena Vista Home Entertainment has proved in the past 16 months to be quite fond of. Spanning fourteen years, these cartoons offer quite an entertaining look at how Donald and Daisy have crossed paths and what makes them, through their colliding personalities, a couple to root for.

Here's a look at the eight cartoons in the order they are presented on this DVD:

In "Cured Duck", a machine tries to get Donald's temper under control. Donald informs his identical stand-in of the boundaries crossed in "Donald's Double Trouble." Daisy's look seems to say "What else can a girl do when your pal wants to take a late night stroll through the zoo with a boot on his head?"

"Mr. Duck Steps Out" (1940) (8:11)

Donald thinks he has lined up a perfect date with Daisy, but when Huey, Dewey, and Louie show up at her house, they pose an obstacle that will take more than ice cream to overcome.

"Cured Duck" (1945) (6:46)

After seeing Donald get far too riled up over a tricky window, Daisy requires that he gets help for his temper problem, which he does with help from an insulting machine. But will it last?

"Donald's Double Trouble" (1946) (6:44)

When Donald meets an articulate chap who looks exactly like him, he gets an idea: have his look-alike stand in for him and impress Daisy with "his" good manners. Though it sounds like a can't-fail plan, things go awry and Donald gets left out of one of the carnival's most romantic rides. This is the fourth time this short has turned up on DVD.

"Sleepy Time Donald" (1947) (6:34)

Though fast asleep, Donald puts a boot on his head and stops over at Daisy's place. Not wanting to wake him, she goes along for an interesting night on the town marked by an amusing zoo visit.

With his regular voice, Donald is anything but an ace brush vendor. Donald's nephews are a source of money (and guilt) in "Donald's Crime." Married life for Donald and Daisy looks something like robbery in "Donald's Diary."

"Crazy Over Daisy" (1950) (6:27)

Reminiscent of Mickey and Minnie's period romp The Nifty Nineties (who make a cameo, as Donald and Daisy did in that short), Donald and Daisy appear in simpler times. The presence of Chip 'n Dale, Donald's conniving chipmunk foes, winds up messing things up for Donald.

"Donald's Dream Voice" (1948) (6:31)

Donald's career as a door-to-door brush salesman improves tremendously when he buys some pills to improve his voice. His quest to impress Daisy with his new sound proves to be a most challenging one.

"Donald's Crime" (1945) (7:58)

Desperately low on funds, Donald turns to his nephew's piggy bank to supply a fun night on the town with Daisy. Afterwards, the guilt of his act becomes an awful lot to bear.

"Donald's Diary" (1954) (7:13)

In probably the funniest 'toon on the disc, we see Daisy struggle to get Donald's attention leading to their courting period, and eventually, their marriage. As the entire story is told from Donald's perspective, it is depicted as a nightmare, of sorts, in which Daisy does not provide the most flattering portrayal of womanhood.

There's a pill on your head, broseph! Donald's smile would appear to be upside down on his difficult honeymoon.


All eight shorts were created in the Academy Ratio and thus are wisely presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen. Whereas past Classic Cartoon Favorites have
offered a sharp contrast in picture quality between the shorts that have appeared on a Walt Disney Treasures tin (and therefore, been sufficiently remastered) and those that haven't, this disc offers a more complex mixed bag. Four of the eight cartoons make their DVD debut here (Sleepy Time Donald, Crazy Over Daisy, Donald's Dream Voice, and Donald's Diary). These tend to look a little on the rough side, but vary in quality from the surprisingly okay looking to those clearly in need of work.

Of the other four shorts that have already turned up on DVD, only one was on The Chronological Donald, Volume 1, meaning the other three were on Volume 2, one of last December's animated tins that left some viewers disappointed. Having not watched the Donald, Volume 2 set yet proved to be a bit of a help, as I didn't know beforehand what was already remastered and what wasn't. Without looking them up, I probably couldn't have told you. The Volume 1 short, Mr. Duck Steps Out seemed perhaps the best-looking cartoon on the disc, despite being the oldest. On the other hand, Cured Duck was perhaps the most disappointing, and that was one of Volume 2's shorts. On the whole, picture quality was pretty mediocre with grain, intrusions, and a lack of sharpness being the three most common problems.

Sound is presented in, of course, a Dolby Mono track, with your choice of English or French. Either way, Donald is mostly garbled, but that's kind of the point. Clearly, the aural elements are a bit dated, but they're serviceable enough and meet the expectations of anyone who has watched vintage Disney shorts on DVD before.

Donald and Daisy have an olden days lover spat in "Crazy Over Daisy" and Chip 'n Dale are the cause of it. Green is one of a number of colors that the bright, bouncy Main Menu assumes.


"Bonus features? We don't need no stinking bonus features!" Thus is the cry of the Classic Cartoon Favorites, and that's kind of obnoxious. Nevertheless, the Treasures extras tend
to be longer and general to the subject, so the absence of anything here seems fair enough. Perhaps short-relevant art galleries would be nice, but if Disney did decide to divvy up Treasures extras, one per CCF disc, I bet Treasures collectors would feel a bit miffed, having content from their precious purchases being made available to the thrifty public.

Of course, there are sneak peeks and those are kind of like bonus features, especially when they're theatrical trailers that don't make it to the film's eventual DVD. Here, the disc-opening previews promote The Little Mermaid Platinum Edition, Dumbo Big Top Edition, The Fox and the Hound 2, while the post-feature-via-FastPlay/otherwise-Sneak-Peeks-menu spots highlight Little Einsteins: Team Up for Adventure, Leroy & Stitch, Brother Bear 2, Disney Princess Fairy Tales, and Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure. Yay for sequels and special editions!

The 16x9 menus are in line with past volumes in the series: the Main Menu boasts moving spotlights, a rainbow-full of colors, and the title characters positioned in the center.

"Hey best pal, can I come in?" Wait 'til he sees the other side of the tree!


Unlike the concurrently-released Mickey & Minnie disc, which was curiously sidetracked by cartoons centering on their pets Pluto and Figaro and otherwise a rehash of an earlier Valentine's Day-geared compilation, Best Pals: Donald & Daisy really doesn't fall short in its design. An additional two shorts would have made this DVD mere cameos shy of a complete Daisy Duck vintage cartoon collection and the exclusion of Don Donald (Daisy's introduction) seems a bit odd, but these minor shortcomings are inevitable due to Disney's adherence to a roughly one-hour runtime for the Classic Cartoon Favorites series. Likewise, it may be unnecessary to again lament the deliberate absence of bonus features and the inconsistent, imperfect picture quality.

Nevertheless, the cartoons presented here are pretty stellar and for someone who has decided against the more expensive (but better value) Walt Disney Treasures, this disc makes a terrific sampling of Donald and Daisy's work in the heyday of Disney animated shorts. For the cost of buying an out-of-print Donald Volume 1 Treasures tin, this can be paired up with either or both of the similarly-designed Funny Factory and Classic Cartoon Favorites compilations (the latter holds Don Donald) to make a nice "Donald Lite" collection for someone who doesn't seek all fifteen hours of the duck's hot-tempered hijinks.

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews
Funny Factory: Volume 2 - With Donald • Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 2 - Starring Donald
Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume One • Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Two
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 10 - Best Pals: Mickey & Minnie • Quack Pack: Volume 1 • DuckTales: Volume 1
Saludos Amigos • The Three Caballeros • Fun and Fancy Free • Melody Time • Fantasia 2000
Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers • Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas • Mickey's House of Villains
Walt Disney Treasures: Disney on the Front Lines • Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 5 - Extreme Sports Fun • Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 6 - Extreme Music Fun
Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 8 - Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals • Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 4 - Starring Chip 'N Dale
New to DVD: Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition • My Neighbor Totoro • Dream On Silly Dreamer

UltimateDisney.com | Review Index | Upcoming Disney DVDs | Recent Disney DVDs | Classic Cartoon Favorites on the Direct-to-Video Page | Walt Disney Treasures Page

Reviewed April 8, 2006.