Disney Animation Collection Volume 6: The Reluctant Dragon
by Various Directors
Review by Charles Mohapel
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment DVD ISBN/ITEM#: B001RTKKNA
Date: 18 May 2009 List Price $19.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
As a young child I watched The Wonderful World Of Disney with my family on a weekly basis and I developed a fondness for the classical Disney animation, so when I received an offer to review any or all of Disney Animation Collection Volumes 1-6, I eagerly accepted and requested all six.
"The Reluctant Dragon" is another wonderful children's story by Kenneth Grahame, but unfortunately this one is badly marred by video that is scratchy, grainy, and slightly out of focus. The story itself is hilarious as you have a young boy who is an expert on dragons and the knights who slay them, a dragon who is a poet, and a dragon-slaying knight who is also a poet. With the help of the boy, the dragon and the knight come to a mutually satisfactory agreement on how to fix the "fight-to-the-death" so that nobody actually gets killed, let alone hurt. I laughed so hard I nearly hurt myself throughout much of the 20 minutes and 37 seconds.
"Ferdinand The Bull" is the amusing story of a flower loving pacifist of a bull who accidentally sits on a bumblebee at the worst possible moment. While all the other bulls his age are trying unsuccessfully to impress the people who provide bulls for the Spanish bullfights, the stung Ferdinand goes on a rampage so impressive that he is the Chosen One. Have you ever seen a supremely frustrated matador?
"Goliath II" is anything but the apple of his father's eye. While Goliath the First is the hugest elephant and the undisputed leader of the herd, Goliath the Second is approximately the size of one of his father's toenails. Not only does he cause an absolutely hilarious multi-elephant pileup, he then has to somehow manage to save the day when even Goliath the First is powerless to do so.
The story of the legendary "Johnny Appleseed" is a genuine slice of Americana, as is the inspired voice casting of the lead character. Best known to many as the sidekick of Jack Benny, Dennis Day was the voice of Johnny Appleseed, Johnny's Angel, and the Old Settler who narrates the story. Not only did I enjoy the story, but I found myself wishing for a big slice of freshly baked apple pie made with just brown sugar and cinnamon, still warm from the oven, and a big scoop of double churned vanilla ice cream as the story followed its course.
From start to finish, Volume 6 was my favorite of the collection, despite being marred by a bad copy of "The Reluctant Dragon". Hopefully Disney takes all 6 volumes, restores them equally to a pristine state, and releases them as a Special Edition set in DVD and Blu-ray.