Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Series: Walt Disney’s It’s a Small World of Fun #1
Release Date: 16 May 2006 (DVD Collection Release)
Length: 55 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars
“This entertaining collection of animated short films from Disney finds Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and friends embarking on adventures around the world. Included are “In Dutch” (Holland), “Goliath II” (India), “Mickey Down Under” (Australia), “The Flying Gauchito” (South America), “African Diary” (Africa) and “A Cowboy Needs a Horse” (the United States). Also featured is an English-language version of the Japanese short “Grievance of a Starmaker.” — Netflix.com
I am a sucker for these Disney collections, but refuse to buy them because they are too expensive for what you get! This little gem of a DVD is not quite an hour long, but contains a lot of wonderful cartoons that children of all ages will enjoy. These cartoons really do not have anything in common, but Disney hit upon the idea of pulling a cartoon set in different countries around the world and putting them together. I don’t think children will really learn that much about the countries featured here as the cartoons mainly rely on stereotypes and traditional legends to feature countries, but they will surely be entertained!
“In Dutch” is an adorable cartoon set in Holland. It features Pluto and was really cute as Pluto falls in love and then accidentally pulls the dike emergency alarm. He and his new girlfriend are kicked out of town, but then they realize the dike is really leaking! Now they must find a way to let the humans know what is happening. I really loved how they showed the town from Pluto‘s point of view – you mainly see legs and wooden shoes from the humans and just a few faces. The way that Pluto is animated is also wonderful as he has such an expressive face, you always know exactly what he is up to even though he doesn’t say a word. This cartoon is cute, clever and traditional Disney – I loved it!
“Goliath II” is an old-fashioned cartoon in the style of The Jungle Book set in India. The elephants really reminded me of the Elephant March from The Jungle Book and the lead male ruled over his herd in much the same way. He is cursed/blessed with a young son who is tiny (smaller than flowers). Goliath gets into all kinds of trouble and is very hard to keep track of as he feels like he can take care of himself, but he is so small that everyone in the jungle is trying to eat him. But when his whole herd is terrified of a mouse in their path, Goliath is the only one willing to stand up to the intruder! This is a slower-paced cartoon and does not contain as much humor as the others in the collection, but I really enjoyed it. I know that some children get a little bored of this one so maybe it is best for older kids? Anyway, it has a wonderful message about being a great person no matter how old you are or who you are!
“Mickey Down Under” is set in Australia and is hilarious! Mickey is trying to get an ostrich egg while Pluto is trying to track down a boomerang. The ostrich ends up being scarier than Mickey anticipated and the boomerang is definitely more than Pluto can handle! This one was a cute adventure set in Australia that is short, but so fun! It is full of laughs as just about everything goes wrong with both of their tasks and children will adore this one.
“The Flying Gauchito” is set in South America and I felt like it was kind of a new type of fairy tale adventure. A little cowboy discovers a donkey with wings who can fly! He decides to enter a race so that he can win a lot of money and become rich, but things don’t work out quite as planned. The entire cartoon is narrated by the gauchito (little cowboy) who discovered the donkey and, just like most of us, he cannot remember exactly what happened, so he keeps changing the story in the middle and offering hints to his younger self. The donkey steals the show though, as he is a happy-go-lucky little guy who is delighted to have a friend. Children will be enchanted by these two as they learn to become friends and become their own kind of family.
“African Diary” is set in the African jungle and features Goofy so, of course, it is an absolute riot as everything goes wrong! Goofy is down in Africa to go big game hunting, but he has a hard time keeping his nerve when confronted with a full-grown rhinoceros. This one was probably the funniest of all the cartoons, as so many of the Goofy cartoons are, but it does teach you a little bit about the trip to Africa and the animals there. It is not what you would call politically correct, but it is very old-school vision of Africa so it is still educational. Goofy tries hard to hunt, but finds he is not able to shoot anything so no one gets hurt (Goofy always bounces back, you know!). Everyone will love this one!
“A Cowboy Needs a Horse” set in the US is one of my favorite Disney cartoons (see video above). It has such a memorable song attached to it and is perfect for little boys! As a young boy drifts off to sleep he dreams of becoming a cowboy with spurs, boots, hat, horse, rope and more. Then he is off on a series of adventures to beat the bad guys and save the day! This one is absolutely adorable and I find myself watching it over and over. It has such a lovely soundtrack and a great theme song. The colors used to animate this cartoon are also wonderful – there are lots of muted reds, pinks, and warm sunset colors. You can tell you are still in a dream, but you have that desert feel. One of my favorite cartoons from Disney that doesn’t feature any of their main characters.
“Grievance of a Starmaker” is included as a bonus on this disc and features Japan. A little boy is wondering why the stars don’t shine as brightly as they used to so he goes and asks the Starmaker. The Starmaker despairs of people caring about the condition of the sky and doesn’t believe the little boy will really help. But the little boy proves him wrong by polishing all of the stars before returning to bed to dream. This was originally created in Japan, but Disney put new English-language narration onto the cartoon so it is easy to understand. The characters don’t say anything so the story is told completely through the narrator. This was a charming little cartoon that features a different-style of animation than I am used to seeing from Disney with a message about protecting and caring about the planet. It was a nice addition to the set and is a good, unexpected bonus to buying the DVD (or renting it, as I did!).
This is a good DVD to share with your children or to sit down and watch yourself to remember what it was like when you were watching these as a kid. I had a fun time seeing these cartoons again and it has been a long time for most of them! Definitely worth a rental.
This DVD contains cartoon-style violence, but no one gets hurt and it is all in good fun. Appropriate for viewers of all ages.