Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Series: It’s a Small World of Fun #4
Release Date: 13 February 2007
Length: 54 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars
“Sit back with the entire family and travel to exotic lands with a lovable cast of your favorite Disney characters as they trot across the globe in six classic animated adventures. Meet a poetry-loving, fire-breathing dragon, and laugh at the zany antics of Donald, Goofy, Mickey, Pluto and the whole gang. It’s a collection of hilarious and heartwarming international moments that will leave you feeling it’s definitely a small world after all.” — Netflix.com
I am really enjoying the It’s a Small World of Fun series as I find that each DVD contains unexpected delights and treasures! What a wonderful way to put cartoons together! By placing cartoons set in different countries throughout the world on a DVD, you get a good mix of Disney characters and get to watch a lot of cartoons that don’t feature the regular, most popular Disney characters. I can remember watching a lot of these cartoons when I was a kid, but have had a difficult time finding them since then. This DVD includes:
“The Reluctant Dragon” (England) – a rather foppish dragon doesn’t like fighting, but he adores writing poetry. When a knight is brought in to battle against him, a little boy tries to warn the dragon, but the dragon refuses to fight. So the boy heads off to talk to the fearless knight to try and keep the dragon safe. This is a delightful little story that is completely ridiculous, but really fun to watch. The little boy in the story discovers that dragons and knights are not always what they seem and that there are solutions to every problem if you look hard enough.
“Polar Trappers” (Antarctica) – This is a hilarious cartoon featuring Donald and Goofy in Antarctica. They are hunters who capture Arctic animals to ship to zoos and other locations around the world. It is freezing and they are starving so Donald decides to try and get a penguin for dinner. He dresses up as a penguin and tries out the Pied Piper routine. It is working, too, until a little baby penguin ruins his plan and he ends up tumbling down the hill in a snowball!
“The Goddess of Spring” (Greece) – This was a different and pretty violent Disney cartoon that I do not remember seeing before. It is part of the Silly Symphonies series and tells the story of Persephone & Hades. In classic Greek mythology, this story explained the difference between the spring and winter seasons. Persephone is the Goddess of Spring and delights in green plants and the beginnings of new life. Hades, the God of the Underworld, spots Persephone and decides that she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. So he kidnaps her and drags her down to his kingdom. Persephone is desperately unhappy there and so Hades reluctantly allows her to return to her kingdom of part of the year if she will live with Hades for the rest of the year. This cartoon was pretty violent and features a demonic-looking Hades, complete with devilish imps and hellfire and brimstone in the Underworld. It was my least favorite cartoon on the disk and I don’t think that children will enjoy it very much.
“For Whom the Bulls Toil” (Spain) – When Goofy shoos a bull out of the way of his car and seems fearless in the face of the bull’s anger, the townspeople think Goofy is a famous bullfighter. When Goofy arrives in the big city, he finds a group of people waiting to escort him to the bullfighting ring. Goofy just thinks that people are being nice, until the he encounters the bull!
“The Little House” (US) – A cute little house is built in the countryside and is all alone. She is happy, though, as there is a vibrant young couple and their children who live inside her. Before too long, however, the little house starts running into disrepair. Before she knows it, she is the little rundown cottage in the neighborhood of the rich. When those houses burn down, her new neighbors are tall, brick apartment buildings. When these buildings are knocked down, they are replaced with skyscrapers. The little house has despaired of every being happy again, until she finds herself back in the countryside with a new couple starting out their married life in a cute little cottage. This cartoon reminds me of the cartoon about Susie, the little blue car, where Disney animates an inanimate object to show the passing of time and the evolution of our material things. It is cute, though, as they are able to instill a lot of personality into the cute little house.
This DVD is a bit of a mixed bag, but I like that you get a little bit of everything in about an hour. You laugh, you get scared and you get a little teary-eyed. I think that children will appreciate the variety and the different characters features on this DVD. I have had a wonderful renting this series and I am sure that you will too!
This DVD contains some cartoon style violence, but it is very mild in most instances. The scariest cartoon is “The Goddess of Spring” and that has several demonic looking creatures and devil references in it. It may be a bit too intense for younger viewers. Everything else on the DVD is appropriate for viewers of all ages, but that cartoon makes this DVD recommended for viewers ages 5 and up.