I don’t know about the rest of you, but I grew up watching the classic Disney short cartoons. I caught them as often as possible, on the Disney Channel, on VHS, but mainly on our RCA Selectavision discs.
Even though the format was dead and gone a year before I was born, we had a player and about 300 pounds worth of discs. Even among Jaws, Superman, Bad News Bears, and Indiana Jones, the Disney shorts were what I watched the most.
And, among those, it was Volume 3 of the Cartoon Classics series, namely Scary Tales, that was my favorite. What’s so cool about Disney shorts is that each generation remembers them in a different way. You’ve got the old folks that were around when they were played in theaters and the younger crowd that grew up with compilation tapes and clip shows on TV. So, like a mix tape, you not only remember the cartoons, but how they go together. Being Halloween, I thought I’d share some thoughts (and videos!) of this creepy edition to Disney Home Video.
Scary Tales had six classically creepy Disney shorts, and the first was Donald Duck and the Gorilla.
The chase sequence has to be my favorite. This short is available on the Disney Treasures DVD Chronological Donald Duck Vol. 2, along with a ton of other classics.
The next is arguably my favorite, and I still don’t really know why. It’s a surreal, almost film noir short starring Donald, called Duck Pimples.
I must have watched this a lot growing up, probably trying to figure out what was going on, because I remember so many little nuances. Once, in High School while I was working at a Goodwill, I actually bought a box of shower curtain rings for fifty cents because it made me think of this short. Unfortunately, it ended up being bracelets that the cop character dunks in his coffee, but oh well. This one is also on The Chronological Donald Duck Vol. 2.
Next up is The Skeleton Dance. I won’t bore you with the significance of this cartoon, just watch.
Impressed? Well it was the first Silly Symphony. It’s important, I promise. This one is on the Treasures set Silly Symphonies but it is out of print, so expect to pay upwards of $40 for a new copy, and if you’re looking for the collectible tin as well, even more. Update: The Skeleton Dance is also available in HD on the Snow White Blu-ray.
The next is very similar in style to The Skeleton Dance, but stars Mickey, and it’s called Haunted House. It’s even got some animation from The Skeleton Dance, but I don’t mind, I still love it. You can get it on Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. 2.
Next up is Donald’s Lucky Day. The cat’s meow still gives me nightmares.
Lastly is Pluto’s Judgment Day, and it’s a trip. It would have been awesome if Disney would have been guts enough to call this Pluto Goes to Hell.
The Cat Cave looks familiar too, doesn’t it? It reminds me of the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin.
Even though the last one isn’t that creepy, the whole package is definitely worth a view on Halloween