The "Walt Disney Treasures" are two-disc DVD sets of classic Disney works, covering work from the studio's earliest days to more recent work.
There have been seven waves of the DVDs, each comprising three or four different sets (for a total of 25 different titles).
The first wave was released to Region 1 DVD on December 4, 2001 as part of Walt Disney's 100th birthday. Sold in limited quantities, the numbered units are largely commercially unavailable outside of second-hand sales. Only a small handful of these titles have been sold outside of Region 1.
Each title has been packaged in a numbered, tin case. The first two waves featured the numbering as stamped into each case, while subsequent waves were packaged with a certificate of authenticity marking the number. The first three waves were additionally bound in a cardboard band featuring reproductions of signatures by Leonard Maltin and Roy Disney. In 2003, a boxed set was packaged of the first and second waves of the series, without the tin canisters (as pictured).
The DVD sets were the idea of film critic/historian Leonard Maltin, who appears on each set to introduce the DVDs, and to provide historical context to some of the more dated, and sometimes politically incorrect, works.
The third wave of Walt Disney Treasures was released on May 18, 2004. It was originally planned to be released in December 2003, but was delayed for almost half a year in order to meet an increased demand with a higher number of tins produced.
The celebration of Mickey's color capers continues in this second volume of shorts -- from "Society Dog Show" in 1939 to his last short, "The Simple Things," in 1953 -- and feature film appearances, giving you a decidedly colorful history of the most famous mouse in the world. This outstanding review of Mickey's color career spotlights some very special features, including his groundbreaking performance in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and a commercial film created for the Standard Oil Company, which hasn't been seen since 1939. Youl'll also get an inside look at Mickey's recent career through the eyes of his most recent animators, Mark Henn and Andreas Deja, and voice actors Wayne Allwine (Mickey) and Russi Taylor (Minnie). Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin, this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come.
This set picks up from where "Mickey In Color, Volume One" leaves off. This was one of the few "Treasures" sets released abroad, as well as in the United States, on 4 April 2005. Like the first volume, it was retitled 'Mickey Mouse In Living Colour' in the UK due to differences with British English and American English.
This edition contains:
Society Dog Show
Pluto's Dream House
Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip
The Little Whirlwind
The Nifty Nineties
Mickey's Birthday Party
Mickey's Delayed Date
Mickey Down Under
Mickey and the Seal
Pluto's Christmas Tree
The Simple Things
Mickey's Christmas Carol
The Prince and the Pauper
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: This segment features not only the full cartoon from Fantasia (however, the closing segment of Mickey shaking hands with conductor Leopold Stokowski is cut here), but also a deleted scene which showed (in pencil tests) an alternate sequence of Mickey attacking the broom with an axe (whereas in the finished product, viewers only see the shadows of the both of them, originally Mickey and the broom were supposed to be seen wholly).
Mickey and the Beanstalk: The entire sequence from Fun and Fancy Free, complete with the intertwined live action footage of Edgar Bergen, Luana Patten and Bergen's two ventriloquist dummies, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd.
Walt Disney's Standard Parade For 1939: Easter egg bonus about a promotion made specifically for Standard Oil dealers. First, it starts with a whirlwind history of Disney's breakthroughs in animation with Steamboat Willie, Flowers and Trees, The Three Little Pigs and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as well as show off a host of honors bestowed upon Disney. Then it is followed by a brief short scene in which many of Disney's characters up until 1939 parade by holding signs displaying advertising opportunities. This scene is similar in animation to Disney's 1932 Academy Awards parade, which was shown as a bonus feature on the "Mickey In Color, Volume One" set.
Walt Disney Performing the Voice of Mickey: Another Easter egg bonus feature, this black and white clip begins with Billy Bletcher, the voice of Black Pete, performing a couple of lines repeatedly. Then it shows Walt himself reading as Mickey Mouse with Bletcher. The dialogue is for the short "Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip".
Mickey's Cartoon Comeback: Maltin goes into Disney's Animation Research Library and interview animators Mark Henn and Andreas Deja and they reveal their first exposures to animation and Mickey, too. Modern animators are compared with the animators of the early Mickey Mouse shorts, trendsetters to whom there was no opportunity to study animation.
The Voice Behind the Mouse: Maltin meets up with the current voices of Mickey and Minnie, Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor. They talk about the characteristics of Mickey and Minnie that they see in themselves. They compare how Mickey's voice changed over the years, even within Walt Disney's run of doing the voice. Allwine and Taylor consider how Walt would probably embrace new technologies of today. Allwine does most of the talking, sharing anecdotes and touching on a wide array of other subjects related to Disney animation. Taylor, his real-life wife, recalls how she prepared for her Minnie audition.
Mouse Mania: A stop-motion segment that aired as part of a primetime TV special for Mickey's 50th Anniversary in 1978. Mike Jittlov, who had established himself in stop-motion, made this short, set inside a psychiatrist's office. It's extremely weird in a good way. Mickey figures and an assortment of other Disneyana, bell-bottomed men, and fast-tempoed electronic music (it's Baroque Hoedown, the same music used in the Main Street Electrical Parade at the Disney parks) are all rapidly blended in a nearly incoherent fashion.
Mickey's Cartoon Physics: This segment is from a 1956 episode of the Walt Disney anthology series known as The Plausible Impossible (which can be viewed in its entirety on the "Behind the Scenes" set from Wave 2). Herein, Walt discusses how impossible action can seem real in animation if there is some factual basis. We see why it makes sense for a cow's bell to ring when you pull its tail, how Mickey stretches and squishes when going up in an elevator, and a couple of other demonstrations from cartoons.
Tricks of Our Trade: Another segment from another anthology series episode: a 1957 episode entitled Tricks of Our Trade. Walt discusses three-dimensionality in cel animation, using the multi-plane camera. Like The Plausible Impossible, this episode can be viewed in its entirety on "Behind the Scenes".
Mickey Meets the Maestro: A behind-the-scenes featurette on the meeting of Mickey and conductor James Levine in Fantasia 2000.
Mickey Mouse Club Intro: The original opening sequence of The Mickey Mouse Club is shown in color. There are five different 25-second openings; one for each day of the week, each with a different theme. Also, contrary to popular belief, Walt did not stop voicing Mickey after Fun and Fancy Free; The Mickey Mouse Club was that last time, instead.
The Making of Mickey's Christmas Carol: A thorough and informative featurette from the '80s. It satisfactorily covers the filmmakers' approach to the material, such as how they assigned Disney's cartoon stars to Dickens' characters, and how they assigned animators to characters. Producer/director Burny Mattinson, animators Glen Keane and David Block, and some of the voice talent are interviewed. Also shown is a bit of a history of Mickey and Donald.
Publicity and Memorabilia Gallery: This gallery shows posters and advertisements on the Mickey shorts on this set.
Story and Background Gallery: Sketches from some of Mickey's shorts are depicted, as are comments on costumes, supporting characters, and how Mickey's changed over the years.