ON THE FRONT LINES

on the front linesWhat can I say? It’s amazing!I never thought I’d live to see the day they’d release restored, perfect copies of DER FUEHRER’S FACE, EDUCATION FOR DEATH and VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER on home video. These were “Holy Grail” films in my lifetime – and here they are, as fresh as the day they were made – in a collection that everyone must own (heck, buy two… before Disney comes to their senses!).WALT DISNEY ON THE FRONT LINES is the animation dvd event of the year – whether you are an animation fan, a history or miltary buff or a Disney completist. These wartime shorts are some of the best animated films the studio ever made – all have been rarely seen since their original release – and they are surprisingly relevant to current world events.The highlight of the dvd is the magnificently restored film prints – crystal clarity, vivid colors and sharp sound. I’d forgotten how good THE OLD ARMY GAME and COMMANDO DUCK are, and I’d never seen HOW TO BE A SAILOR. What great cartoons!
I’d seen shorts like THE WINGED SCOURGE and SPIRIT OF ’43 before – but never from 35mm in brand-new condition like this! Amazing!
Then there are the bonus materials – it’ll take you hours to go through: The trailer, behind the scenes footage, production art from VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER; production art from most of the shorts… in fact, I finally saw something I always wanted to see: a Hitler model sheet! It’s included in the EDUCATION FOR DEATH production art gallery. I knew Disney, Warners, Lantz and others had to have made such a chart – they used the “character” so often – but I’ve never seen one reprinted anywhere.
The galleries include pages from DISPATCH FROM DISNEY (a rare wartime publication), Disney insignias, and Disney propaganda posters. Leonard Maltin introduces various sections and specific shorts, as well as conducting some wonderful, conversational interviews with Joe Grant, John Hench and Roy Disney.There is much here to rave about. Special mention, and our thanks, must go to Roy Disney, Dave Bossert and Leonard Maltin for making this incredible dvd compilation a reality. ON THE FRONT LINES goes on sale May 18th.