Although it's fun to look at the old sketches and pencil tests, the high point of the supplementary material is the discussion host Leonard Maltin conducts with Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, the last surviving members of the justly celebrated "Nine Old Men" of Disney animation. Thomas and Johnston were nearly 90 at the time of the interview, but their enthusiasm for their work, for Mickey, and for the man who made it all possible remains undimmed. (Unrated; suitable for all ages: cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon
Here is a complete list of the B&W selections on this collection (year-by-year) straight from the Disney press release:
1928--"Steamboat Willie", "The Gallopin' Gaucho", "Plane Crazy" (actually the first official Mickey Mouse short--originally silent with sound added later and re-released following the success of "SW").
1929--"The Karnival Kid", "Mickey's Follies"
1930--"The Fire Fighters", "The Chain Gang", "The Gorilla Mystery", "The Pioneer Days"
1931--"The Birthday Party", "Mickey Steps Out", "Blue Rhythm", "Mickey Cuts Up", "Mickey's Orphans"
1932--"The Duck Hunt", "Mickey's Revue", "Mickey's Nightmare", "The Whoopee Party", "Touchdown Mickey", "The Klondike Kid"
1933--"Building a Building", "The Mad Doctor", "Ye Olden Days", "The Mail Pilot", "Mickey's Gala Premiere", "Puppy Love", "The Pet Store", "Giantland"
1934--"Camping Out", "Gulliver Mickey", "Orphan's Benefit", "The Dognapper", "Two-Gun Mickey"
1935--"Mickey's Service Station" (Curiously, "Mickey's Kangaroo" is not included here. This was really the last B&W Mickey cartoon done shortly after he premiered in color in "The Band Concert").
The press release has stated that, in addition to all the features mentioned above, there will also be rare footage of the only MM B&W pencil test known to exist. This pencil test was done for "The Mail Pilot." Also, new interviews were apparently done with the legendary animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston for the documentary. Much-needed audio commentary (presumably by Leonard Maltin) has also been added to the poster gallery on disc 2 that was absent from last year's "Mickey Mouse in Living Color."
For those not acquainted with last year's "Mickey Mouse in Living Color": that collection collects Mickey's first three years in color between 1935-1938. Next year's rumored Vol. 2 will probably complete the color Mickey, going up to his last short under Walt Disney--"The Simple Gifts" (1953).
More rumors for next year's DT series: "Wartime Cartoons" (originally intended for this year) and "The Chronological Donald" (obviously the first phase of the many Donald Duck cartoons produced through the 1930's-1960's).
These cartoons show how Mickey evolved in the earliest cartoons to a rattish looking mouse, into the more classic Mickey we know. Cartoons are violent in some cases (Mickey torturing a cat!!! Say it aint so!!) to downright adorable. The DVD extras, including a look at Mickey memorabilia and introductions by Leonard Maltin, as well as a promotional Mickey Mouse cartoon made for Nabisco, make this DVD well worth it.