Disney // 2011 // 65 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // July 10th, 2011
Remastered. Restored. Remixed!
And now, a few words from the future:
Garbage-turkey, everyone. That's future-slang for "hello." I'll try to speak using 21st-Century colloquialisms from this point on, or else this message could turn into a real Toshiba Baby of confusion. Anyway, my name's Rock Bannister. I'm an agent of the International Police Unit: New Brazil Division. I'm writing to you from the year 2519. The world you know is gone. It's been replaced with a barren, violent wasteland which makes The Road look like a picnic and Mad Max look like an episode of Arthur. The lucky ones get captured by cannibals. The rest...well, let's not talk about that.
I know that a lot of you folks are speculating about the end of the world. There are some liberal crazies who think it has something to do with humanity's refusal to use energy-saving lightbulbs, some conservative crazies who think it has something to do with gay marriage and some general, run-of-the-mill crazies who think it has something to do with the Mayan calendar. None of that matters. The real downfall of civilization came from a seemingly innocent figure: Mickey Mouse.
Sure, the Have a Laugh DVD sets seemed harmless enough at first. They remastered some vintage Disney cartoons and offered shorter, faster, re-dubbed and re-scored versions alongside the old shorts. But by the time Have a Laugh: Volume Four (which featured two versions of "Mickey Down Under," "Pluto's Surprise Package," "hawaiian Holiday," "Trailer Horn," and "How to Swim") came along, the idea of shortening and speeding up classic cartoons really started catching on with the general public.
Soon, other cartoons were being shortened: Disney released a 10-minute version of The Lion King, and Dreamworks responded by turning in a 7-minute cut of Kung Fu Panda (controversially, the Panda had been omitted entirely). This trend spread to other films, and then to music (most prominently with the 19-second version of Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland"), television shows (Mad Men turned in episodes in which one character would say one word and make one facial expression before the end credits rolled) and video games (reviewers started scoffing at games which contained an entire first level as "agonizingly long"). The "shortening things for some stupid reason" trend continued until humanity just up and shortened its own existence ("History moves too slow," President Ashton Kutcher said just before pushing the big red button).
Anyway, the point I'm getting at is this: resist the allure of Have a Laugh: Volume Four. You wouldn't think it would be too hard, as the re-edited versions of the classic cartoons are unbelievably annoying and the "Blam!" and "Re-Micks!" shorts are like audiovisual kicks in the shin. Ignore the fact that they look really good on DVD, boasting exceptional detail, vibrant colors and a complete absence of scratches and flecks. Also ignore the above-par sound which blesses the shorts (both the old and new versions). The disc doesn't contain any extras, so there's nothing to get excited about there.
People of the early 21st Century, Have a Laugh: Volume Four is just an underwhelming batch of vintage cartoons mixed with stupid new versions of those same cartoons. As a DVD, it's not really worth checking out. Toss in the fact that it will bring about the end of the world, and you should really just leave that business out of your shopping cart.
Shogun Pauly Shore the XVI! Um, I mean...what's the word? Guilty.
Review content copyright © 2011 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 65 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* IMDb: Mickey Down Under
* IMDb: Hawaiian Holiday
* IMDb: Trailer Horn
* IMDb: How to Swim
* IMDb: Pluto's Surprise Package