Any serious fan of Walt Disney and his films who owns a DVD player should be aware of the Walt Disney Treasures series by now. If not, you are truly missing out. The Walt Disney Treasures DVD sets are 2-disc Limited Editions presenting rare Disney shows along with bonus features that go into the making and history behind each program. The two new Zorro Treasures releases break the 2-disc rule and include 6 discs in each set, containing the entire series-run, along with plenty of fun extras. I am very glad that the entire seasons are included. It could have been easy for these sets to be released with just a small sampling of each season, staying with the 2-disc formula. Thank you Walt Disney Home Video for not taking the easy way out and giving us the entire run of Walt Disney’s Zorro! More after the jump:
Zorro was filmed in glorious black and white, and is presented on this set looking fantastic, crisp and clear. The series was colorized, very well by the way, for airing on the Disney Channel in the 1980’s, so it was possible that it could have been included that way here, but the original black and white is presented. The total running time is over 18 hours on each set, or 39 half-hour segments on each. Season 1 features the bonus two-part one-hour specials called Zorro: El Bandito and Zorro: Adios El Cuchillo as was shown on Walt Disney’s anthology series Walt Disney Presents. And season 2 contains the other two the one-hour specials, entitled Zorro: The Postponed Wedding and Zorro: Auld Acquaintance.
All the Treasures sets are packaged in a double-disc clamshell housed in a silver tin case and individually numbered. Does this add intrinsic value? I guess so. Most importantly these tins fit into your DVD shelf and are not useless, made with over sized packaging like many other sets have been. When the over sizing happens, these cases go straight into the dumpster. In any case, the Treasures metal case does make the series feel unique and perhaps even special, and the Zorro set has a new unique look: instead of a silver case, it is encased in a shiny black tin case…cool.
These packaging details I could possibly do without, but the content contained on each of sets I could not. On each Treasures set, film historian Leonard Maltin introduces the shows and explains, in-depth, the history of the production. Happily, Zorro once again features Mr. Maltin. In the season 2 features, A Trip to the Archives is illuminating. Leonard and Guy Williams Jr. (yes, Guy Williams son) examine some of the impressive original Zorro costumes saved by the Disney Archivists. Next, Leonard and Guy explore one of the best Zorro gatherings of products in the world, also a part of the Walt Disney Archives Collection. It is a visual explosion of color to see this rare 50’s era collection of Zorro merchandise that was assembled in the early 70’s by Disney’s Chief Archivist and Disney Legend Dave Smith. Two documentaries about Zorro were produced for these sets. Set 1 features a look at making the Zorro series while set 2 contains a fantastic tribute to Guy Williams. Guy Williams is just magical as Zorro, and it has been said this was the role he was born to play. His charm is infectious, and you can see why he is considered my many to be simply the best Zorro in entertainment history.
The Treasures Series are pressed in low print runs, and many past Walt Disney Treasures titles are now very hard to come by. These sets command an impressive price tag on the secondary market, so it’s best to get them ASAP. If you have any interest in a seeing Walt Disney’s Zorro, get them at retail price before this set is big bucks. Oh yeah, and if nothing else these sets just may be sought after for the collectible pin alone that each set includes. If you are not familiar with Disney pin collectors, they mean business and are serious about collecting Disney pins. So don’t get “stuck” with out these excellent Disney television classics.