Starring Mickey appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. If you’ve watched the other Mickey sets, you’ll know what to expect from Starring, as it presented consistently fine visuals.
Sharpness generally appeared quite good. At times, some softness interfered with the presentation; periodically, sequences looked a bit blurry or out of focus. However, those instances seemed infrequent, as the cartoons largely were nicely crisp and clear. Jagged edges and moiré effects caused no concerns, but some light edge enhancement did seem visible on occasion.
Print flaws varied but generally stayed minor for material of this vintage. Overall, the most significant issues related to light dust along with some occasional marks, speckles, grit and blotches. Still, I’ve seen much worse in regard to other flicks from the Thirties and Forties, and the defects remained quite modest as a whole.
Colors consistently seemed strong. The tones were bright and vivid throughout the shorts, with very few exceptions on display. The cartoons stuck largely with primary colors, and these looked quite distinct and vibrant at virtually all times. Black levels also appeared nicely deep and rich, while shadow detail was clear and accurate throughout the shorts. Overall, I was quite pleased with the quality of Mickey.
In addition, the monaural soundtrack of Starring Mickey matched up with the better than decent audio of prior sets. Dialogue sounded a little edgy at times, but for the most part, the lines were acceptably clear and accurate. Effects showed a bit of distortion and harshness, but they stayed fairly clean and distinct through the shorts. Music also demonstrated variable levels of shrill and rough tones, but this wasn’t unexpected, and the score seemed reasonably solid. Decent depth accompanied some effects, such as stomping of large characters, but the track was pretty thin and tinny as a whole.
Varying levels of background concerns appeared throughout the shorts. I heard modest hiss at times during the cartoons. However, the tracks seemed pretty clean for audio of this era. Overall, the sound heard during Starring Mickey won’t win any awards, but I found the mixes to come across as pretty clear and accurate for their age.
No significant extras appear on Starring Mickey. We get a collection of ads in the Sneak Peeks domain. This includes promos for Bambi, Cinderella, Mulan II, and a two-disc set with Porco Rosso, Nausicaa and The Cat Returns
If you want to find a nice little collection of Mickey Mouse shorts - look elsewhere. To be sure, the cartoons on Starring Mickey are very good. My lowest grade was a 6 out of 10, while most of the shorts earned 7s or 8s. (One nabbed a 9.)
So what’s my beef? These aren’t really Mickey Mouse cartoons. He appears in all of them but truly stars in only a couple. You see much more of Donald Duck on display. I prefer Donald, so that makes the shorts entertaining, but it remains a misleading package.
Whatever they call it, Starring Mickey does present a fair amount of fun. The cartoons come with good picture and more than adequate audio, though the disc lacks real extras. If you already own the Mickey “Walt Disney Treasures” sets, there’s absolutely no reason to get this one. If you don’t have those releases, however, and only want a little Disney entertainment, Starring Mickey would be a good collection to own.