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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A very important cartoon for kids

Author: woody weaver ( from Frederick, MD., USA
29 December 2003

First, let me trot out my creds. I took a PhD in combinatorial mathematics from Ohio State in 1986. I'm going to claim this is relevant for two reasons: one, that this cartoon is based upon some deep and beautiful mathematics; that this material can open up into deeper study for any student, from junior high to postgraduate.

The second is that this can open up mathematics for kids, and I will offer myself as an example. I remember seeing this when I was pretty young, and really got hooked on the bit about learning to play pool "by the Diamond method". It offered that math was "a lot more than just two times two", and that it was cool to study math.

The cartoon focuses deeply on non-arithmetic aspects of math, and that is welcome. Even as an adult, I still find it entertaining, but would be something I would give to any kid I cared about to expose him to the art behind math.

Buy it for the kids, or for yourself. But be prepared to study number theory and algebraic geometry, if you follow the leads -- rich material awaits... and as the cartoon notes, there are still many other doors to open and new things to discover...

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

In praise of Pythagoras

Author: Sperry23 from United States
13 August 2002

I first saw this wonderful film in school in the early 60's. For several years it was an "annual event". Considering I was never in the same school district twice in a row, it was fascinating to see what grade level each district thought it was for.

It gives a clear and understandable approach to the question of "What is math (arithmatic) good for anyway?" Fun, musically diverse, and perhaps a bit silly, it stands the test of time. Paul Frees' outstanding narration allows the youngers to enjoy the fun of the movie, and the olders to understand the concepts.

It also explained how to calculate a bank shot on a billiard (or pool) table using the spots. heh.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of Disney's-and Donald's-best.

Author: Robert Reynolds ( from Tucson AZ
10 January 2001

This animated documentary was an excellent combination of entertainment and education and is a real feather in Disney's cap. Most people have varying degrees of either disinterest or dislike of mathematics. This renders math comprehensible as well as making it fun and interesting-a combination most of my math instuctors were either unwilling or unable to accomplish. After 41 years plus, this doesn't feel the least bit dated. I'm glad to see it's available. Three cheers for the mouse (and the duck too, though I must confess that, for the most part, Donald leaves me cold. Not here, though.). Most recommended.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic, and teaches kids to play pool!

Author: Dave Oliver from Infinite Plain, NJ
6 July 2000

In Grade 11 Trig class, we made our teacher rent this as a going away present for the Seniors who were graduating early. This is a great example of the teaching power of film. In straightforward fashion, Donald overcomes his fear of numbers through illustrative examples. Plus, it teaches kids to play pool! Learn to use the diamonds on the table, and you too can improve your game with geometry and simple arithmetic. Recommended!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Different and unique, educational and really enjoyable, well worth watching

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
14 May 2010

I am not going to say that this is Donald's absolute best, being a fan of his, as there are so many cartoons of his that are real gems, but Donald in Mathmagic Land has been a personal favourite of mine for a while now. True, there isn't much of a story, if there is one it is very simple, and there isn't a nicely rounded ending as such. But what I do love about Donald in Mathmagic Land is that it is different, it is unique, it is educational for kids and it is really enjoyable. In fact it actually makes maths fun, and I do confess maths was one of my least favourite subjects at school, for example I never got my head completely around algebra. Even if there are minor flaws with the story and ending there is so much that compensates.

There is some stunning art work that is somewhat inventive, and I think it has held up well over 40+ years, there is a fun music score, there are some funny moments such as Donald's quibbling with the omniscient narrator and there is outstanding vocal work from Paul Frees and Clarence "Ducky" Nash. Overall, if you love Disney and you love Donald Duck, plus if you want something educational even if you don't like the subject, just put Donald in Mathmagic Land on. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining and Educational.

Author: domino1003 from East Texas, USA
8 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have never really been a fan of Disney. Don't get me wrong, there are some Disney films that I like, but to be honest I didn't dig Mickey Mouse and Co. (Sorry, but I am a true Looney Tunes fan). However, there are always exceptions (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King and Beauty And The Beast among them). A good case in point is "Donald in Mathmagic Land." Growing up, I saw it every year and enjoyed it more and more.

Donald isn't a math fan. A voice tells and shows him that math is an integral part of our life (Chess, Billards and Shapes). You have your typical Disney humor in it, but it teaches you a valuable lesson: no matter what someone tells you, math IS important in every aspect of our lives and that you can never escape it.

It's a great way to get your kids to understand the magic of math.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

There's More To Math Than Two Times Two

Author: johnstonjames from United States
1 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the greatest films of all time. well, maybe one of the greatest educational films of all time.

Disney could always make educational films fun and entertaining, and next to his 'Man in Space' series, this is his best. definitely his most timeless since some of the information in the 'Space' series is now dated. only problem is, this is so entertaining you just kick back and watch the cool retro animation and forget to take in the math lesson.

Donald Duck quacks,squeaks and squawks his adorable little self through a succession of colorfully presented math lessons ending with a quote from Galileo that's intended to inspire awe and make us ponder the universe. I would have, but I was still too busy thinking about how cute Donald looked. especially when he was playing pool against a live action background.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Educational and fun. What a combination!

Author: Tommy Nelson from Long Beach, California
28 March 2009

Donald in Mathmagicland is the Alice in Wonderland of educational cartoons. It makes very little sense, and to explain the nonsensical happenings, is the simple fact that this is mathMAGICland. If you're into some strong story telling, this is not for you, but if you want an entertaining and educational Disney flick, than this one is for you.

Donald Duck is transported to Mathmagicland. In this land, various happenings in normal life are explained through math, and an ominous voice talks to Donald, voiced by Paul Frees. Donald learns how instrument strings are mathematically designed, and how the game of chess in a math process, how the game of pool can be mathematically calculated, and much more.

This is not much of a story. It makes no sense, and has no real ending, but it's still a great short. The animation is fantastic. The animation features constant morphing of shapes and it's hard to imagine that these animators could use these techniques 50 years ago. The live action is thrown in well, also. The scene where they teach how to calculate pool is the most interesting in the movie, and the mixture of live action pool and Donald Duck looks excellent, and is a nice throwback to techniques used in Donald's earlier picture "The Three Caballeros".

Paul Frees is an excellent narrator, and Donald Duck is the perfect character to send to this inexplicable math land. The animation is great, and this educational Disney film is brilliantly animated and very informative.

My rating: *** 1/2 out of ****. 30 mins.

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Sparked my Interest in Math

Author: John E. Huculak from Pacifica
17 July 2014

When I was a freshmen student at the start of high school in 1967 my math teacher brought this film to class to wake up the lethargy and the lack of interest for math in the class. Everybody laughed when he was setting up the projector since it was a cartoon with Donald Duck. The general feeling was it was for 3rd graders and it was going to be a very long and boring 30 minutes. Once the shades were drawn and the lights turned off however the laughing stopped in about 5 minutes into the film. You could hear a pin drop the rest of the way through the presentation. After the film was over the questions started and never really stopped until the end of the semester. That film breathed new life and interest into the world of mathematics for all of us in that class. Our teacher was a great instructor and I guess he had similar experiences with that film in his other classes as well. That film woke up an interest in me that stayed with me through high school and college and even now to this day. I have a copy and I still watch it once in awhile just for the great memories of so long ago.

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Magically educational.

Author: OllieSuave-007 from California, USA
12 July 2014

This is a magically educational cartoon short starring Donald Duck where he delves into an adventure of numbers, points and charts in showing us how mathematics works in real life and how math can sometimes be magical.

I have seen this short a number of times in elementary and middle schools, particularly during the time when math is taught. Though it is not the typical funny cartoon where we see Donald and his misadventures, this short is actually pretty neat and engaging, showing us how shapes, charts, numbers and math gadgets work in a clever way, utilizing that special Disney touch.

The animation is vibrant and brilliantly done and it is fun seeing Donald take on a more unique role in getting kids to learn, while retaining his lovably frustrated personality.

Overall, a pretty good cartoon that can both be fun and educational.

Grade B

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