Many times over I’ve mentioned in this space that Donald Duck works best as a character when he is in a situation of his temper getting out of control rapidly. What makes that even more amusing is when the situation forces him to control that same temper. We’ve seen Donald be faced with job loss, medical ills, etc. if he didn’t calm down. In Duck Daddy, though, he is given the ultimate check on his temper – a child.
In this case, the child is a joey, or a baby kangaroo, but Donald is still cautioned to remain in control of his temper, or else he will not be a good parent. As things start out, that’s not so difficult to do. The joey is adorable and it seems to like Donald. Even though the kangaroo gets into a few messes, it seems like a typical parent-child relationship.
The character design of the joey is fabulous. It is so cute that you forget that its feet have just trashed a large part of Donald’s kitchen. Even when Donald goes to scold the joey, the little guy merely turns it around and clucks right back at him. The animators and story men did a great job of providing Donald with the perfect antagonist. The joey is not someone who you cannot sympathize with, and serves as a great counterpoint to Donald’s normal rigidity.
In this short, Donald branches out a little more than usual in his personality. While normally he is quite matter of fact, he seems to take much of the joey’s jabs in stride. Even when bath time becomes a problem, Donald doesn’t get that upset, compared to his normal moods. Where things really get interesting, though, is when the little kangaroo gets scared of Donald’s bearskin rug. To make him feel better, Donald jumps over and attacks the rug to show the joey that he has nothing to worry about.
Thus begins one of the funniest sequences in the late 40s of Disney animation. Donald gets a little carried away and has the bear “eat” him, which drive the joey into action. Imagine Donald in a bear suit running around his house being chased by a kangaroo that is kicking him wildly. If it sounds funny, watch this short. Duck Daddy isn’t perfect, but it does give you fun moments and some really big laughs.