Soup’s On seemed awfully familiar to me when I watched it this time around. The ending especially gave me an odd sense of déjà vu, but when I looked back, I couldn’t find another Donald short like it. Perhaps it stems from the fact that the short is a reliable version of the Donald and his nephews trope, and doesn’t stray too far afield. Nonetheless, it’s enjoyable.
I’ve noticed that there are several people who don’t enjoy the Donald’s nephews shorts, but I’m not one of them. I think they’re wildly entertaining and enjoy seeing the boys work Donald up to the point of distraction. In this case, it’s because they are doing what boys typically do, which is to ignore cleanliness when there’s food involved. The boys refuse to wash their hands, so Donald refuses to let them eat.
If you’ve been through this sort of thing in your house with your kids, you probably get this short a little more than most. I laughed hysterically at the ends the boys will go to in order to avoid the simple act of hand washing. The humor lies on both the surface level of the gags that they pull on Donald but also below in that they could claim their prize of a turkey dinner with a quick run of their hands in the water.
The climactic gag comes when the boys have Donald chase them through the countryside, to the point where a rock falls on his head and knocks him unconscious. The boys, sensing opportunity, make Donald believe that he’s died and turned into an angel. It’s a very funny scene that morphs into a surreal one. Donald is up on the hay bale the boys have turned into a cloud, and for what seems like an eternity is playing the harp. Why it takes so long, I have no idea.
Once it’s resolved, however, and Donald is down from his perch, we get some vintage Donald Duck anger. He’s always at his best when angry, and here Donald transforms into a raging devil to chase the boys off screen. That salvaged the short from the debacle of the harp solo and made Soup’s On a very funny short.