Donald Duck works with Chip and Dale. It just makes sense, and that’s why we see them together so often in the 1940s. Donald has to have a foil to showcase his giant temper and amusing frustrations, and nothing brings that out of him more than the two chipmunk heroes trying to steal his food. In Winter Storage, at least they have a very good reason for trying to do so.
As the calendar turns, the chipmunks are working feverishly to stock up their stores for the cold winter to come. They run into difficulty when they encounter the park ranger Donald Duck, who is using acorns to seed an area of the park with new trees. The acorns being what Chip and Dale are after, it works out well for them. They are able to follow behind Donald and make mischief, getting the acorns to literally fall out of the bags.
The interesting twist in this version of the familiar trope is that Chip and Dale end up at each other’s throats. It’s a nice difference from past shorts, where the back and forth between Donald and the chipmunks has been done to death. With the chipmunks getting irritated with each other, it’s puts a new spin on a familiar story.
The other thing that happens is Donald is able to trap these two in a box, marking the first time I can remember where Donald gets the upper hand. It doesn’t last, however, as the two manage to put aside their differences and escape. I really enjoyed the animation in this short, as the frantic actions of Chip and Dale are so fluid and exciting that it really sucks you in. Past shorts have featured this as well, but it felt very manic and exciting in this one.
Winter Storage is definitely not a groundbreaking short, because it doesn’t offer much new in the way of animation, and only minor changes to the standard Donald vs Chip and Dale formula. I did enjoy the hockey scenes at the end, where Donald’s mad attempts to prevent the acorn theft turn into some high quality hockey goalie action. It’s a harmless little short that entertains, but ultimately is nothing new.