Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Drip Dippy Donald

The gag of having Donald unable to fall asleep because of some external stimuli is not a new one. It’s been done a few times, in a myriad of settings. Honestly, though, it seems to work every time. In the case of Drip Dippy Donald it works beautifully, as the short encapsulates the experience perfectly with just the right amount of hyperbole mixed with realism.

This really is the exact kind of thing that Donald excels at, and the animators put him through his paces in this short. He is in bed when a light shines through the window to keep him up, but that problem is really just a set up for the real one. The dripping faucet in Donald’s kitchen is the real irritant and the source of the title.

The fun of this is seeing the various ways that the dripping faucet causes Donald to go nuts. It really is like Chinese water torture as the drips keep making noise, and the noise keeps getting magnified. From dripping into a bowl of water to dripping onto a spoon that rattles the other dishes, it’s a scenario that I imagine a large number of viewers could relate to. I know it’s happened to me before.

Where this short turned from run of the mill Donald fun to brilliance for me was when we started getting the hyperbole. The drips of the faucet go from a normal perspective to one that looks like the water is falling from miles above. The rattling dishes seem to shake the entire house. The drips turn from harmless water into huge bombs. It’s an amazing sequence that shows how these things can grow in your mind, but does so without going off the deep end of surrealism.

Even more fun comes at the end, as Donald sets up an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine to catch the water. He gives in at the end, but is literally saved by the bell in a nice twist that I will not ruin. Donald is frayed, anxious and a little out of his mind. That’s when he works the best, and it’s why this short works so well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Big Wash

Ah, the age old gag of one of the Disney characters attempting to give an animal a bath has returned. In The Big Wash, it’s Goofy’s turn to take on this cliché, as he tries to bathe a circus elephant. It’s a deviation from the norms of Goofy’s “How To” shorts, and it comes of as a bit of a mixed bag.

After all, in situations like this, we expect to see Donald Duck. He’s the one who would be able to properly express the frustrations and anxiety of trying to bathe a giant elephant. You would expect the garbled invective to flow freely from our favorite duck. Instead, we get the contrast of a cheerful Goofy meandering his way around the elephant and getting foiled at every turn.

In a way, that’s what makes The Big Wash work. Goofy’s lack of irritation makes this humorous in a way that Donald could not. He smiles as the elephant fills his pants with water to the point of bursting, or as he ends up on his behind in the mud. Goofy is able to shrug it off and keep trying to wash Dolores the elephant. He even sings a song while he does it.

Where I felt this short did not measure up was in the gags. After all, we’ve seen Pluto try to avoid a bath before in a couple of shorts, and have seen his ways of getting out of it. By comparison, Dolores the elephant should have some very different and original things to try. Honestly, though, everything that the elephant tries is less amusing than it could be.

Goofy’s antics aside, it’s not a short that uses him to his best ability. Goofy works best when he is the foil to the narrator or is demonstrating some kind of every day idea. Goofy is the every man at this point in his career, and not many of us can relate to having to bathe an elephant. While well intentioned, The Big Wash comes off all wet. (I had to do it.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tweetwatch - Monday, August 29 at 8:30p ET - The Princess Diaries

Hello, trolley people!  Tonight is the night for an all new Tweetwatch, this time of the 10 year old hit film, The Princess Diaries, starring Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway.  It's the future Catwoman's first film role, and director Garry Marshall does a masterful job pulling things together.  Never joined in the Tweetwatch fun before?  Here's your game plan for tonight:

1. Follow me and Disney Film Project on Twitter

2. Get a copy of The Princess Diaries.  The DVD is out of print, so you'll have to go digital if you don't have a copy.  iTunes has it for $9.99 to own, no rental option, sadly.  Other than that, you might have to hit the local video store to find a copy.
3. Sign up for the Tweetwatch on Plancast!

4. Subscribe to our Friendfeed room. It's been a little wonky the last few weeks, so try to sign up early and make sure you can get in.

5. On the appointed night, jump in to the Friendfeed room and get your DVD or digital copy cued up.

6. At the right time, I'll tweet or post that we should start the movie, and I'll update the feeds with relevant facts about the production

It's that simple!  This is a fun flick, so come on in and join us for the excitement. 

See you tonight!

It's that simple! Great time will be had by all. Can't wait to see you there!

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 34 - The Sword In the Stone

This week, the entire DFPP team journeys to medieval England to attempt to pull Excalibur from the stone and become the true kings of England. Spoiler alert... none of us succeed. See what we thought of the film, however, as we tackle the 1963 Disney classic.

Listen, download, etc.

Show notes:

Enjoy the show!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

They're Off

Goofy returns to the “How To” shorts with the first short of 1948, They’re Off. It’s a short that focuses on the age old practice of horse racing, but more specifically on how to pick a winner. We’re back to the same formula of an omniscient narrator talking about the “proper” way to do things while Goofy demonstrates nearly the opposite.

The main difference in this short versus the other How To shorts is that the narrator has changed. John McLeish narrated most of the classic Goofy shorts, but he is not employed here. For someone who has watched those shorts in order, like me, it’s a jarring change, but by itself it’s not a big change. This short manages to be entertaining as a standalone entity and does not rely on the previous parts of the series.

This is another short that involves multiple Goofys portraying different roles, which was so successful in Hockey Homicide and other shorts. What I loved about this is the difference between the Goofs is told through acting, rather than physical differences. That’s a challenge for the animators, but they definitely rose to the occasion, as we see different Goofs acting bold or timid, smart or dull all in the same frame. That’s not easy to get across with the exact same character design.

The other characters that pop up in this short are the horses. Snapshot and Old Moe are the names of the two horses, and again, the animators manage to make them different each time, despite being a similar character design. Getting the horses to have a personality and individuality is really cool. When they start racing, you already know what each horse’s character is.

That’s the spark that was missing in many of the shorts from 1947: character. Disney was a studio that revealed character through animation, and they had gotten away from that in some of the other shorts in the recent past. This Goofy short brings that tradition back in a really good way. The fact that the gags are well told only adds to that. They’re Off is a welcome start to 1948’s series of shorts, and I can only hope that others will continue to share its excellence.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pluto's Blue Note

We’re wrapping up 1947 in the Disney canon with a Pluto short. I’ve said before that my feeling on Pluto is that he is a difficult character to do well. Doing Pluto correctly leads to some great gags and animation, as he is able to stretch and contort unlike many of the other characters. When this doesn’t happen, though, it’s a little more routine, and that’s the case with Pluto’s Blue Note.

There are two basic gags in the short, and they each do the work in approximately half of the short. The first one is Pluto’s desire to sing like the birdies sing, so to speak. He wakes up in the morning, hears the birds chirping and attempts to join in, much to the chagrin of the birds. The gag here is that Pluto, a dog, cannot sing as well as a bird. Do you see the funny?

The problem with this gag is that it doesn’t take advantage of one of Pluto’s best assets, which is his physicality. The movements and slapstick comedy of Pluto makes him funny, so if he’s standing still trying to sing, it takes some of the fun out of things. However, he does get some action going when he tries to imitate the bees (flapping his ears like wings) or the grasshoppers (rubbing his legs together). Those are decent pieces, but not Pluto’s full potential.

The second half of the short deals with Pluto’s revelation that he can use his tail and mouth to create a record player of sorts. After wandering into a music shop when trying to sing like the radio, our favorite dog discovers that if he places his tail on the record, then the sounds come out of his mouth. While it’s a decent gag, it again relies on Pluto being still to work.

The coda to this gag is when Pluto installs the record player into his dog house, and woos the lady dogs of the neighborhood with his crooning. I’ll be honest, I expected a gag to come out of this, like the record skipping (which it does) and a revolt among the animals. But for the most part, Pluto sings the whole song, winks at the camera, and ends the short. It’s a slow, disappointing ending to the short, and honestly not that funny. Pluto’s Blue Note serves as an example of paint by numbers style filmmaking, and it suffers in comparison to most of the earlier Pluto shorts.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 33 - The Emperor's New Groove

Boom, baby! The DFPP crew takes a groovy look at one of Disney's funniest animated movies, The Emperor's New Groove, with our special guest Amy Beth Combs. Come check out one of the Internet's funniest people tackle this hilarious film, while the rest of the team sit back and enjoy the giggles.

Listen, download, etc.

Show notes:
Enjoy the show!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chip An' Dale

The best short of 1947 is one that follows a familiar formula, but brings two little known characters to the forefront. Chip An’ Dale brings the chipmunks who have appeared in previous shorts to the front of the title card, right after Donald Duck. It’s an obvious attempt to establish the two as new characters in the Disney pantheon. As such an effort, it’s pretty darn successful.

It should be noted that the Chip and Dale in this short are not entirely the same as they will appear in later shorts. Dale does not have his trademark brownish red nose, and the voices are a little harder to understand than they will be in the future. But he basics are there, and that’s a strong foundation to start from.

Donald Duck is the antagonist in this short, which is a role that suits him very well. After all, as we all know, Donald works best when he’s getting irritated or frustrated and his anger builds. We don’t see a slow burn here, because the short focuses so much on the chipmunks, but the interaction that Donald has with them is quality every single time.

What I loved about Chip An’ Dale was the fact that both Donald and the chipmunks had a decent point of view. It was perfectly reasonable that Donald chopped down their tree, because after all, how would he know there were chipmunks living there? And of course, the chipmunks are just protecting their home, which is also very reasonable. The way that both parties go about their business, and the gags that result are really well done.

My favorite gag was the fight in the snow, where Donald peeps out of the chimney and throws the chimpunks off the roof, but there were many more. Dale’s determined efforts to kick Donald in the behind are also a highlight. It’s no wonder that this short reignited the Disney tradition of competing for Academy Awards, as it was nominated but did not win in 1948. Still, a fantastic achievement for Disney that established Chip and Dale as new characters for the company.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mail Dog

We’re back to Pluto with Mail Dog as the latest short in 1947. And as if keeping with the theme so far in this year, it’s a bit disappointing. As we’ve said here before, Pluto is a difficult character to do well, since he does not talk and does not move or act in a human way. To make him interesting, the animation and story team has to deliver top notch work.

In Mail Dog, the concept is pretty good. Pluto serves as a dog in the winters of the North, whose sole purpose is to carry mail across the frozen tundra in storms where planes could not traverse. The short takes the first minute to set up this premise, without a sight of Pluto. That’s an interesting decision to take that much time, but it does set things up well.

From there, it’s a quick sprint through two confrontations where Pluto is trying to make his appointed rounds. The first of these is with an inanimate object, which is not bad. Pluto gets his mail bags stuck with a totem pole, and seeing him struggle against the inanimate faces is pretty amusing. This is the kind of thing that works with Pluto, seeing him struggle with things that should be routine. It plays to the fact that he is a dog, and not a person.

His second encounter, with a rabbit that must have lost its way a long way away, is less amusing While the rabbit is merely interested in getting warm, and goes to great lengths to do so, while Pluto is trying to simultaneously stay warm and deliver the mail. The problem is that the conflict between the two seems forced, and not natural other than the fact that both are freezing.

I’ll give the animation team credit for an ending that is heart warming and fun, but it doesn’t make up for a short that tends to drag through the middle. Without some real fun gags, the short doesn’t measure up to the type of work that we have seen in other Disney work of the previous years. Especially when you look at Fun and Fancy Free or other feature work, the shorts like Mail Dog are not in the same league.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 32 - Captain America: The First Avenger

Avengers Assemble! It's time for the last film before The Avengers (opening May 4, 2012), as Marvel Studios (a subsidiary of Disney) releases Captain America: The First Avenger. The DFPP team joins the Howling Commandos and goes into battle with Cap for a tussle with the Red Skull. Join us for the star spangled fun.

Listen, download, etc.

Show notes:

Enjoy the show!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tweetwatch - The Fox and the Hound - Monday, August 15 at 8:30p ET

Time again for our bi-weekly Tweetwatch!  This week, we celebrate the recent DVD release of The Fox and the Hound with a Tweetwatch of the 1980s Disney animated film. 

This one is a tearjerker, folks, so if you've never seen it, you need to bring the Kleenex.  We'll check this one out on Monday, August 15 at 8:30p ET (with a little fudge room, since I'm flying into town that night.  Be patient and follow the Twitter feed to make sure you are ready and I'll update you if I'm running behind.)

Here's how it works:

1. Follow me and Disney Film Project on Twitter

2. Grab the movie we're watching, either through Netflix, instant video (Amazon or Disney Movies Online) or buying it.

3. Sign up for the Tweetwatch on Plancast!

4. Subscribe to our Friendfeed room.

5. On the appointed night, jump in to the Friendfeed room and get your Bluray/DVD cued up.

6. At the right time, I'll tweet or post that we should start the movie, and I'll update the feeds with relevant facts about the production

It's that simple! Great time will be had by all. Can't wait to see you there!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Foul Hunting

Goofy returns to the stage in 1947’s Foul Hunting, and in a way that we really have not seen since his very early appearance in Goofy and Wilbur. No more do we have the omniscient narrator and irony of the “How To” shorts. Goofy’s not playing basketball or other sports. This is a straight forward short with Goofy as the main character and no narration. As such, it’s a little jarring.

After all, every Goofy short for some time now has featured the Goof in the role of “diagram” almost, instructing us on how to do a sport or activity while the narrator tells the viewer what’s happening. In Foul Hunting, though, Goofy takes the stage again as a real character, not a substitute for an educational diagram. Don’t get me wrong, I love those “How To” shorts, but it’s nice to see Goofy back again as a personality.

Foul Hunting does not give him much room to show off that personality, though, as it’s a fairly standard kind of short. Goofy is out hunting ducks (in a pond far away from every other hunter) and his efforts are what leads to the gags throughout the film. It starts with Goofy confusing his mechanical decoy duck with a real duck, which plays into several gags including the ending.

A big part of this short is accepting the fact that Goofy is dim-witted, which should not be hard. They really push it to the limits, though, with the ducks flying right past without Goofy noticing, for example. That’s okay because the gags, while not the funniest thing ever, are still good. Goofy works in this way because he’s able to play off the inconveniences in a light hearted way.

I love a good callback to an earlier joke, so the ending of this short really made me laugh. The confusion between the decoy and a real duck ends up having Goofy about to devour a cooked machine, with hilarious results. It’s a memorable short because it’s a return to the Goofy of his first appearance in Goofy and Wilbur. While it’s not the best short ever, it is enjoyable for that reason.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mickey's Delayed Date

For an audience in 1947, to go from Mickey in Fun and Fancy Free to Mickey in Mickey’s Delayed Date would have to be a form of whiplash. After all, the design of Mickey in the feature film is much closer to what he was before the war, and the short is not even close to that same design. It’s a jarring transition for me watching these films back to back.

Sadly, part of Mickey remains intact from the feature to the short, and that’s his bland personality. The mouse who used to be so mischievous and fun loving is now a generic bachelor, devoid of personality. It’s a trend that we’ve seen often in the post-World War II shorts. Donald and Goofy have also been cast in generic roles quite often, where you could have swapped one for the other and it would not make a difference.

The premise of Mickey’s Delayed Date is that Mickey and Pluto are napping when Minnie calls up. She is upset, because Mickey is supposed to be out with her for a hot date. The rest of the short is spent with Mickey trying to get ready and arrive to the date on time. It’s no easy task, since he was dead asleep when Minnie called, so the entire first half of the short is a mad scramble around his house to get ready.

Further taking away from Mickey, however, is the fact that Pluto does most of the work in the first half of this short. Mickey is in the shower, so we get to see Pluto struggle around the room trying to get Mickey’s hat and clothes together. It’s okay, but doesn’t really stand out in the major gags that Pluto has been involved in before.

The second half of the short is Mickey’s journey to the date, which involves a lot of stumbling through a large city, falling into things and ending up looking like a bum. That turns out not to be a problem, but it is a much needed change from the first half. Still, it’s not quite enough to salvage a short that features too little personality and originality, especially for Disney’s flagship character.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fun and Fancy Free - Mickey and the Beanstalk

The second half of Fun and Fancy Free is completely disconnected from the first, and in many ways that is a good thing. We get to see Jiminy Cricket hop houses over to a party being thrown by Edgar Bergen, the famed ventriloquist, where the only guests seem to be his puppets and the child actress Luana Patten. Seems like a strange gathering, but nonetheless, it leads to Bergen telling the story of Mickey and the Beanstalk.

It’s worth noting that this is an updated version of Mickey appearing in this short, while Donald and Goofy appear much the same as they did in Saludos Amigos. Still, it’s the first time that all three of them appear together in a feature, which makes it noteworthy. It would have appeared a little odd to moviegoers of the time, since they had not appeared in shorts together since before World War II. Remember, though, that this film was in development before the war, so Disney simply picked it up where they left off.

There are no real surprises in the story, since it is the familiar tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, but what’s more interesting is the interplay between the animated characters and the narration provided by Bergen. If you’re not familiar with Bergen, he was a great friend of Walt’s, and is most remembered for the two characters who appear in this film, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. In providing the narration, Bergen and his characters dominate the film.

Mickey rarely speaks. Nor does Donald and Goofy speak very much. We get little glimpses of the interplay between the three, with Donald losing his mind over the lack of food or Goofy being quite silly when singing about his desire to eat until he dies. But for the most part, the characters are flat compared to their interpretations in the shorts.

Instead of gags and interactions between Mickey and his cohorts, we instead get jokes told by Charlie McCarthy poking fun at Edgar Bergen. While that’s part of their act, so it’s not a surprise, it’s not what you would expect from a film with Mickey, Donald and Goofy. That’s not to say that the story isn’t fun, however. It is quite a good and enjoyable cartoon, just not particularly notable for the Mickey, Donald and Goofy stuff.

The animation quality is superb in this, which really helps. There is a lot of depth to the line work, and the motion and emotion of the characters is told very well. It’s a fun time to watch, with the pace much quicker than Bongo. Mickey and the Beanstalk works very well, but there is not a lot of usage of the unique traits that Mickey and friends bring to the table. That’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t stop this second half of Fun and Fancy Free from redeeming the film.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 31 - The Princess Diaries

This week, the DFPP crew learns how to wear a tiara, wave properly and generally act like Julie Andrews as we take a look at the 2001 Disney hit The Princess Diaries. This was the winner of our listener choice poll, so the person who suggested it, Ashleigh Kotrys from the Generation Mouse podcast, joins us for the show.
Enjoy the show!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun and Fancy Free - Bongo

As previously mentioned, Fun and Fancy Free consists primarily of two featurettes that Disney was unable or unwilling to develop into full length features. Using Jiminy Cricket as the bridge device between the two, the film launches into Bongo as the first subject.

Bongo is a character in search of a story, as best I can tell. The story told in this film is that of the circus bear who escapes, only to see that life out in the open is not as easy and carefree as he might have imagined. When he meets a female bear, Lulu Belle, however, that changes. Although he has to overcome some challenges for her affection, Bongo ultimately prevails and is able to win her heart.

It’s a very slight story that could honestly have been told in a 7 minute short, so seeing it stretched over 35 minutes is a problem. It’s kind of like spreading your peanut butter too thin. While you still get some peanuty goodness, in the end it’s not enough. Bongo is that kind of effort. There’s good stuff in there, especially the animation and some of the storytelling, but the overall story is lacking.

A couple of things that seem like they were put in the film to alleviate that problem actually tend to make it worse. The first is the narrator Dinah Shore, who handles all the dialogue for the characters. That leaves every character in the film silent, trying to act to Shore’s intonations. Unlike Dumbo, where the main character doesn’t speak but the others do, it makes every character reliant on the narration, and that lessens some of the impact.

The other thing that pads out the film is a grouping of songs. From “Lazy Countryside” to songs about the bears falling in love, the musical portions are very lengthy and although they advance the story nominally, they also slow it down considerably. Add in the fact that Dinah Shore sings all the songs, and you have one voice throughout the entire film.

This is not to say that the entire thing is bad. The character designs for Bongo and Lulu Belle are completely adorable. The acting between them and the emotion that the animators embue them with is fantastic, especially considering that they had no voice acting to cue them. Also, the gags in certain places are quite funny, even though many others don’t quite hit the mark.

In the end, Bongo learns that you need motivation to change, which comes in the form of Lulu Belle. But it’s very hard to connect to either he or Lulu Belle as characters, despite the great work that the animators do. It never gets to the point of boring, but Bongo drags a great deal, and makes it hard for the viewer to remain engaged with the characters.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Development of Fun and Fancy Free

1947 was a continuation of the strange post war period for the Disney studio, as Walt and his team were trying desperately to find ways to churn out new product that was commercially successful but also artistically appealing. This wasn’t an easy task. After all, the tastes of the public and the Disney artists didn’t always match up. See Fantasia if you want an example.

The development of features in this environment was a tough road. That’s why we ended up with package features taking up much of these years. Fun and Fancy Free, released in September of 1947, continued the formula of these years by taking a couple of shorter stories, combining them into one feature, and tossing in some familiar characters and live action stars to make a combined film.

The two main stories of Fun and Fancy Free, Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk, were developed originally as feature films before World War II. Mickey and the Beanstalk was first, as Walt took yet another stab at the Jack and the Beanstalk story. He had visited the story in 3 earlier shorts, once in Kansas City with his Laugh-O-Gram studios and in the Mickey Mouse cartoons Giantland and The Brave Little Tailor.

This time, though, the idea was to further reinvigorate Mickey by bringing a fully realized feature film look to him. Donald and Goofy were incorporated to make this a trio picture, which was very common in the shorts before the war. Work on this film began in 1940, so this was very much in keeping with the cartoons of that time.

Remember, at the time before the war, the studio was growing. Snow White was a huge windfall, and while Pinocchio and Fantasia were disappointments at the box office, they reaffirmed the fact that Disney was in the features market and made good artistic statements. So Walt was buying up stories to be adapted into films from all sorts of places.

One of those was Cosmopolitan Magazine, where a story by Sinclair Lewis caught Walt’s eye. The story was that of Bongo, a circus bear that longs for a life in the world at large. Joe Grant, one of Walt’s story men, told him that the story was not suitable for a feature, but Walt ignored him and bought it anyway. The first treatment for Bongo was turned in on December 8, 1941, one day after the attacks at Pearl Harbor.

The war years postponed both features, and when they were revived in 1946, it was as a combination. The decision was made to bring in famous stars to serve as narrators and attractions for the moviegoer, and add Jiminy Cricket as a bridging device. Dinah Shore was recruited to serve as narrator and songbird for Bongo, and Walt’s friend Edgar Bergen brought his ventriloquist skills to the narration of Mickey and the Beanstalk.

The final product became a mish mash of ideas that was very common to this era. Between the two South American films, the music packages (Make Mine Music and Melody Time) and this film, there were many films of that nature. Fun and Fancy Free was created specifically to provide a lighter, more hopeful tone to the postwar years. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at how it does with that job.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wide Open Spaces

Another day brings another Donald Duck short in 1947, this time with Donald squarely in the spotlight. You’ll remember that recent shorts have been cast as Donald Duck shorts only to have Daisy or other characters form the core focus of the story. That’s not the case in Wide Open Spaces, as this goes back to the formula of Donald being presented with a series of challenges.

The main problem Donald faces in this one is finding a place to sleep. He attempts to find a hotel, but backtracks on booking it when he finds out that the cot outside the door is $16 for the night. It’s a really interesting bit, because the name of the hotel is the “Hold Up Motel,” with a picture of a gun on top of it - definitely a commentary by Disney that the hotel is gouging the consumer. Very intriguing in retrospect, right?

Instead of bunking down in the hotel, Donald attempts to go out and find a flat spot to lay down an air mattress, but runs into all sorts of troubles. He ends up attacking trees, falling underwater and generally doing anything but falling asleep. It’s the kind of accidental antics that you would expect from Goofy moreso than Donald. Donald seems to be stumbling into the situations instead of an active participant.

That’s the big reason why Wide Open Spaces doesn’t work for me. Donald, as mentioned before, should be an angry, bitter duck whose frustration rises throughout the short. That’s when he works best, such as in Modern Marvels, one of my favorite Donald shorts. This short does not feature that. Instead, it focuses on the gags over the characters, not showing the kind of story that makes Donald work best.

Sadly, that’s very typical of the Disney studio in 1946-1947. The entirety of the studio is in kind of a drift during this period, figuring out if they are a feature studio, a short cartoon studio or a live action studio. The answer, of course, was all three, but in the interim, product had to be produced to fulfill contracts and keep the doors open. In the process of producing the product, it seems the artists and storytellers forgot a little about their characters.

All images copyright Disney. All rights reserved.