Donald

Front
Back

.....Second in prominence among the Limited Gold Edition volumes only to Mickey's, Donald's cassette was but a small part of a larger celebration: Donald Duck's 50th birthday. While not as strict of a career bio as the Mickey volume, the Donald tape manages to touch most of the bases of Donald's career, failing only to show Donald's very successful '50s career, and the educational featurettes of the '60s that are among the best Donald Duck cartoons ever made. The only true flaw in this cassette is the series' only bits of editing: one for racial content, and the other for time (the reasons for this latter edit are unknown). Running Time: Approx. 50 Minutes

Contents


Introduction - Again, the introduction is standardized save for the Donald title card.
"Donald's Cousin Gus" - One of many encounters in theatres and comic books with a member of Donald's family, "Donald's Cousin Gus" is nothing short of delightful. Perhaps the only dated moment is Donald's line, "Clever, these Chinese," which was still acceptable even in the 1980s. The reissue print used looks great, and is nearly flawless. Oddly, though, the end title is cribbed from somewhere else, including the end theme, which is glaringly out of place.
"The Riveter" - One of many superb Donald shorts where our hero ran into Disney's greatest of villains, Pete. The opening credits are inserted from a different print, but the main cartoon has noticeably faded colors regardless. Donald's bouts with acrophobia (the fear of heights) and jitters are classic, as is Pete's comeuppance in the final gag. Like "Plane Crazy" om the Minnie volume, there is a mastering error, this time as Donald humorously points to himself as worthy of the riveter job that Pete is offering.
"The Autograph Hound" - The selling point of this volume, and with good reason. While it predates "The Riveter", "The Autograph Hound" is a wonderfully fun take on the classic story of a (not so) regular Joe invading a Hollywood studio in search of autographs. Much credit must be given to Disney for creating a new character, the studio cop referred to by Donald as "Flatfoot", instead of relying on Pete (both characters were voiced by Billy Bletcher). Filled with Golden Age stars both remembered (Clark Gable, Mickey Rooney, Greta Garbo, and Shirley Temple) and obscure (The Ritz Brothers), this short is a delight. The original release print used is in sad shape, though, and one of the celebrities has been excised: Stepin Fetchit, America's first black millionaire, and also the poster child for stereotypical black behavior in film (he appears in the unedited version after Charlie McCarthy). While Disney normally was against editing their shorts on home video at the time, Fetchit had become such a notoriously controversial figure by that time that editing him out of films was standard practice, no matter how damaging to the story.
"A Good Time For A Dime" - The only short on this volume to contain a recurring member of Donald's family (Daisy in the "Dance of the Seven Veils" flip movie), this short is a sarcastic and biting rip on old time penny arcades, Donald style. In classic fashion we see Donald's infamous bad luck bite him in the rear, especially in the classic plane sequence. This cartoon is presented with a solid reissue print that still has much of the vibrancy of the original theatrical release. The end titles are again inserted from another source (which seems to be a disturbing pattern on this volume).
"Donald's Tire Trouble" - Another cartoon rooted in an obscure World War II-era situation (America's rubber shortage), this cartoon is one of Donald's greatest cartoons, and a tour de force of not only the Disney animators (and director Dick Lundy) to stretch out a simple gag, but the great Clarence Nash as Donald. Presented here in a stunningly perfect reissue print, this cartoon is one of Disney's finest, and second only to "Der Fuehrer's Face" among Donald's war cartoons.
"Drip Drippy Donald" - One of Donald's many, many hilarious run-ins with poor luck, and the first short presented here to feature Donald's classic theme song. Unfortunately, though, this short is presented in a time-compressed format, which kills the subtlety involved, and results in a picture that is washed out, jittery (a notorious side effect of time-compressed transfers), and hard on the eyes. If any Donald short needed an updated video release, it was this one.
"The New Neighbor" - Domestic disputes get their due attention in this early '50s short that prefaces the domestication of Pete that would be realized in Goof Troop. This timeless cartoon is an early cartoon to end this volume on, but perfectly displays an ability by the Disney animators to beat Warner Bros. at its own game with fast action and faster laughs.

Back to: Cartoon Classics: Limited Gold Edition Page
Main Page - What's New - Cartoons - Videos - Editorials - FAQ - Credits - Links