Well this one didn’t strike gold for me.
It’s not a bad short it’s 50/50. I really like the animation because of the use of the multiplane camera the point of view shots and all the machine movement. That unlike say The Great Mouse Detective was all done by hand. There also seems to be experimentation with perspective going on. When Donald gets stuck in the pick axe it’s seems like the handle tilts toward the audience at one point. It looks really well crafted.
However, the story itself is rather basic with Donald fighting with the donkey pulling the mine cart, struggling with the pick axe, and while I like the animation I think the gag goes on too long, and finally getting dropped down in to the processing area of the mine. Donald facing off against someone else is nothing new, and the donkey outside of an annoying laugh and reusing facial expressions has no personality to add to the conflict. Donald getting mangled up be machinery it also nothing new, but at least there were some nice machine animations and a great walk cycle where Donald wobbles toward the camera.
Honestly If the excellent animation was combined with an exceptional story as well I think it would have worked much better as it is it isn’t terrible, but it also isn’t good.