Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Short Subject: Donald’s Ostrich (1937)

Why does Donald keep getting other birds for pets?

Well this one isn’t technically a pet since it came as part of a baggage delivery at the train station he is 
working at, but the point still stands that I find it weird.  Just like Pluto is a dog and Goofy is a dog and yet one speaks and one doesn’t.  It’s just weird to see sometimes; especially with the 30’s and 40’s more wide-eyed character design.  For me Donald and Hortense like too similar and it clashes.  In later shorts the pet animals start to look more realistic and it helps with the illusion that one character has more human characteristics than the other.

Still this short is better than ‘Donald’s Penguin’ for me as there is more going on with Hortense flirting with Donald, and eating all kinds of things like balloons, an alarm clock and the radio.  The radio itself is also fun with the different programs and voices used for it, and there’s some nice slapstick with Donald here too.  My personal favourite is him getting stuck in a large milk jug, we cut to Hortense eating stuff and getting the hiccups, and then go back to Donald who is still stuck in the milk jug. 

The only other thing besides character design that doesn’t really work for me is the scene at the end where Hortense and Donald have crashed and both come out of the rubble with black eyes.  Sure slapstick is funny when it looks like it hurt, but lingering damage should be minimal or at least played for laughs and I felt that look wasn’t funny to me. 

So again not a bad short with a few fun ideas, the character design and the physical injuries at the end keep me from calling it a great short, but most of it was entertaining.     

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