Monday, February 22, 2016

Short Subject: Donald’s Penguin (1939)

We’re one slot up from ‘Dumb Bell of the Yukon’.

While the subject isn’t quite as dark as that short,  this starts out well enough with Donald receiving a penguin as a gift, thinking it’s cute, intimating it’s walk, and then being annoyed when it eats his fish.  This leads to the gag at the end of Donald taking a gun and wanting to shoot the very cute penguin.  This obviously wasn’t meant to be dark, this was in the hay days of the Westerns dominating the silver screen and The Lone Ranger on radio so gun were everywhere in the pop culture of the time it makes sense that it would be here as well.  It’s just really jarring viewing this from modern day perspective where guns pretty much never make an appearance in children of family media and certainly not with one of the good guys threatening to kill someone.

The other thing is that this short is really boring.  As I said it’s just about Donald interacting with a penguin and outside of it being cute there is no personality to speak.  So there’s nothing really fun to play off with like Pete or his nephews.  And there’s nothing interesting going on apart from the penguin eating the fish.

I just find this one boring with an ending that’s jarring from a modern perspective and I’d much rather re-watch Donald trying to change the tire on his car.

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