Sunday, February 21, 2016

Short Subject: Donald’s Tire Trouble (1943)

It’s says something for creativity when people manage to take the mundane act of changing a tire and turn it into something hilarious.

I love this short for managing to get Donald tangled up in so many things from the jack to the tire itself.  I also love how it builds certain gags.  Like when Donald’s hat gets caught on the jack as it goes through the hood of the car and he grabs it and smashes it on his head with a familiar clang.  Then it's revealed he took the hood ornament too and it was under his cap.  Then he gets mad, his face goes red, and the ornament acts as a thermometer.  Even taking the ornament off is a gag as Donald twists it off his head giving his feathers a swirled look.

The title card is really nice here and I like the line of Donald complaining about the rubber shortage as the reason why the inside ring of his tire looks like a patchwork quilt.  He isn’t being lazy or too cheap to get a new one he simply can’t and has to make do.  I would say the line dates this short, but the style of the car and the colour palette of the short is already doing that so never mind.  Also I thinks it’s fine for films to comment on the times they are made in and we’ll get into more of that when I get to the wartime shorts.

I have to say the only part about this short I don’t like is the tire patch gag where it keeps getting stuck to various parts of Donald, only because it reminds me of the Pluto and the fly paper gag from a much older short and this is basically the same thing.  

The final gag of all four tires going flat and Donald just giving up and driving away is great and the inflation and deflation of the tire gives the sound crew a chance to work their skills in wonderful  ways.  In my mind this is a great short that takes a boring task and makes it funny through physical humour, sound, and Donald’s facial expressions.      

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