Thursday, February 25, 2016

Short Subject: Duck Pimples (1945)

 Okay this was certainly…different, but in a good way.

This short took a few views before I warmed up to it, but it happened.  As I said it’s different than some of the others mostly, because I feel like Donald dropped acid before it started.  It’s basically about Donald letting his imagination run away with him while reading a book and listening to the radio.  This allows for some fun animations like his chair morphing into an ape, and a lot of fun character designs with the characters coming out of the books.  I found it jarring on first watch, because the shorts tend to be more grounded than this.  Grounded in cartoony logic yes, but still grounded.  In ‘The New Neighbour’ for example both Pete and Donald exist in the physical space, can hurt each other in cartoony ways, and the story has a straight forward progression. 

This tosses all that out the window.  Donald goes through different scenarios with the radio, while the book characters are dealing with a story about stolen pearls at one point the author himself comes out to defend Donald and flips to the back of the book to look up who the thief really is.  Pauline the dame disappears in the detective’s coat looking for her pearls and somehow he never notices it.  To even get that book in the first place a guy came to Donald’s door selling subscriptions, and just when I was asking why the hell anyone would be going door to door in the rain his voice switches as he starts going about a bicycle he could win, takes Donald for a ride on said invisible bicycle, crashes it, changes voices again as he complains that Donald bent the wheel, and then disappears completely, but the books that spilled everywhere remain.  It’s just nuts.      
I think the reason I’ve grown to like it is that Donald gets so into it that I started getting into it too and had a ton of fun.  I love the visual gag of Pauline thinking she spots her pearls only to pull them out to reveal a pair of handcuffs.  I love the hot irons gag and that at the end even Donald isn’t sure what’s real and what isn’t anymore, considering the pearls are now around his neck.  This certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste since logic and progressive storytelling have clearly taken a holiday, but if you like sort of head games narration style you’ll probably like this.     

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