Friday, February 19, 2016

Short Subject: Dumb Bell of the Yukon (1946)



For a short with such a fun title this thing is really dark.


I mean the plot alone is Donald wanting to make a fur coat after Daisy sends him a postcard about wanting one and so he goes out and lures a bear cub away from its mother to do this.  Then Donald decides the best way to kill the cub is hanging gets caught in the noose and the gag of him almost hanging himself goes so far he starts turning blue, twice!   

I am all for darker themes and ideas in family and children’s entertainment when it’s done well.  The first thing that comes to mind for Disney is Pinocchio where most of the villains pull a karma Houdini and there’s lots of dark imagery, but again there, there is a nice balance between light and dark elements.  Here even the gag at the end of Donald getting covered in honey at the end and the mother and cub licking it off isn’t enough to save this.  It also doesn’t help that the growly half mumbled animal dialogue from ‘Hook, Lion and Sinker’ is in here too, and I’m sorry I cannot get over the fact that Donald’s motivation here is killing a cub for their fur, this is a motive for Cruella De Vil not Donald Duck!  

Honestly there is nothing enjoyable here for me in this short and I feel unclean for having watched it.   

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