Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Short Subject: A Good Time for a Dime (1941)

If we don’t have a good time, do we get a refund? 

Of course we don’t as Donald himself discovers in this short.  The penny arcade is there to steal your money by literally nickle and diming you until you have no change left.  It’s also there to traumatize the audience I mean what the hell is going on with that title card?  It’s this wide gaping maw with the title written in it.  I think they guy is supposed to be laughing, but it’s just coming off as creepy to me.  And the mechanical face over the penny arcade that we open on is not helping matters.  

The short itself also isn’t all that impressive.  Seeing some older technology like the kinematoscopes is nice, and a bit of the old risqué Disney with Donald looking at what basically amounts to a dirty picture, with Daisy and the veils.  Also Donald managing to shake the claw machine to, almost, get all the prizes, looks really nice it terms of his movements.  I think the main problem I have is that Donald has no one to play off in this short.  It’s just the machines malfunctioning as the only gag and I quickly grow tired of it.  Donald for me works best when he has someone else to work off of like his nephews, or Chip and Dale, or Pete it allows for greater contrast than we get here.  Whether the conflict is deserved or not depends on the short, but it usually leads to stronger reactions from Donald, and watching him lose his temper is one the key points of Donald’s charm as a character.  The most we get here is him going red faced and breaking the control stick off the airplane simulator.

Donald is basically doing a one man show with one gag and that along with the creepy title card and the puppet face leaves me underwhelmed.       

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