Friday, February 12, 2016

Short Subject: Wide Open Spaces (1947)

Another short where Donald tries to get to sleep only this time it’s in the great outdoors.

The music and sound of the opening remind me of Psycho and I would say this opening was homage to it if that film hadn’t come out thirteen years after this short did.  It’s a weird coincidence anyways.

So this short is basically ‘Early to Bed’ 2.0 as Donald tries to get to sleep on an inflated mattress out in the woods after being kicked out of the Holdup Motel for not wanting to pay sixteen dollars to sleep on the cot on the porch.  I love the sound effects as Donald first pumps up the mattress.  It just a great example of how something so simple can be made very funny with sound alone and I really need to start giving Jimmy McDonald and the rest of the sound effects department their due.    

Some of the other gags like Donald’s car getting smashed by a boulder and turning into a jalopy and him lying down on the rock the set the boulder off in the first place are great.  Unlike ‘Early to Bed’ Donald actually falls asleep at several points here he just can’t stay asleep, I miss the nightgown and cap outfit though.  The only things I’d say i don’t like are the gag of Donald falling into the lake, the movement and breathing just looks awkward and forced to me.  Not do I like that as Donald goes sailing back to the motel on the deflating mattress we see his feathers lift up to show skin.  It only lasts for a moment, but it bothers me because I expect that kind of gag more from Warner Brothers not Disney. 

On a final note I have to say that I do like that this short has real ending with Donald ending up back at the motel on the cot.  It brings everything full circle with Donald returning to where he started, and ending up paying more than if he had just slept there to begin with.  Then getting kicked off the porch and going right back to sleep nestled by a cactus, all that time trying to be comfortable and he just sleeps right there.  

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