If someone was unfamiliar with Donald Duck–and missed the opening titles, which imply Dragon Around is a Donald Duck cartoon–he or she might read the ending as Chip and Dale killing Donald Duck.
And Donald Duck definitely deserves it.
Initially, the chipmunks confuse Donald’s power shovel for a dragon, but then the viewer learns Donald is clearing the chipmunks’ dwelling for a freeway. He delights in not just the destruction, but also in causing terror and harm to the chipmunks.
Director Hannah doesn’t even take a moment to make Donald the least bit likable, even as a jerk. Donald’s a very bad guy in Dragon.
Giving the chipmunks such a definite and vicious villain removes any charm from Dragon. It’s a thriller.
The animation’s okay, but indistinct. Similarly, Hannah’s direction is uninspired.
I kept hoping a hunter would come along and shoot Donald, which probably wasn’t Hannah’s intent.
Directed by Jack Hannah; written by Nick George and Roy Williams; animated by Volus Jones and Bill Justice; music by Oliver Wallace; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.
Starring Dessie Flynn (Dale), James MacDonald (Chip) and Clarence Nash (Donald Duck).