A scene from DRAGON AROUND, directed by Jack Hannah for RKO Radio Pictures.

Dragon Around (1954, Jack Hannah)

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.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

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).

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