Tag Archives: James MacDonald

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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Food for Feudin’ (1950, Charles A. Nichols)

Food for Feudin’ has some really strong animation, but also some weak. There’s a great sequence where Chip and Dale crawl into these gardening gloves and confuse the heck out of Pluto. During that sequence, the animation is spectacular. Earlier, when the chipmunks are gathering nuts… not so spectacular.

The cartoon isn’t particularly charming during that first sequence. Once the gloves come on, however, things get a lot better. It’s too bad Nichols forgets the landscape and moves Pluto’s doghouse from offscreen right to offscreen left. It sends the cartoon out on a technical weak note.

Some of the problem is the reliance on the chipmunks at the beginning. Dale’s dumb but Chip’s a bit of a jerk and a bully. They’re not fun to spend time with in Feudin’. Pluto’s growing presence helps.

So Food for Feudin’ is basically half a good cartoon; that glove sequence is really memorable.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Charles A. Nichols; written by Milt Schaffer and Dick Kinney; animated by George Kreisl, George Nicholas and Judge Whitaker; music by Paul J. Smith; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.

Starring Pinto Colvig (Pluto), Dessie Flynn (Dale) and James MacDonald (Chip).


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