Tag Archives: Oliver Wallace

Working for Peanuts (1953, Jack Hannah)

As if Donald Duck couldn’t get weirder, he’s apparently got the hots for a female elephant in Working for Peanuts. But it’s not actually a Donald cartoon, it’s a Chip and Dale cartoon. The boys are after the peanuts–a delicacy they’ve just discovered–and the zoo has them.

Donald’s the zookeeper, the elephant’s got the peanuts. Chaos ensues.

Director Hannah and his animators must have either been on a tight deadline or completely disinterested, because Peanuts is terrible work. The animation on Donald and the chipmunks is fine, but on the elephant and the other zoo animals it’s awful. There’s one shot of a group of people standing around with the same face and expression. The zoo itself has no personality (or cages).

As for the gags… they’re tepid. The final one’s kind of funny, but the dumb elephant’s in the scene; she ruins it.

These Peanuts are stale.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Jack Hannah; written by Nick George and Roy Williams; animated by Volus Jones, Bill Justice and George Kreisl; 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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Social Lion (1954, Jack Kinney)

Social Lion is such a truly awful cartoon, one would need to sit with pencil and paper to make notes on every moronic detail in its six minutes.

Director Jack Kinney–brother to co-writer Dick Kinney, who, with Milt Schaffer, writes a lousy story–doesn’t have bad ideas, particularly during the Africa scenes. The animation is bad, but Kinney’s direction shows some promise. Sadly, once the story moves–along with the titular captive Lion–to New York City, Kinney gets wrapped up in the moronic social commentary.

Writer Kinney and his co-culprit Schaffer come up with a plot too heady for kids and too stupid for adults. They also can’t figure out how to put any action in a cartoon about a lion being loose in New York City. They’re inept.

Actually, Lion‘s only adept feature is the uncredited narrator. Sure, the writing’s bad, but the performance isn’t.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Jack Kinney; written by Milt Schaffer and Dick Kinney; animated by Norman Ferguson; music by Oliver Wallace; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.

Starring Paul Frees (Lions Club President / Drunks / Clothing salesman).


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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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Sea Salts (1949, Jack Hannah)

Sea Salts opens with a framing device, which doesn’t make much sense from a story point of view. Well, wait, maybe the frame is to show the viewer Donald Duck (as a sea captain) is a likable greedy, selfish jerk, not a dangerous one.

The protagonist is actually a beetle, one of Donald’s crew from a ship. The beetle, voiced by a wonderful Dink Trout, tells the story of their association and “friendship.”

While the beetle’s a fine narrator, Sea Salts‘s real star is the animation. Hannah and his animators take the pair through a somewhat predictable shipwreck and stranding narrative but the visuals are so strong (and Trout so affable) Salts is enthralling.

The only time where the approach (the beetle as the protagonist, Donald as the subject) is a problem is at the end… Donald’s ornery captain character never develops.

Still, it’s a lovely, beautifully crafted cartoon.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Jack Hannah; written by Bill Berg and Nick George; animated by Jack Boyd, Bob Carlson, Bill Justice and John Sibley; music by Oliver Wallace; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.

Starring Clarence Nash (Donald Duck) and Dink Trout (‘Mac’ Bootle Beetle).


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