The Chronological Donald: Volume 4, 1951-1961 – DVD Review



Donald Duck, the hapless, short-tempered famous fowl, is back in his forth and final collection for the Walt Disney Treasures Series. A journey that began in 1934 ends here with his theatrical cartoons shorts from 1951 to 1961, along with a plethora of extra material to keep children and adults alike entertained for years to come.

More or less, Donald is a one-note character; he gets mad at stuff and looses his temper and becomes even more undecipherable. But that doesn’t mean any of the 30-plus cartoons here are redundant. The Disney writers and animators were very successful at creating new and different situations for Donald to get stuck in, keeping him fresh and funny for almost thirty years.

In this collection Donald has several run-in’s with those conniving chipmunks, Chip ‘n’ Dale, his unruly nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, as well as bears, bees and even a flying squirrel. Donald travels to the Grand Canyon in one of Disney’s first Cinemascope cartoons and he even takes a clue from Goofy and teaches us a little about how to be safe at work and at home. He even visits Mathmagic Land and learns that math can be fun!

And no Walt Disney Treasures release would be complete without some historical background from Leonard Maltin, especially where the very dated and somewhat racist cartoons are concerned. But as Maltin puts it: It is important to watch these knowing the time and place where they came from and to discuss them with our children.

Episodes:

These episodes can be watched in Alphabetical or Chronological order.

Disc 1:

Dude Duck 3/2/1951

Donald matches wits with a horse who doesn’t want to be ridden.

Corn Chips 3/23/1951

Donald and Chip ‘n’ Dale go head to head on a cold snowy day.

Test Pilot Donald 1951

Donald and the chipmunks go at it again, this time with remote control airplanes.

Lucky Number 7/20/1951

When Donald wins the lottery he’s upset that he won’t be able to collect his winnings because he’s stuck at work. So his nephews decide to do something nice for him. Too bad Donald doesn’t trust anyone especially them.

Out Of Scale 11/2/1951

Donald once again takes on Chip ‘n’ Dale when they take up residence in his model train set.

Bee On Guard 11/14/1951

Donald angers a hive of bees when he outwits the guard and steels their honey.

Donald Applecore 1/18/1952

Chip ‘n’ Dale once again get on Donald’s last nerve when they start eating all the apples in his orchard.

Let’s Stick Together 4/25/1952

This time around Donald befriends a bee when they both realize that his stinger has more than just once use, but how long can their friendship last when a girl bee gets in the mix?

Trick Or Treat 10/10/1952

Enjoying the trick more than the treat Donald plays a rotten prank on his nephews. However when a real witch sees this she decides to get revenge for the kids, now Donald’s really had it.

Don’s Fountain Of Youth 5/30/1953

When Donald has had it with his nephews childishness he decides to teach them a lesson using a fake Fountain Of Youth to make them think that he has reverted to a baby.

The New Neighbor 8/1/1953

Neighborhood rivalry gets taken to new heights (literally!) when Donald moves into a new house and next door to the world’s most rotten neighbor.

Working For Peanuts 11/11/1953

Originally released in 3-D, sadly it can’t be watched that way here, but that doesn’t make this Donald vs Chip ‘n’ Dale story any less entertaining.

Canvas Back Duck 12/25/1953

Donald gets tricked into boxing match with a guy he has no chance of beating.

From The Vault:

These are the cartoons that Leonard Maltin deems to have material in them that are “of their time and may make you feel uncomfortable.”

Uncle Donald’s Ants 7/18/1952

A tribe of ants made to look like aboriginals get a taste of Donald’s sugar and invade his home in search of more.

Rugged Bear 10/23/1953

It’s bear hunting season and a bear hides out in Donald’s home pretending to be his rug, but Donald doesn’t make it easy for him to play dead.

Disc 2:

Donald’s Diary 3/5/1954

In this clever cartoon, Donald’s Diary tells us one story about how me met Daisy and the animation tells us the truth.

Dragon Around 6/16/1954

When Donald is making way for a new road it threatens Chip ‘n’ Dales home. Their imagination makes them believe the crane is a dragon and the fight is on!

Grin And Bear It 8/13/1954

The bears are all excited that the tourists are coming to the forest hoping to get food. One unlucky bear gets teamed up with the very oblivious and selfish Donald.

The Flying Squirrel 11/12/1954

When Donald uses a flying squirrel then cheats him out of his compensation the squirrel gets revenge.

Grand Canyonscope 12/23/1954

Donald takes a trip to the Grand Canyon and gets to see all it’s glory in a beautiful Cinemascope presentation. But when Donald gets in a fight with a lion, the national treasure could be in a lot of trouble.

Bearly Asleep 8/19/1955

Also in Cinemascope, the bears all go off to hibernate for the winter, but one is having a little trouble.

Beezy Bear 9/2/1955

In this Cinemascope cartoon Donald gets made when a bear tries to steal honey from his bees.

Up A Tree 9/23/1955

Donald is a tree cutter now, too bad the first tree he tries to cut down his home to Chip ‘n’ Dale.

Chips Ahoy 2/24/1956

In this Cinemascope cartoon, Chip ‘n’ Dale annoy Donald by stealing with his toy boat so they can sail to an island filled with acorns.

How To Have An Accident At Home 7/8/1956

This Cinemascope cartoon uses Donald to help teach us how not to hurt ourselves at home, and why we shouldn’t blame fate.

Donald In Mathmagic Land 6/26/1959

This 27-minute cartoon teaches Donald, and thus the viewer, how important math is. How it helped create music and the key role it plays in most sports. This cartoon teaches you how to use math to get really good at pool.

Donald And The Wheel 6/21/1961

In this 17-minute cartoon we learn all about the history and importance of the wheel. The narrators are two hip jiving rhyming guys that get kind of annoying.

The Litterbug 6/21/1961

Another cartoon that makes learning fun. This time we learn why it’s bad to litter.

From The Vault:

These are the cartoons that Leonard Maltin deems to have material in them that are “of their time and may make you feel uncomfortable.”

Spare The Rod 1/15/1954

A spirit tries to teach Donald a better way to discipline his nephews besides hitting them. It starts to work until some cannibal pigmy’s show and try to eat them all.

No Hunting 1/14/1955

One of Donald’s ancestors who hunted buffalo comes out of a painting to take Donald hunting which turns into a very dangerous and violent affair.

How To Have An Accident At Work 9/2/1959

Fate is back again, this time to teach us how not to get hurt at work. Frankly, I’m not quite sure why this one is under the Vault section.

Most of the cartoons presented in full screen 1:33.1 however where noted they are in Cinemascope widescreen. Sound is in English Dolby Digital Mono. These are all great looking and great sounding cartoons. Really fantastic transfers.

Disc One:

Donald Goes To Press: (12 min.) This is a very interesting featurette that talks about the history of Donald in the comics. It talks about his evolution there and how it helped to expand his character more than the cartoons and also how it introduced many important characters over the years like Scrooge McDuck.

The Unseen Donald Duck Trouble Shooters: (10 min.) Here animator Eric Goldberg takes us through the storyboard of an old Donald cartoon that was never actually produced. This is pretty fun and it’s a shame the cartoon was never made because the storyboards are pretty good.

Commentary: Leonard Maltin and Jerry Beck talk about Working For Peanuts. They talk about how the cartoon was animated for 3-D and how great it is to see it in the format. They also talk about why 3-D came about and other stuff, all pretty interesting.

Disc Two:

Disney’s Mickey Mouseworks Cartoons: Mouseworks was a new Disney Cartoon that featured shorts from all your favorite characters. It ran from 1999 to 2000. Included here is an hours worth of Donald’s cartoons from that show (10 in total) . I’m not sure if it’s all of them or not. These are okay cartoons. They are certainly more polished since they’re newer but the stories aren’t as good. Many of them focus around Donald trying to please Daisy, which just gets kind of annoying. Kids are sure to enjoy these more than adult fans of the classic cartoons.

Commentary: Leonard Maltin and Jerry Beck talk to us about Grand Canyonscope and the introduction of Cinemascope and what it did for Disney. This was actually the second cartoon ever done in the new format and the first with a major character.

If you’re a big Donald fan and already own the first three volumes then odds are you have already bought this one too. If for some reason you’re just catching on to this series than you might as well by it now. There are only 39,500 of them and when they’re gone you’ll be shelling out 70 bucks on ebay for them.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


Walt Disney presents The Chronological Donald: Volume 4. Created by Dick Lundy. Starring Clarence Nash (voice). Running time: 344 minutes on 2 discs. Not Rated. Released on DVD: November 11, 2008. Available at Amazon.

Tags: ,