Orphan's Picnic

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : February 15, 1936

Running Time : 7:57

Synopsis

Donald is supervising the ill-behaved orphans at Mickey's picnic and sticks to his task, even when the brats steal the food and give the duck a bee sandwich.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Orphans
Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Ben Sharpsteen
Animation
Les Clark
Seamus Culhane
Dick Lundy
Al Eugster
Paul Allen

Video

United States
The Spirit of Mickey
France
Les Aventures de Mickey et Minnie

Laserdiscs

United States
The Spirit of Mickey

DVD

Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 1 : Starring Mickey
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Germany
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
France
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Italy
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Canada
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 1 : Starring Mickey
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 14: Early Donald
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 37
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 9
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 6, 1956

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by United Artists Pictures

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Just like yesterday’s short, Mickey’s Polo Team, today’s subject – Orphan’s Picnic – is a Mickey Mouse cartoon in name only. In fact, if I were to classify this short, I would call it a Donald Duck cartoon. Certainly, he is the star, and Mickey and the orphans exist mainly to torment him.

The plot is really just a setup for the gags, similar to the way the Fab Three shorts tend to be – Mickey and Donald have a job to do, and in the course of doing so, hilarity ensues. This time, it’s taking orphans for a picnic in the country. Not sure why Goofy misses out on this one, but be happy we get Donald along for the ride.

Gags here are really similar to that of Orphan’s Benefit, and in that way, you could consider this a sequel to that short. Just like before, the orphans are all designed to look like Mickey. And, like before, they take pleasure in antagonizing Donald Duck.

You can see the way this short will go from the very beginning. While the orphans are all packed into a truck, driven by Mickey, Donald is standing on top of the truck. It’s an appropriate spot for the person who will be the star of the show.

The remainder of the short is mainly composed of Donald trying to keep the orphans from stealing the picnic food, and failing miserably. There are some very creative gags, such as the orphans shooting arrows into the food and reeling it in, or swinging a rope swing down to steal a piece of cake right out of Donald’s hands.

Since Donald is taking center stage here, it’s the first time we’ve really seen the potential for a full Donald Duck short or series of shorts. His performances in On Ice or Mickey’s Service Station were very promising, but this is where you can see how Donald could carry a short on his own. His frustration and futile attempts to thwart the orphans are hilarious.

The ending gag of bees chasing Donald is well trod territory, but there’s a new twist, as the orphans stick a bee in a sandwich that Donald eats. Seeing the bee twist Donald around from the inside out is quite the sight to see.

Orphan’s Picnic is notable to me because it really seems like a passing of the baton. This is where we see Donald Duck emerging as Disney’s top cartoon star, and Mickey begins to fade more into the corporate symbol he is today. Even though he has a brief moment in the short, it’s not very funny, and honestly seems out of place next to Donald’s tirades. This is what I would point to if someone asked when Mickey stopped being the same.


From 411314 : Yes, definitely more of a Donald Duck toon then Mickey Mouse despite what it says at the beginning. This one made me feel so sorry for poor Donald! Those little orphans that look like Mickey are really cute, but they're also really mean!
From Mac : In this era Disney still only has two cartoon series: Silly Symphonies and Mickey Mouse Cartoons, but it's now clear to see that Mickey Mouse himself will not necessarily be the main character in a short that bears his name.

Still this cartoon is a good vehicle for Donald. My favorite gag is when the orphans first apologize to Donald – he immediately throws down the stick he was going to beat them with and picks up a bigger one!! I also enjoy the brief Mickey scene – it's not funny, but Mickey comes across as such a nice guy in this scene that I can't help but like him. It also provides a great contrast to how the orphans treat their two guardians.


From Jerry Edwards : I find little interesting in a bunch of kids being bratty. Just a continuation of the 1934 Orphan's Benefit.
From Ryan : This short was kind of funny, but it did get a bit out of hand when the orphans kept giving Donald a hard time. How come they didn't do any of that stuff to Mickey? They were so sweet and gentle with Mickey, yet were bratty little creeps with Donald.
From Baruch Weiss : This isn't one of my favorite Mickey cartoons but I like watching it from time to time. The music is nicely done though. Like Orphans Benefit it says in the opening titles "A Walt Disney Mickey Mouse" but the film focuses on Donald while Mickey is hardly in it. There is a scene where Mickey bumps into a tree causing all the orphans to fall on him. After that Mickey does not appear in the rest of the short; the cartoon focuses on Donald and the orphans.
From Dino Cencia : This short is really funny! My favorite part is when the bees were chasing Donald into a log and one orphan pushed a big rock to the end of the log to trap Donald and the bees and Donald is getting stung in the log. It would be funny if Huey, Dewey and Louie were in this short with the orphans, and then they be playing more tricks with Donald. I give this a 80.
From Covey Sands : I love this one! My favorite part has to be the bee sandwich part. The mean orphans place a bee in a sandwich that they give to Donald. When he eats the sandwich, his tummy bounces up and down and flies around. The orphans laugh hard and embarrasses poor Donald. The food stealing and bee chasing was funny too!

Referenced Comments