Polar Trappers

A Donald and Goofy Cartoon

Release Date : June 17, 1938

Running Time : 8:20

Synopsis

The "Donald and Goofy Trapping Co." Donald tries to catch himself a penguin supper while Goofy tries to "bring 'em back alive."

Characters

Goofy
Donald Duck
Penguin (I)
Penguin (II)
Walrus (unnamed)

Credits

Director
Ben Sharpsteen
Animation
Art Babbitt
Stan Quackenbush
Al Eugster
Win Hoskins
Ed Love
Wolfgang Reitherman
Cornett Wood
Seamus Culhane
Bob Wickersham

Video

United States
The Importance of Being Donald
Germany
Donald Ich bin der Grösste
Die Drei Kleinen Schweinchen und der Böse Wolf
Donald und die Entenbande
France
Disney Parade 4
Italy
Paperino e la Sua Banda di Paperi
Paperino e Soci a Caccia di Guai

Laserdiscs

United States
Mickey Knows Best / The Importance of Being Donald
Japan
Donald Duck and his Duckling Gang
Disney Cartoon Festival Volume 4

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
It's a Small World of Fun Volume 4
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Italy
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 25: Goofy Goofs Around
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 24

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

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 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Donald and Goofy together in one short? Comedy gold. In Polar Trappers, the Disney studio left Mickey behind and created a new formula – Donald and Goofy working together. It’s not something we will see in as big a way as we do the “trio” shorts, but it is definitely an interesting change.

As in the trio shorts, the idea is a simple one – Donald and Goofy are trappers in the Arctic, with Goofy trying to catch a walrus, and Donald manning the stove in the igloo. Now, how he is operating a stove inside an igloo without melting it, I don’t know. Regardless, as in most of the trio shorts, from that premise, the gags start flowing quickly.

Donald’s story is set up from the get go, as he is surrounded in the kitchen by nothing but beans. Donald’s frustration causes him to fixate on securing a penguin to be his dinner. My favorite gag in the entire short is watching Donald dress up in a tuxedo to impersonate a penguin. It’s a fantastic gag, with music backing his motions perfectly in time and he even fools a female penguin – for a little while.

Meanwhile, Goofy’s big gag involves a cave covered in ice. After chasing a walrus into the cave, he discovers that the slightest noise will cause icicles to come crashing down. It was a fantastic gag, because as anyone knows, the minute someone or something tells you can’t do something, that’s all you want to do. A giant sneeze leads Goofy to being buried in ice.

The last part of the short involves Donald fooling a school of penguins by playing Pied Piper. This is a really cute segment, because of the interaction with Donald and a smaller penguin. The little penguin continually gets in Donald’s way, and our favorite duck has to try and throw the little guy out of the way or divert him.

As you’d imagine, it doesn’t work out so well, as a random tear by the little penguin freezes and becomes a snowball, rolling downhill and trashing Donald and Goofy’s camp. It’s a great action packed gag to end the short, calling back to the crash landing endings of some of the early Mickey shorts.

Polar Trappers isn’t going to be confused with art like The Old Mill or some of the beautiful backdrops from Wynken, Blynken and Nod, but it’s not trying to be that. This is a gag first short, but it works beautifully.


From Mac : This is an excellent cartoon. Extremely entertaining and just full of fun. Although it's played for laughs, I think this cartoon holds up well as a piece of art even compared to The Old Mill and especially Wynken, Blynken and Nod. There's some very cleverly thought out stuff in this cartoon and some pretty artful choices to help move the story along. Check out some of the 'camera angles' chosen as well as little moments, like the penguin coming into view in the window behind Donald, Donald's threatening shadow creepy up behind the penguin and the shapes, patterns and shadows the penguin make across the landscape as they march along. Not only that, but of course the backgrounds and cartoony animation are beautifully done and there's an abundance of detail to almost give the feeling that the hand-painted world we are viewing truly exists – it's not just flat cartoon graphics.
From Jerry Edwards : Most of this short is boring and the gags just don't work for me. The special effects of Goofy in the ice cave is nicely done.
From Ryan : I thought that this short was pretty good. The animation was wonderful. I liked the part where Donald put on a tuxedo to disguise himself as a penguin in order to catch a penguin to eat. He then presents a female penguin with a fish. The penguin plays "hard to get" and runs away home where a whole bunch of penguins can be seen. Donald sees this and is probably thinking "no more beans." Donald takes a flute out (this time it isn't breakable like the various ones in The Band Concert were) and begins playing a march to get the penguins to follow him. Donald sees a baby penguin behind him and knows that it won't be much to eat so he pushes him out of the way. The penguin just keeps on going, but Donald just leads the penguins in another direction, but the baby soon meets up with them. Donald kicks him into the snow and a tear begins to roll down the penguin's eye (the Disney animators were quite good at showing a character's emotions and causing the viewers to feel sorry for the penguin) landing in the snow. This tear turns into a big snowball, which crashes into Donald and lands him right in the cage that Goofy was using to try to get a walrus from. Looks like it's back to eating beans. Another scene in this short that I liked was when Goofy was in the ice cave. That was some high quality animation.
From Baruch Weiss : I enjoy this short. I liked the song Goofy sang at the beginning.
From HeNK! : This is an incredibly funny cartoon! Especially the march of the penguins (on 'Parade of the Tin Soldiers' music) and this specific moment when Baby Penguin starts crying and his tears cause a gigantic snowball. Very special sound effect when the tears evolve into the snowball! It's such a laugh! I have seen this cartoon a zillion times and still find it so very funny. A true piece of art!
From Sarah : My family has seen this cartoon so many times, my dad has "We Bring 'em Back Alive" memorized! I always got a kick out the penguin parade.
From Mike : I do think this cartoon is funny. I do think the scene of Goofy emerging from the ice looking like the statue of liberty was great. I would like to know how Donald was gonna eat a penguin.
From Al Galen : I saw this animated short in the Disney Channel's television special "The Roots of Goofy" in the early 1990s. Gary Owens was the host. The penguins in this cartoon are not entertaining as the penguins in "Mary Poppins". Donald Duck and Goofy are a pair as they were in "Frank Duck Brings 'em Alive".

Referenced Comments