Poster

Beach Picnic

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : June 9, 1939

Running Time : 8:24

Synopsis

Donald and Pluto's swimming trip to the beach is interrupted by a swarm of hungry ants, among other things.

Characters

Pluto
Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Asst. Director
Jack Cutting
Animation
Al Eugster
Seamus Culhane
Norm Ferguson
Frank Oreb
Milt Schaffer
Lester Novros
Paul Satterfield
Preston Blair
Claude Smith
Stan Quackenbush
Chester Cobb
Lars Calonius

Video

France
Mickey, Donald, Pluto et Dingo en Vacances

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
Germany
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 1
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

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 37
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 26
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 30, 1955

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

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 : We’ve seen several pairings of the Fab Five throughout their careers, but there’s usually one of two common denominators. Donald Duck or Pluto are generally present in almost every short since their introduction, with the exception of the Mickeys that followed shortly after Pluto’s debut. These two have been expected to carry much of the comedic load. We’ve only seen them together solo one time, though, in Donald and Pluto. One time, that is, until The Beach Picnic.

This short is not revolutionary or really notable for something big. It’s just a fun pairing of two of Disney’s biggest stars. It’s arguable that at this point in 1939, Donald is a bigger star than Mickey, and Pluto was on his way to becoming the same. Putting the two of them together doesn’t make much sense from a story standpoint, though.

Donald’s appeal is very much based in his anger/frustration about things around him, while Pluto is all about animal curiosity and fun. The two don’t really overlap, and they don’t in the short, either. Even though both stars are dealing with the same things, they are rarely on screen together.

The first problem to vex our heroes is an inflatable sea horse raft. Seems simple enough, right? Of course it’s not easy for Donald, who keeps falling off when he tries to mount the raft. That’s a simple gag, and it doesn’t really play out that well in my opinion.

Pluto, as is normally the case, takes over the short when dealing with the raft. Donald is relegated to standing by and laughing as Pluto tries to take on the raft. This seems like a real miss to me, because it leaves Donald out of the fun, and honestly the Pluto gags are rather simple.

Where the short really got me, though was in the use of the ants who attack the picnic that Donald has set up. By characterizing the ants as Indians, it sets up a fun sequence where the ants gather to war drums and invade the picnic. Again, we see two different responses.

Donald responds by chasing the ants off and laying out fly paper to trap them. Pluto is stalking the ants when he then gets caught up in the fly paper. Seeing Pluto try to get loose is a good bit, but it’s even better when Donald gets stuck with him. It’s Donald’s comeuppance, which comes in every short he is involved in.

The only issue I have is that Donald and Pluto are not stuck together long enough. There were more comic possibilities with that than the way things end up. Donald gets thrown off and wrapped up in the fly paper like a mummy. Granted, it’s funny, but not as good as it could have been. That’s my feeling about the whole short – it’s good, but not quite as good as it could have been.


From Ryan : I didn't care for this short at all. The scenes where Pluto gets stuck in the fly paper gets tiring for me after awhile. The animation, however, is pretty nice.
From Trae Robinson : I notice the ending of this cartoon is just like Donald & Pluto where Donald has something stuck to him and Pluto licks him. On Donald & Pluto, Donald was stuck to magnets, but on this episode Donald is stuck to flypaper.
From Baruch Weiss : This short is generally boring for me with the exception of the music which is pretty good. It was boring not just the sequences where Pluto gets caught in fly paper (like in an earlier cartoon Playful Pluto) but also the scenes of the ants getting in Donald's food like in Tea for Two Hundred.

Referenced Comments