Sea Scouts

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : June 30, 1939

Running Time : 7:59


Commodore Donald teaches the finer points of seamanship to his crew of nephews.


Donald Duck
Huey, Dewey and Louie
Shark (II)


Dick Lundy
Johnny Cannon
Jack Hannah
Ed Love
Preston Blair
Larry Clemmons
Walt Clinton
Jim Carmichael
Carl Barks


United States
The Unsinkable Donald Duck with Huey, Dewey and Louie
Käpt'n Donald
Lachkonzert in Entenhausen
Bum, Bum, Bumerang
Si Disney m'etait Conte
Disney Parade 2
Video Parade 15
Pippo Pluto Paperino Supershow
Paperino Piume Guai e Simpatia
Pippo Pluto Paperino Supershow
Cartoons Disney 5


United States
A Tale of Two Chipmunks /The Unsinkable Donald Duck
Disney's Cartoon Jubilee
Mickey and His All Stars
Disney Cartoon Festival 2


United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Huey, Dewey and Louie
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Huey, Dewey and Louie
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 20: Huey, Dewey and Louie
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 45
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 20

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.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Yet another Donald Duck cartoon! You’d think he was the biggest star ever, and about this time of 1939, he probably was. More to the point, it seems the animators enjoyed having a new toy to play with, unfettered from the safe, wholesome image of Mickey. With Sea Scouts, though, it really seems like they took a page from Mickey’s early days.

Let me explain. The Donald shorts have always been about Donald being confronted with an uncontrollable element or surprise situation that he tries to master, eventually becoming frustrated and angry. That’s the comedic formula, and it works really well.

In Sea Scouts, though, the subject is Donald as the captain of a boat, and the situations he gets into and the resolutions are straight out of the early black and white Mickey shorts. There’s Donald hoisted into the air by the sail of a boat, Donald being chased by a shark even going upside down at one point and Donald getting stuck in a life preserver.

When watching this short, I flashed back to those early Mickeys, when Mickey would be the leader of a gang, and then something would go horribly wrong. Things like this happened all the time, and it’s unique, for me at least, to see Donald in that kind of situation.

Helping things along here are the nephews, who play the crew on this ship. There is a great moment early on in the short when Donald asks them to drop the sail, and the sail drops right on his head. Donald looks straight at the camera and says “Sometimes they take me too literally.”

It’s laugh out loud funny, and interesting because it seems like a different kind of Donald. He’s still the angry, loudmouth duck we have seen before, but in this short, he is more of the commander of the situation moreso than we have seen before. There’s another nod to the camera when he’s trying to lift the anchor, but ends up pulling the ship underwater.

These sorts of things add a new flavor to Donald. He’s showing a different side of himself than he has in other shorts, and that’s a tribute to the animators. It’s what makes Sea Scouts so interesting. It’s not a revolutionary short by any mean. As I said before, it’s very similar to earlier Mickey shorts. But seeing Donald in this way is different, and it adds to his ability to become a long term star for the company.

From Baruch Weiss : This is probably one of the few Disney shorts on this website where there are no comments and I can see why. I guess it was not one of Donald's greatest hits.
From Trae Robinson : I can't believe Donald hits a shark in this cartoon. I notice this cartoon is very similar to Good Scouts.

Referenced Comments