Donald's Vacation

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : August 9, 1940

Running Time : 8:15


Donald decides to vacation in the great outdoors, but the denizens of the great outdoors are less than co-operative.


Donald Duck
Bear (unnamed)


Jack King
Jack Hannah
Ed Love
Paul Allen
Jack Hannah
Carl Barks
Larry Clemmons

Cut Scenes

For some reason, the very start of Donald's paddling his canoe was cut off at one time.


Donald Ducks Tolldreiste Abenteuer
Sono Io ... Paperino
Cartoons Disney 4


Starring Donald and Daisy
Mickey Mouse Anniversary Show
Disney Cartoon Festival 1


United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 2 : Starring Donald
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 2 : Starring Donald
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 43: On Vacation
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 56
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 18

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 : I’ve often said in this space that Donald represents what most of us are really like – fun loving people who get irritated when things don’t go according to our plan. Even if we all want to be like Mickey, Donald is more what most people act like. That’s why I think Donald’s shorts work best when they involve him in real life situations where everything goes wrong.

Donald’s Vacation is one of those shorts, and it is great. It features Donald trying to get back to nature by rowing through a forest, setting up a campsite and then trying to relax. Of course, it doesn’t work, because what would the fun be in that?

What I love about this short, though, is that it could have taken the easy way out, and made the whole short about Donald getting his food stolen by chipmunks. It didn’t, though, and the short is that much better for it.

Instead, what we get are four distinct segments, each with different styles and gags. The short starts with a little pastoral piece of Donald cruising down the river in a kayak. This part moves slowly, but has some fun sight gags, like Donald’s legs sticking out from the kayak as he walks over a tree or the fish that gets stuck in his guitar and “swims” out by strumming the guitar.

The second bit is Donald’s fight with his folding chair. Anyone who has gone camping or set up a folding chair can probably relate to this one. Donald gets twisted around, caught up in the chair, and hung by an umbrella – all while showcasing his trademark frustration.

The third piece involves the chipmunks stealing his food. This has to be a precursor to Chip and Dale, as the chipmunks here look nearly identical to Chip, and in the years to come the two chipmunks would become Donald’s enemies. It’s a fantastic bit with some good sight gags of the chipmunks with the food – eating a face into the pumpkin or wearing cupcakes as a dress, for example.

Donald’s encounter with a bear, though, is the coup de grace for this short. It’s classic stuff for a cartoon, with Donald feeling the bear’s face before looking at him, running away and leaving silhouettes in the waterfall as he does, and riding on top of the bear before figuring out that it’s a bear!

The reason this short works so well is because there is more than just one bit for Donald, and each one demonstrates a different side of him. There’s the fun side to start, the frustration with the chair, the anger during the chipmunk scene and the fear of the bear. This is a great short to get to know Donald, and why he is such an enduring character.

From Ryan : I noticed that many of the animals in this short looked like the ones from "Snow White." Perhaps it was because Disney was trying to connect this short with the success of that movie. Anyway, I liked this short quite a bit. It had a good storyline and something exciting happened to Donald. He had a run-in with a bear. This made a better story rather than having the little woodland critters stealing his food through the whole cartoon.
From Baruch Weiss : This is a great Donald cartoon. I loved the opening where he sings and in doing so goes through a waterfall and a fish somehow gets in his guitar, but then strums (no pun intended) his way out. Then, he falls and comes out with the boat on him looking like a turtle. His run in with the bear was also exciting and I agree with Ryan that it made a better story rather than having all the woodland creatures steal his food throughout the short. Besides, Donald did not do anything to those little creatures in contrast to his later cartoon Tea for Two Hundred where he does start the trouble.
From Bryan Hensley : This short can be seen in volume 2 of Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites collection on DVD (which stars Donald), or maybe even Disney's newest short series "Have A Laugh!" on Disney Channel. Anyway, I'd hate to be in Donald's shoes when he fell down a waterfall and his canoe was on top of him. "No respect for a human body!" He also had a hard time with his E-Z folding chair. He even imitated Jimmy Durante's famous line once again: "Am I mortified!" (The first being Orphan's Benefit in 1934, but his beak never bends in this short, or in the former's remake in 1941.) You should've seen Donald falling asleep while the army of chipmunks stole his food, until the pineapple stabbed his bottom, and he woke up! Just as Donald was about to get revenge on the chipmunks, he suddenly ran into a bear! You know, the bear looked similar to the one in the Silly Symphony Little Hiawatha 3 years earlier. Whether you have a vacation in the forest, or the beach, beware of any hungry critters! I hope you enjoy this classic vacation gone awry.
From Mike : This is definitely one of Donald's most exciting cartoons. The run-in with the bear make it enjoyable. A very good short all around.

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