Poster

Window Cleaners

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : September 20, 1940

Running Time : 8:23

Synopsis

Donald is a window cleaner on the side of a skyscraper, with help from Pluto.

Characters

Pluto
Donald Duck
Spike, the Bee

Credits

Director
Jack King
Story
Jack Hannah
Carl Barks

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : Donald's Bee Pictures
Germany
Pluto Räumt Auf
Donald Duck in die Größte Show der Welt
France
Donald Superstar
Italy
Pluto Aiutante Offresi
Buon Compleanno Paperino
Papaerino & C. Professione Buonomore

Laserdiscs

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : Donald's Bee Pictures
Japan
Cartoon Carousel
Donald's Golden Jubilee

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Donald
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Alle Lieben Donald
France
Tout le Monde aime Donald
Italy
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Il Mio Eroe Paperino
Canada
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Donald
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Alla Alskar Kalle
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Everybody Loves Donald

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 8: Bugged
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 60

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 Pluto are teamed up again in Window Cleaners, but in what must violate some unwritten law of the universe, this time Pluto does not take over the short. No, Donald gets the majority of the screen time and the gags in this one, and the short is better for it.

The idea is easy – Donald is a window washer on a skyscraper. The execution is somewhat different, though, as Pluto is charged with hoisting Donald up the side of the building. Pluto is dragging a rope through a crossbar in a sort of pulley system, until he gets distracted by a tick or flea and drops the rope. Donald goes flying and lands on a statue in the first big gag of the short.

Much like Donald’s Vacation, we get to see a few different sides of Donald in this short. In the beginning, he is the happy, singing Donald who goes about his work with not a care in the world, seemingly. Until he gets dropped by Pluto, of course. Then, things start building towards a more and more angry Donald.

This is a fantastic way to construct a Donald short, and a pattern that I imagine we will see more of going forward. Staring Donald as a sort of “every man” who is just trying to work and keeps getting interrupted is a brilliant conceit. Because he is so irritable, it’s fun to watch the building anger.

Pluto’s main role in this short is to sleep. After Donald finally gets up the building, he tries to get Pluto to send up some more water, but to no avail. Pluto is sleeping at the bottom of the building, and Donald can’t wake him up. He even yells down the storm drain, only to have Pluto block it and the hot air blow up in his face.

When he finally does get things going, it’s not long before Donald has an encounter with a bee. This takes up the majority of the second half of the short, as the bee tries in vain to penetrate Donald’s defenses. First there is a bucket, then Donald gets tied up in the ropes on the pulley and blows on the bee as hard as he can.

The final gag, though, shows the bee getting his revenge, as he staggers to the bottom of the platform Donald is on and heroically lifts his stinger up to get Donald. This sequence of the bee is a fantastic piece of work. The bee’s struggle to get himself up after Donald blew him down is so believable and inspiring, even though it’s supposed to be funny.

Window Cleaners is a fun short, although it does not work quite the same as some of the better Donald shorts. We do get some great angry Donald stuff here, but the gags are a little slower. This one focuses on some storytelling efforts that are quite good (like the heroic bee) but at the expense of comedy. Still a worthwhile short, though.


From Trae Robinson : This is one silly Donald Duck cartoon. My favorite part is when Donald shouts down at Pluto and his shouting echo goes down a drain pipe and it comes back up to him saying "Hey, Hey."
From Katelyn : I have this short on a DVD of Donald. I just laugh my behind off every time something doesn't go Donald's way when all he's trying to do is simply clean windows. I give it a 9.
From Dino Cencia : Funny Donald Duck cartoon. I loved the part when Donald keeps trying to wake up Pluto but won't wake up because he's sleeping. First, he trying calling him, but he's still sleeping. Then he's yelling saying "Hey! Wake Up!" Then he took a big deep breath and let out a big yell: "Hey!" Then Pluto's foot blocked the yell and went back up and into Donald's face and it echoed and it shook into him. That was the funniest cartoon ever. I give it 10 of 10. Donald's my favorite character and he's funny. I am going to Disneyland and I will see Donald Duck and say: "Hey Donald! Good to see you! You are my favorite character. I love your cartoons." This cartoon was funny and Donald Duck is a good character.
From Baruch Weiss : This is one of the 7 cartoons I used to have on "Donald's Bee Pictures" and I do not care for this one at all. Donald sure got what he deserved after messing with that bee. Furthermore, the bee was minding his own business until Donald poured water into the flower causing the bee to cough and nearly choke! This happened again in Tea for Two Hundred when he put a bunch of food on an ant causing all the food to fall and the ant to fall in the pie. It's surprising that the cartoon won an academy award!