Poster

Early to Bed

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : July 11, 1941

Running Time : 7:50

Synopsis

The annoyingly loud ticking of an alarm clock is all it takes to keep Donald up for most of the night.

Characters

Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Jack King
Animation
Ed Love
Paul Allen
Jim Armstrong
Story
Carl Barks
Jack Hannah

Video

Germany
Lachkonzert in Entenhausen
France
Si Disney m'etait Conte

Laserdiscs

Japan
Disney's Cartoon Jubilee

DVD

United States
Have a Laugh : Volume 2
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Italy
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Canada
Have a Laugh : Volume 2
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
United Kingdom
Have a Laugh : Volume 2
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 29
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 17

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 : I have had trouble sleeping in the past. Those who know me will not believe it, but I have to get to a deep sleep early on in the night or I am restless all night. Therefore, I could completely relate to Early To Bed, the latest Donald Duck short.

This short was sort of the animators’ version of a locked door mystery, in that Donald is alone in a room, and never leaves throughout the short. You have to admire the fact that all the comedy in this short is created only in the confines of Donald’s bedroom. It’s quite the feat that it is as funny as it is.

Donald, deciding to turn in for the night, gets menaced by a ton of distractions, not the least of which is a ticking alarm clock. This was something I could definitely relate to. I’ve laid in bed dozens of times, with everything else silent, and been denied sleep because of the consistent sound from one object. Donald being Donald, though, he takes it to extremes.

His attempts to get rid of the sounds from the clock are classic Donald. The rest of us might attempt to move the clock, or turn it off, but Donald, of course, takes it to the next level. He buries the clock in a drawer, throws it out a window, and ends up swallowing it at some point. Even then, he doesn’t give up and whacks the clock in his rear against the wall, using a variety of methods.

That sequence alone is really funny, but there’s more involved. That makes this short go from good to great, in my opinion, because the gags could have been all in one place, but by giving the viewer variety, it improves exponentially.

The gags from that point are pretty good, like the bed folding up on Donald. It’s a fantastic use of dramatic pauses, as the lights go out, then come up and all of sudden Donald is folded up in knots. It increases the comedy and makes the question of whether Donald will get to sleep even more in doubt.

There’s not a great innovation in this short or any sort of artistic achievement to point to, but Early To Bed is very, very funny. It’s just Donald, on his own, in a situation that many of us have been in, and he takes our frustrations and acts on them to the next level. It was fun, and a great time watching Donald.


From Ryan : Here we have Donald Duck going
From Brad Bethel : One of the funniest bed-time cartoons. I thought the better part of this cartoon was when Donald was having trouble with a stubborn mattress, including a part where Donald is awaken from a sound, but can't figure out what it was (we later discover that one of the springs came loose). Seems like something as natural as going to sleep can be a big chore for Donald.
From Dino Cencia : It's too bad that Donald couldn't get any sleep with lots of noise from his alarm clock. Maybe next time Donald should buy an electric alarm clock and set the alarm time to when he needs to get up early and his electric alarm clock won't tick tock loudly.
From Matthew Cooper : This cartoon is kind of like A Good Time For a Dime and The Clock Watcher where Donald is the only character. I just can't forget any of it with its great humor! I love the part where the overhead Iight folds up in Donald's bed and hangs inside it making beams of light come out like a disco ball! Or what about when Donald gets his head stuck through the painting "Whistler's Mother"! That is my favorite part next to the closing gag where everything comes off the bed and Donald is sitting there on the remains with his blanket on his head. Then a green and orange sock falls on the remaining spring and sways making Donald look like a snake charmer! The cartoon Sea Scouts (also Donald Duck) has a similar thing where Donald is on a ship and some flags plus a sphere fall of a flagpole and land on him. The only thing that makes the two parts different from one another is the sphere which lands in Donald's hand making him look like a fortune teller!
From Baruch Weiss : I do not know why Donald went to bed early, but that is what he appears to be doing in this cartoon. Perhaps an inference can be drawn that his boss told him that if he was late again he would be fired just like in the 1944 Looney Tune "Tick Tock Tuckered" where Daffy and Porky are told by their boss "NOW GET THIS. IF YOUR LATE ONE MORE TIME YOURE FIRED, GET TA WORK!" Once again this short does not interest me because it gets stale after the first few minutes.

Referenced Comments