Poster

Donald's Camera

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : October 24, 1941

Synopsis

Donald finds a new hobby; photography, which he takes into the wilderness to photograph the wildlife.

Characters

Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Dick Lundy
Animation
Ted Bonnicksen
Bob Carlson
Walt Clinton
John Elliotte

Cut Scenes

The final scene showing Donald buying a machine gun and going on a shooting spree in the woods has been cut from this short.

Video

Germany
Hier ist Donald
France
La Joyeuse Menagerie
Italy
Paperino un Disastro di Eroe
Sono Io ... Paperino
Cartoons Disney 5

Laserdiscs

Japan
Hello! Donald
Disney Cartoon Festival 2

DVD

United States
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
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 62
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 59
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 22, 1956

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’ve said it before and will say it again, Donald works best when he’s put in a perfectly innocent situation, but things conspire against him to keep making it a frustrating situation. Donald’s Camera is a perfect example of that, and it’s a fantastic short that I had never seen before.

The opening for this was particularly fun, as it featured Donald doing something he normally does not do – being conscientious. After seeing a sign advising him to shoot nature with a camera, not a gun, Donald proceeds out to do just that. Again, a simple thing, that should be fun and enjoyable, but not when Donald’s involved.

A sighting of note happens almost immediately. The first animal Donald attempts to take a picture of is a little chipmunk with a black nose. It looks like a female, but in most other ways, is likely a forerunner of Chip, who will soon come to menace Donald in other ways, with his partner, Dale.

The chipmunk, though, is only a minor annoyance to Donald in this short. He can’t quite get a shot of the chipmunk, and turns around to see the forest creatures laughing at him. Donald chases them through the forest, ending up dropped in a pond. But he does a funny bit then, throwing the camera into the air, and catching it before it lands in the water. It’s a small thing, but sets up some emotional resonance later in the short.

After that, the rest of the short is a confrontation between Donald and a woodpecker. He tries to climb up a tree to get the woodpecker’s picture, but in a classic gag moment, the woodpecker lures him off the end of a branch, causing Donald to fall. It’s an easy gag, but still funny.

Donald tries a couple different approaches to getting the woodpecker’s picture, such as pretending that some toothpaste is a worm so he can trap the little guy. But the best interactions come after that, when Donald and the bird get into a pecking match. The woodpecker pecks Donald on top of the head, and Donald returns the favor.

It’s so great to see Donald matched up with an equal adversary. Usually, his antagonist is someone who’s well intentioned or just having a good time that interferes with him. Not this time. The woodpecker is out to get him, as evidenced by the last sequence of the film.

Stealing Donald’s camera, the woodpecker pecks a carve out in a tree and slides the camera in it. The carve out is done at an angle, so the tree would fall on the camera. Donald rushes to save it, even calling out “Don’t do that!” as the woodpecker jumps on a branch to try and cause the tree to fall. It’s where the water moment came back for me, as I didn’t want Donald’s camera to get smashed. But it did.

Donald’s anger turns to determination as he quite literally turns into a lightning bolt and zips back to town to grab an arsenal to hunt down the woodpecker. It makes this short delightful to see his turn from nature lover to hunter and see the root cause of it all. I loved it, and you will, too.


From Ryan : At the beginning, Donald sees a sign that reads: SHOOT NATURE WITH A CAMERA INSTEAD OF A GUN. He then sees a few stuffed animals in a shop. I enjoyed the part where Donald has trouble getting the woodpecker to cooperate. One part that I don't understand is when Donald sprinkles salt on the woodpecker's tail, the tail falls off of the woodpecker's body. When the woodpecker pecks a tree that flatten's Donald's camera, Donald decides to go buy a gun. In the original version of this short, he goes off on a shooting spree. Like most of these Disney shorts, I have never seen the uncensored version of it thanks to some *#@##$ do-gooders who don't have anything better to do with their lives. Pretty fun short if I do say so myself.
From Benke Cloudberry : I liked this short, I´m a fan of Donald´s and don´t like him to be a bad sport and in this short I think he is doin' the best of the situation. He is trying to get a good photo and the woodpecker is obstructing. I think I would have done the same thing - buying my self a shotgun, a revolver and a cannon and make it even with the bird. As you can understand I´ve seen the uncensored cartoon which is sent on the Nordic Disney Channel. I didn´t notice any machine guns as is described in the "Cut Scenes."
From Dino Cencia : I remember that I watched the final scene on TV when Donald gets really mad and goes to the gun shop and buys a gun and he goes back into the woods to find the woodpecker who destroyed his camera on the Disney Channel. I talked with my parents about why Disney Channel has to have to cut scenes. And my parents said because when little kids watch those cuts parts on TV, parents don't want their kids to be doing doing something bad with guns, grenades, cigars and stuff. So I understand about it and I know not to do it when I watch The Chronological Donald Volume 1 with Leonard Maltin about when he's talking about gunplay and other stuff on the DVD. Leonard Maltin is the best hosting the Walt Disney Treasures! I'm his biggest fan on the DVD.
From Baruch Weiss : This short was okay, but it was not one of my favorites. I felt sorry for Donald as not one single animal would cooperate with him and pose for a picture. It was mainly the woodpecker whom he was having trouble with. The woodpecker ends up destroying Donald's Camera, Donald gets thrown in a rage and heads off to the store and gets weapons to destroy the bird and might I add he sure had a lot of weapons for just one little bird. So much for Donald's new hobby. I recall, two months ago, I was in Deerfield and I saw a deer there and I tried to take a picture of it, but it ran away.