Poster

The Village Smithy

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : January 16, 1942

Running Time : 7:15

Synopsis

Donald's patience, as a local blacksmith, is put to the test when he attempts to shoe Jenny, a donkey.

Characters

Donald Duck
Jenny, the Burro

Credits

Director
Dick Lundy
Asst. Director
Ted Baker
Animation
Ted Bonnicksen
Bob Carlson
Walt Clinton
John Elliotte
Frank McSavage
Story
Carl Barks

Video

Germany
Donald 50 Verrückte Jahre
France
Bon Anniversaire Donald
Italy
I 50 Anni Folli di Paperino

Laserdiscs

Japan
Donald Duck's 50 Crazy Years

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 45: More Donald
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 2, 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 : The war is over! Okay, not really, but after what seemed like non-stop WWII shorts, we’re back to a regular Donald Duck short with The Village Smithy. It’s a classic Donald formula, where our main duck has to deal with a situation that drive him to distraction. In this case, it’s two situations.

The opening of this short is a great gag, that sets the tone for the comedy to come in the short. We see the blacksmith shop from a distance, and the shadow of a well built, muscular blacksmith on the wall. As the camera zooms in closer, then pans over, it’s revealed that the blacksmith is Donald, who then hammers his own hand.

Just that quick sequence at the beginning of the short sums up the entire premise – being a blacksmith is a tough, physical job, and Donald might not be up for it. That is borne out when Donald attempts the first task, to fix the rim of a wheel. It’s very difficult for him, to say the least.

This sequence calls back to the part of Clock Cleaners where Donald was fighting with the springs in the clock. It’s very similar, because here it’s the rim of the wheel, which bends and springs up after him. That said, it’s not quite as funny as Clock Cleaners, because the rim doesn’t “talk” to Donald the way the spring did.

Where this short kicks into high gear is when Donald has to try and put a shoe on Jenny, the stubborn mule. Although Jenny comes off as cute, she is definitely a handful, refusing to let Donald near her. The funny part is the contortions that Donald has to try and go through to get to Jenny. He bends over between his legs, uses stools, steam and more to try and get to her.

The fun is not so much Jenny as it is what Donald is doing. He gets frustrated, like always, but never quite to the stomping mad level he has displayed in the past. It’s interesting, because we’ve seen Donald at his absolute worst, and this is a more measured duck.

The Village Smithy would not make my top ten of Donald Duck shorts, but it’s a very entertaining one, nonetheless. By having Donald juxtaposed with such a heavy, manual labor job, the comedy comes naturally.


From Ryan : This is one of my favorite Disney shorts. I enjoyed the part where Donald kept trying to shoe Jenny. The ending, although it can be funny, somewhat makes you feel empathy for poor Donald when he's caught on a vice.
From Baruch Weiss : This Donald Duck cartoon is a good one. I enjoy the scene where he takes one of the wheels and dances in it to a folk dance and Mendelsson's "Spring Song."

Referenced Comments