Donald Gets Drafted

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : May 1, 1942

Running Time : 8:53


Donald does his patriotic duty when he recieves his draft notice and enlists in the army. The first of Donald's "Army" pictures follows him though his induction medical exam and boot camp.


Donald Duck
Seven Dwarves


Jack King
Paul Allen
Carl Barks
Jack Hannah


United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : An Officer and a Duck
Donald Vedette de Television
Paperino Marmittone
La Storia de Paperino


United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : An Officer and a Duck
This is Your Life Donald Duck


United States
Disney Treasures : On the Front Lines
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 31: The Unseen Disney

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 Jerry Edwards : A fun early Disney World War II cartoon. I always have enjoyed the incongruity of Donald reporting to an army induction in his typical sailor suit! I much enjoyed the fun bits in the physical showing that the army would accept almost anyone during the war. Such as when the tester holds up a red card, asking "What's the color of this red card?" Donald spells out the name on the card and replies, "Red." The tester then holds up a green card, asking "What's the color of this green card?" Donald spells out the name on the card, then says "Blue." To which the tester replies, "Close enough!" I've always enjoyed the scenes in various cartoons in which Donald, who doesn't wear pants, covers his bottom half when his shirt is removed, as during this physical. That has always been very odd! Another fun bit is when the tester holds a spirit level to Donald's foot and says, "Flat feet." It was very appropriate that the first war entertainment cartoon would showcase Donald. He was very popular at that time. In fact, Donald Duck cartoons comprise over half of the war entertainment cartoons.
From Ryan : If I had to pick favorites with Donald's army shorts, this one would be it. I love the song "The Army's Not the Army Anymore," which is sung at the opening title and the beginning of the short as well as the ending. Donald is so excited about joining the army he wants to fly. I laugh at the part where Donald is getting his physical. The doctor asks him "What color is this red card?" as he shows Donald a card with the word RED printed on it. Donald reads it and gives the correct answer. Then the doctor says "And how about this green one?" Donald reads it and shouts "Blue!" (the doctor gave it away and Donald still got it wrong). The scene where he is marching at the command of drill sargent Pete is hilarious. Poor Donald has to stand still and not move a muscle while Pete gets a drink of some good 'ol H20. Unfortunately for Donald, ants crawl up his uniform and cause him to itch like the dickens. Poor Donald goes crazy and starts shooting his gun unintentionally. Well it looks like Donald has gotten his first taste of army life--and not a very good one at that. He's peeling potatoes in the mess hall. He's probably thinking "What the hell was I thinking when I wanted to join the army?"
From Daz : One of best Donald Duck cartoons of all. Donald's first war cartoon, it really captures what he is all about; bad tempered but still likeable and everything going wrong for him. This is especially true of his encounters with ants and bees.

In this short, Donald enters boot camp as he joins the army with the hope of flying. It starts with a catchy and ironic army song, as he enters the building to have his medical exam. In the exam he is tested to see whether he is suitable. Despite being color blind and too short, he gets the OK.

Donald has his first marching lesson, as he follows the other soldiers and Sgt Pete. Immediately we get the idea Donald isn't very disciplined. When Pete shouts 'halt', Donald carries on marching right into other soldiers. Pete tries to correct Donald, but to no avail. Donald even cuts Pete's tie off with his gun. Pete then gives Donald some 'Special Training' on his own. Pete gives Donald several orders, all of which he messes up. Some funny moves here. Eventually, Pete loses his cool and spins Donald like a top and in turn Donald loses his cool too. Donald yells 'I quit'. Pete threatens him with brass knuckles and so Donald takes it back and decides to comply with Pete's commands.

The next scene is where we really get to see Donald at his best. Pete shouts 'Attention', Donald does so. Pete specifically tells him not to move a muscle. Donald thinks everything is finaly going right, then ants start coming out of the ground and crawling onto Donald's legs. Donald feels them walking on him and shakes his rear. Pete shouts 'attention!' again and Donald realizes that he still has to stand still even with the itch. It is hilarious (in a cruel kind of way) watching Donald desperately trying not to move, while the ants, now on his bare lower body, crawl on him. Pete turns his back, and Donald takes the opportunity to scratch off some ants. Pete hears him, turns around, and shouts 'I said don't move!'. Donald sweats as he tries to keep still with an ever increasing number of itchy ants crawling all over him. I'm guessing Pete can see the ants, and is just being sadistic. Donald attempts to flick off some ants with his tail was one ant climbs on his beak and gets hit by a ball of sweat. Donald fails to stop the ants from becoming so numerous that he loses control and runs around with his gun firing in all directions, but Pete's in particular.

Donald gets Potato Duty. End.

From Lars Andersen : A little inside knowledge: I am fairly sure that the officer in the drafting office is Carl Barks. We don't see his face, but Barks always drew himself with red hair, and big ears.
From Baruch Weiss : "The Army's not the army anymore, it's better than it's been before!" Don't believe everything ya hear Donald! The Army is about much more than flying!
From j.p.hope : I like it when the ants drive Donald crazy when Donald duck runs around Pete and, if you look closely, notices the ants on Donald's rear end. I also like it when Donald fires the gun and scares Pete up a tree, and I also like it when Pete's endless whistling doesn't stop Donald from going insane!

Referenced Comments